How Support Groups Can Help You Heal

How support groups can help you healFor every form of addiction, whether for drugs, gambling, overeating or other compulsive behavior that has taken over your life, there is a support group that can help you. In addition, there are support groups that can help the friends, family members and colleagues of those who are struggling with addiction.

About Support Groups

Generally speaking, support groups do the following:

  • Consist of a group of people who share their experiences, strengths and hopes with each other in an effort to help solve their common problem and help others to recover
  • Have the desire to stop their addiction as the only requirement for membership
  • Typically do not charge dues or fees
  • Are not associated with any religious, political, educational, or any other type of organization or institution
  • Maintain anonymity

While most support group meetings are conducted in person, there is an increasing number of online support group sites to assist those that are housebound, not ready to attend a meeting with others or who simply need support when another meeting is not available. If you are unsure of where to find support groups in your area, you can contact the following:

  • The local mental health organizations
  • Your physician
  • Churches and community groups
  • High school guidance counselors
  • Online resources
  • Local telephone book
  • Newspaper for a listing of support resources

 

Benefits of Support Groups

Millions of people have benefited from support groups. The following are just some of the many benefits of these groups:

  • Peer support
  • Learn how to rebuild damaged relationships
  • Build new healthy relationships
  • Learn proper behaviors
  • Getting the opportunity to reconcile with those they have hurt in the past
  • Provide an emotional connection when you have previously felt isolated from friends and family
  • Exchange information and new research findings
  • A safe place to release strong emotions
  • Gaining a sense of empowerment and control
  • Improved coping skills and adjustment
  • Reduction in distress, depression or anxiety

Getting Started with a Support Group

Make sure that the support group you choose meets your needs. You want to feel comfortable and feel that you fit in. It makes sense to attend a few support group meetings to determine how useful the group seems to you. If the first group does not feel right, try another one. Even if you are hesitant about joining a support group, you may benefit by simply attending and listening. Wait until you overcome your nervousness about sharing personal issues with people you don’t know; when ready, you can contribute your experiences, which may in turn helps others in the group.

Learn More about Support Groups

If you feel that you could benefit from a support group but need more information to make your decision, call our toll-free helpline today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about support groups. We are here to help.