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The Importance of Building a Community in Addiction Recovery

Importance of Building a Community in Addiction Recovery

Addiction can seem like a very lonely place where no one really understands what you’re facing or can help you. Addiction recovery helps you see that there’s a wide range of ways to improve your quality of life and get the support you need in doing so.

To be effective, addiction treatment needs to come from a place of community. Working with others provides you with ample resources and support throughout the recovery journey. Because of the challenges addiction creates both physically and mentally, every person who struggles with it will face some stumbling blocks along the way. With support and encouragement, you can avoid falling.

What is a Recovery Community?

Building a recovery community means working with people who share the same beliefs or experiences and who come together to provide support for each other. It means having individuals around you who can give you the guidance you need during bad times and celebrate with you during your achievements. Having a community like this throughout addiction recovery may mean surrounding yourself with:

  • Professionals who can offer treatment
  • Close family
  • Close friends
  • Others in recovery 
  • Alumni from treatment centers

It doesn’t matter who is within your community as long as their objective is to support you in living a drug- or alcohol-free life.

Why Community Is Critical in Addiction

Having a strong support system to get you through one of the most challenging times of your life is nothing to look down on. In fact, it’s critical to your long-term success. As you work towards recovering from addiction, you’ll find there are numerous benefits to having this type of support around you.

  • You feel like you belong

Being part of a community often means you feel a sense of belonging. This generates confidence and a sense of safety. When you feel like you belong, you can share your thoughts and feelings with others, trusting that they will understand. You feel comfortable talking about both the good and the bad you’re experiencing. You know that you are not alone in your struggles. 

  • You are held accountable

Being part of a community is also a very good way to remain accountable. You need to be accountable to yourself and to others if you hope to remain drug- or alcohol-free. That means that if you do something that endangers your sobriety, like visiting friends who are using substances, that someone within your community will call you out and help you review your decision-making process. 

It’s estimated that 40 to 60% of people with addiction will relapse. One of the most common reasons for relapse is the inability to manage daily life triggers like stress and loneliness. Community can help you to stay on track. 

  • You build social skills

Many people with addiction have underdeveloped social skills. They often have to learn how to create strong relationships in healthy ways. By having a community of support, you gain guidance and experience with building relationships in a safe environment.

You’ll learn skills like showing empathy for others, listening to others, expressing your thoughts and feelings in a meaningful way, and reading social cues. You’ll also learn how to build healthy relationships that support both you and the other person.

  • You reduce your risk of isolation

Isolation during addiction is dangerous, and that remains true during recovery. A person who is alone and unsupported is less likely to get the guidance they need during tough periods, and that can lead to relapse. With a community, you are able to talk to people who get it, who want to support you, and who may even have some answers on how to manage these tough days. 

  • You get realistic support for day-to-day life

Aside from emotional support, sometimes your community can help you meet practical needs, like transportation to and from treatment or work, or help with your resume, or having a place to live as you get back on your feet. You’ll gain the recovery skills you need and some hands-on help as well.

Contact Us to Have a Conversation and Start Treatment

When you receive treatment at Iron Bridge Recovery Center, we ensure you have all of the tools necessary to help support your long-term recovery. We are the community you need as you begin addiction recovery.

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