Tag Archives: Social Support

Tag Archives: Social Support


How 12-Step programs offer social supportSocial support is one of the most influential aspects of recovery, and previous research has proven this. A 2015 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology highlighted that addiction recovery is a process of social identity change in and of itself; as a person moves from viewing themselves as “one with addiction” to “one in recovery”, their social networks change – and this social support only reinforces the recovery goals they’re working towards. Support, structure and guidance are vital components to healing, and 12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) foster these aspects.

There’s always been a shared sense of community for those in 12-Step programs, not just because of the layout itself but also because the discussions are centered around topics that everyone in attendance can truly relate to. In 2017, a person shared their own experience with this community via The Fix. The stated,

“…12-Step programs work for me when I stick with people who commit to the full program…The skills I’ve learned in 12-Step groups by doing the steps and learning the traditions are valuable everywhere. I’ve rebuilt my support group.”

In 2016, researchers from the New York University School of Medicine highlighted that peer support – such as those found in 12-Step groups – can have a significant impact on those in recovery by sharing knowledge and experiences, coping strategies, and offering understanding. Recovery leaders in 12-Step programs are individuals who’ve gone through the steps themselves – and have been working them for quite some time. This type of guidance, along with having peers who are also working towards recovery – only strengthens the sense of community that those hoping to build strength truly need.

If you’re ready to begin your journey to recovery today, contact Cumberland Heights for information on treatment programs and support through 12-Step programs. While recovery may seem daunting, you’re not alone – and that’s what building a recovery community is all about.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Man associated masculinity with addictionMen face unique challenges in society today that set them back from living a life that’s most conducive to their health and happiness. As depicted in songs, movies, books and more, men are expected by society to be strong, relentless, competitive, stoic individuals. Strong emphasis is placed on male masculinity, with the assumption that if you’re not “masculine enough”, you’re not a real man. Unfortunately, the male social construction leaves out room for men to experience very real, basic “human” emotions in healthy ways. Rather than expressing their pain, men tend to hold it in – because it’s seen as the “strong” thing to do.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) previously published a book that addressed the specific behavioral needs of men in recovery. They emphasized how cultural norms present major problems for many men, especially as their economic status, occupation, geographic location, religious affiliation, education, race, ethnicity, sexuality and more can teeter the public eye in favor or against their own masculinity. In the United States, young men are taught early on what is expected of them when it comes to how they talk, act, feel and think. Substance use is a common display of “masculinity”, and many men find themselves proving their “worth” through drinking competitions and more.

After-work gatherings, job celebrations, sports victories and birthdays are seen as typical occasions where men are expected to drink. The notion of competition and success is what drives a lot of these behaviors, though unfortunately it leaves many men struggling with addiction as well as mental health issues. A 2017 study conducted by researchers from Indiana University Bloomington found that this “masculinity” perception is actually a self-defeating behavior, as those with “traditional masculine norms” are likely to experience higher rates of depression, anxiety and stress.

Furthermore, masculine expectations suggest that men are more self-reliant – which means that if they are struggling with addiction (or mental health concerns, for that matter) they will be less likely to seek help.

If you have a loved one who is struggling with addiction, encourage them to seek the help they need today. There is no time like the present moment.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.


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