Tag Archives: Support in Recovery

Tag Archives: Support in Recovery


Having a strong support system in recovery

No matter how hard we can work towards living a happier, healthier life, there will always be moments of trial and tribulation – because as human beings living in an imperfect world, that’s a constant occurrence. It waxes and wanes, but those moments of despair are what make us stronger in the long-run; unfortunately, many people fail to surround themselves with the proper support system that will help them see their way through these hard times, and that’s when a person can become even more susceptible to mental illness and other hardships.

The University of Minnesota explains that social support,

“…means having friends and other people, including family, to turn to in times of need or crisis to give you a broader focus and positive self-image. Social support enhances the quality of life and provides a buffer against adverse life events.”

In addiction recovery, social support can mean the difference between feeling isolated and feeling cared for, relapsing or pursuing abstinence, pursuing beneficial recovery activities or dwelling in misery. Social support can provide us with the resources we need to get out of a “slump” and into higher grounds; a 2017 study published in the Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education found that social support can help individuals remain in the “low severity” group when it comes to substance abuse outcomes.

12-Step programs often provide a safe, nurturing place for people to explore elements of spirituality and recovery while also developing strong connections with others. A 12-Step sponsor, for example, can be an incredibly strong form of social support for a person in recovery – and meeting others who’ve been on the road of addiction can also be helpful, especially when reminding oneself that they’re not alone.

If you’re ready to embark on a beautiful journey of healing and restoration, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today.

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 two 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. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.

How spirituality plays a role in addiction recovery

Everyone may have their own definition of what spirituality means to them, but there’s one thing that most people have in common: Spirituality brings about feelings of hope, love, connectedness and strength. Dr. Elizabeth Hartney, a psychologist, and professor, told Very Well Mind – a website that publishes information related to disorders, self-improvement and more – that spirituality can incorporate a lot of different things, depending on the person:

  • Getting in touch with a person’s “moral compass”
  • Learning to apply a person’s values to live the life they’ve always wanted
  • Respecting oneself and others
  • Gaining perspective on a variety of problems
  • Recognizing that as human beings, we all have weaknesses
  • Receiving and providing support to other people
  • And more

While some may question spirituality’s role in addiction recovery, the evidence is clear. Many people who’ve battled alcoholism, drug addiction as well as many other forms of addiction have felt isolated, hopeless, depressed, lost, etc. Spirituality addresses these types of very real human concerns in a loving way. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Religion and Health assessed responses from several long-term A.A. members (members of Alcoholics Anonymous, a 12-Step program) to explore the role of spirituality in addiction recovery. Researchers found that feeling God’s presence daily, believing in a Higher Power as a universal spirit and serving as an A.A. sponsor were all linked to positive outcomes – and it makes sense because all of these and more can only bring us closer to living a happier, healthier life.

If you’re ready to feel less alone, less scared and less worried about living a life that brings you brings you greater peace and happiness, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today.

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 two 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. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.

How participating in 12-Step programs can help build a support system

Formalized treatment often provides the structure that a person needs to restore their mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing after the ups and downs of addiction – but another major part of recovery is social support, and this is often found through recovery-related activities. Individual and group therapy serve as safe spaces for learning and growth, but there’s another component of recovery that can provide a person with a number of contacts and an additional structure for healing: 12-Step programs.

All About 12-Step Programs

12-Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), were founded back in the mid-1930s as a mutual self-help group. Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith and Bill Wilson started the first 12-Step fellowship in Akron, Ohio, and since then, thousands of chapters and people have engaged in it. The 12-Step program is a beautiful support program for those in addiction recovery, as the 12-Steps have led many people into forming a life of sobriety that’s all based on faith, hope, and love. A connection with a Higher Power is sought through these types of programs, and there are many principles that can be found through them:

  • The belief that a Higher Power is needed in order to live a fulfilling life, and that as human beings, we simply don’t have the power nor control to carry out what’s needed
  • The request of a Higher Power to remove all of our shortcomings
  • The admittance that we’d become powerless over our addiction, and that a Higher Power can help us carry out His will
  • And more

Over time, 12-Step programs have evolved into covering a variety of conditions such as eating disorders, gambling, nicotine addiction and more. It’s quite common for those in 12-Step programs to have a spiritual awakening, which has ultimately led people to lead a life with greater love, happiness and overall fulfillment.

In 2018, Very Well Mind, a website that publishes information related to mental health and wellness, explained that 12-Step programs have served not only as a way for people to recover from addiction but also as a form of guidance for life – and through this, connections can be made that only further endorse recovery and sobriety.

Social Support and Sobriety

It’s not uncommon for the people around us to greatly influence our attitudes, thoughts and behaviors. All too often, people fall victim to substance abuse because their social circle endorses it – and once you’re caught in the endless cycle of substance abuse, it’s incredibly difficult to get out. The American Psychological Association (APA) states that it’s this exposure to outside influencers – along with environmental factors (such as low cost and accessibility of the substances) and psychological influencers (such as stress and history of trauma) can also affect a person’s susceptibility to addiction.

Social support is about finding people who uplift your dreams, goals and plans for sobriety – it’s about surrounding yourself with individuals who help you become the person you want to be, rather than take you away from it. By forming a strong support network through a 12-Step program, you can enjoy numerous benefits such as:

  • Having people you can rely on in times of need
  • Being able to surround yourself with people who positively reinforce sobriety
  • Obtaining a sponsor – someone who can help guide you through recovery
  • Engaging in recurring meetings that can serve as a constant in an otherwise seemingly chaotic world
  • Gaining confidence in recovery-related efforts by no longer feeling alone
  • And others

Of course, social support systems only become stronger with greater involvement – and it’s crucial that you fully participate in 12-Step meetings and other recovery-related activities in order to get the most benefit. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that 12-Step programs can,

“…Offer an added layer of community-level social support to help people in recovery with abstinence and other healthy lifestyle goals.”

Building a Community

An unfortunate belief by many who’ve struggled with addiction is that they’re all alone – but the reality is that there are many more people who are also suffering, and who are in need of support. 12-Step programs offer a new chance at a fulfilling life – and that’s not only through the connection of a Higher Power but through the connection of others who want to build one another up. In 2015, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) described the 12-Step program as a “tried-and-true proven approach” that involves far more than simply advising someone – but also fosters community relationships and sponsor-sponsee connections that can enhance someone’s life.

Part of building a social support network is becoming vulnerable and opening up about the challenges we go through, as well as serving as a listening ear to those who need it as well. Holistically, support is a process of give and take – and, over time, we may find that we make connections that serve as lifelong friendships. Furthermore, the building of a relationship with a Higher Power means that we no longer have to feel alone in our pursuits – there is someone else watching over us, and we can rely on Him to help us lead a more fulfilling life.

Jean Venier once stated,

“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals.”

If you’re ready to take steps towards building a lifelong support system, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today. It’s never too late to ask for help – and in doing so, a number of opportunities become open.

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 two 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. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.

Woman experiencing the benefit of intensive outpatient treatmentIntensive outpatient treatment programs (IOPs) provide direct services for people with substance use disorders (SUDs) who do not require supervision 24/7 or medical detoxification. When considering the many treatment options available for substance abuse, it’s important to consider what a person’s needs are. IOPs are considered effective alternatives to inpatient or residential treatment programs, as they can provide many of the same services that assist individuals with relapse prevention and psychosocial support. If you are currently considering an IOP, it’s important to assess the benefits. With Cumberland Heights’ Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program, this is what you can expect:

  • Personalized assessments to ensure that you receive care that’s tailored to your needs
  • Convenient evening treatment hours so that you’re able to maintain family, work and school-related responsibilities
  • Group and family counseling
  • An approach that involves the whole person, not just the substance dependency
  • And more

A 2015 study published in the journal Psychiatric Services assessed several studies to explore just how effective IOPs are, and they found that IOPs have very high, comparable success rates to those of inpatient treatment programs. With an IOP, individuals can maintain their own lives while still working diligently in their recovery.

In fact, a publication by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) highlights that IOPs are designed to provide optimum support to individuals through a supportive environment; new skills are learned by those in recovery related to stress management, relapse prevention, assertiveness training, drug or alcohol refusal training and more, which greatly enhances a person’s confidence in recovery. Those who do participate in IOPs are often self-motivated and able to practice what they’ve learned in treatment throughout their daily lives, which only serves to further reinforce their recovery.

If you’re currently searching for a reputable IOP, speak with someone from Cumberland Heights’ Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program, Hendersonville Treatment. An IOP could be the best step you could’ve taken for substance dependency, or it could be an excellent transition from formalized treatment to home life.

Cumberland Heights’ Intensive Outpatient Program in Sumner County Tennessee is designed for people whose needs and schedules vary. A quality intensive outpatient drug and alcohol rehab program will be designed to treat the whole person, not just the addiction. Take the first step by contacting us at 615-356-2700. Recovery is possible, and Hendersonville Treatment can help.


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