By providing accountability and acceptance within safe, nurturing environments, support groups hugely benefit lifelong recovery for addicts of all kinds. Many support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), follow 12-Step programs designed to encourage spiritual growth, character development, helping behaviors and, of course, abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
Though not sufficient on their own, support groups are highly recommended components of comprehensive treatment plans.
What are the 12 Steps?
Designed by AA founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, the 12 Steps are a set of principles designed to guide addicts through the recovery process. They emphasize spiritual reflection, self-examination, admittance of guilt and reconciliation with those wronged.
What are 12-Step programs?
12-Step programs are fellowships of people recovering from addictions of all kinds, including narcotics, gambling, sex and food. Because 12-Step meetings provide steady social support, studies show that, when combined with comprehensive addiction treatment, they are highly effective in maintaining long-term sobriety.
While meeting formats vary from group to group, most consist of an opening and closing, such as a prayer or 12-Step reading; sharing of member stories and experiences; the study of a particular step; and a guest speaker. Meetings can be open or closed (anyone can attend open meetings, but closed meetings are limited to recovering alcoholics or addicts.) Most groups encourage new members to develop a relationship with a sponsor, an individual who has maintained sobriety for a number of years and can offer support and guidance through the recovery process.
Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous
Alcoholics Anonymous (for recovering alcoholics) and Narcotics Anonymous (for recovering drug addicts) are two of the most prominent 12-Step groups. AA and NA offer confidential, rehabilitative forums for recovering addicts to share feelings, offer support and establish accountability relationships. AA and NA groups meet nationwide, are free of charge and have no religious affiliations.
Caron Fellowship Groups
Caron Fellowship Groups are designed to support patients who have completed recovery programs at Caron facilities. These welcoming networks of alumni, family and friends provide opportunities to connect through meetings, activities and events. Fellowship Groups also promote recovery by encouraging alumni to remain involved and give back. Meetings and events are free of charge.
For more information on Caron’s support groups, please click here or contact us.