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Support Groups as a Form of Substance Abuse Treatment

Oftentimes, individuals struggle to come to terms with the addiction(s) that they are faced with, but through support groups they are not only surrounded by a network of people, but no longer have to cope with their dependence alone. However, it is important that one takes into consideration all the benefits that come through support groups, as well as the different types for such.

For, many automatically think of a support group as being a diverse amount of complete strangers gathering together in the midst of a spacious room to share similar experiences and perspectives. But, what they fail to understand is the different types of support groups beneath the surface, for they can be categorized into two forms: 1) support groups that are put together by a health professional, and 2) support groups that are more peer-led.

First and foremost, support groups that are put together by a health professional are more formal because they carry a treatment plan, by bringing a wide range of addicts together based on what status of recovery they are in. In turn, it can pose as beneficial because each person has an easier way of relating to those around them, and also serves as an advantage due to the fact that it is put together by a health professional—someone who knows the progress of each individual through spending one-on-one time with each. Therefore, he/she may know where each individual needs to be placed through the status of their health, more than the individual himself/herself.

As a result, this brings us to support groups that are more peer-led.  For, it is through such that we see a more casual approach because addicts who are on the road to recovery aren’t placed  in a certain group/atmosphere by a counselor, psychotherapist, and/or health professional, but are attending because they want to connect, and share their addiction/recovery story with others who they share common, and like minded ground with.

In conclusion, there is a risk with peer-led groups since attendance is voluntary, which means that anyone has the freewill to come and go as he/she pleases. Even then, any form of recovery carries such a weight because each individual has to look within himself/herself, and fight a great battle in order to overcome his/her addiction—however, no one should have to endure such a battle alone, and that’s where support groups come in.

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