Anyone that is using opiates runs the risk of developing dependence to these types of drugs. When that happens, the user will more than likely need to undergo opiate addiction treatment in order to stop using. Most opiate addicts cannot stop, even if they wanted to. Through effective treatment, the chances to successfully recover from opiate use is higher. It may begin with detox, to remove the drug from the person’s system.
However, this is not enough. To prevent a user from returning to drug use, a myriad of methods are used. This includes the use of support groups. Support groups are an essential part of the treatment process. They play a very important role in the addict’s road to recovery. The implementation of support groups as part of a treatment plan has proven to help addicts maintain sobriety and long-term recovery.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, support group members also help each other with pragmatic concerns, such as maintaining abstinence and managing day‐to‐day living. These groups are also used to improve members’ general self‐esteem and self‐confidence.
Benefits of Support Groups in Opiate Addiction Treatment Programs
As you or a loved one enter into a treatment program for substance abuse, the use of support groups can have an impact in your recovery plan. Support groups provide many benefits to those wanting to stop the use of opiates, and as they go through recovery, a support group can help significantly to improve your chances at staying drug-free. Some benefits to joining a support group are:
- You will realize you are not alone, and that you are not the only one with a drug problem. The members in the group are also battling with an opiate addiction. This can allow you to open up and talk about your situation, without being criticized.
- By talking to others, and also hearing others open up and share their experiences, you can gain ideas and the emotional strength needed get your life back on track. Also, by sharing your own thoughts and goals to stay drug-free –you lend emotional support to others like you.
- Members help each other meet the challenges of maintaining long-term recovery by holding each other accountable for their own actions if they return back to using opiates or any other drug. Any action you take that implicates your recovery and causes relapse is an excuse that will be challenged.
- Members also help each other learn coping skills and ideas to properly adjust to the changes of being drug-free, and having a meaningful purpose to be healthier and happier, without the use of opiates.
As part, or in addition to opiate addiction treatment, support groups can offer individuals in recovery the opportunity to continue their long-term plan to stay free from the use of opiates. With the emotional support and advice they can gain from other members, it is vital to consider one as part of the treatment plan. As a supportive member you can contribute your own ideas, gain insight into additional resources, and reduce the depression often experienced when feeling alone.
Finding a Support Group
Many treatment centers can provide you with the details for finding and joining a support group. Some centers have them as part of the individual’s opiate addiction treatment plan. Some may be located outside of the center. Ask an addiction counselor, or the medical doctor to recommend a support group for you. Another way to find one in your area is online. You can find one specifically for opiate users, or for substance abuse in general.