Last updated: 02/20/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Addiction starts out as a physical condition caused by the effects of drug abuse. After a while, these physical effects take on a life of their own as addicts start to develop routines and lifestyles around their addictions.
Even after a person completes treatment, these routines and lifestyles have yet to be eliminated, especially during times when drug cravings persist. Within the addiction recovery process, the role of support picks up where the physical effects of addiction leave off.
While addressing the physical effects of addiction may seem most important, the psychological and lifestyle aspects of addiction will ultimately drive a person to resume using without having the needed supports in place. The addiction recovery process provides different types of support to suit whatever stage of addiction or severity of addiction is involved.
Ultimately, having or not having needed supports in place can mean the different between a successful addiction recovery and multiple relapse episodes.
Addiction recovery treatment uses different levels of support in helping addicts maintain a drug-free existence. During detox treatment, physical supports in the form of medications, supervision, and counseling enable addicts to break the body’s physical dependency on drugs.
After completing detox, recovering addicts require psychological and social supports to help them maintain abstinence. As many recovering addicts well know, the lure of addiction can resurface within any given circumstance or period in their lives.
In effect, the further along a person moves in the addiction recovery process, the greater the need for psychosocial supports to be in place.
Individual & Group Therapy Supports
More oftentimes than not, past issues and/or traumas predispose a person to develop an alcohol or drug addiction. In effect, underlying issues become the driving force behind a person’s tendency towards compulsive drug use.
While recovering addicts may first encounter individual and group therapy when going through detox treatment, ongoing individual and group therapy may well be needed throughout much of the addiction recovery process.
The 12-Step Support Approach
The 12-Step support model originated with Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935 as a lifelong treatment approach to managing addiction in everyday life. Since that time, addictions of all types have taken on the 12-Step support model, some of which include:
- Cocaine Anonymous
- Narcotics Anonymous
- Crystal Meth Anonymous
- Heroin Anonymous
The 12-Step support group incorporates a group therapy model as a long-term treatment approach in addiction recovery. These groups provide a place for recovering addicts to receive ongoing support and guidance for living a drug-free life.
Family & Friend Supports
Since family and friend influences have likely played a part in supporting the addict’s addiction lifestyle, once a person enters recovery, family and friends must likewise support the addiction recovery process. Oftentimes, addicts must develop new friendships altogether with like-minded individuals.
In the case of family, family members may well benefit from family therapy and ongoing support group meetings. Support groups, such as Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics specifically address the challenges loved ones face when a loved one battles addiction.