How Community Impacts Your Recovery Work

How Community Impacts Your Recovery Work

Being surrounded by those who love you and support your sobriety is an important part of the recovery process

When someone struggles with addiction, a community of supportive friends and family members is vital to recovery success. Ergo, the people who surround a recovering addict after he returns from rehab can make or break his recovery experience during these first few days and weeks. People who know about and support someone’s newly-found sobriety, people who are willing to go the extra mile to help someone stay drug and alcohol free, are the only ones who need to be in a recovering addict’s inner circle. Understand how important this kind of support is, and then you can create an environment that is conducive to continued recovery success.

How Families Affect Addiction Recovery

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. calls addiction a “family disease” that affects everyone the addict loves. Children who have been traumatized and embarrassed by their addicted parent’s behavior have suffered; spouses who have been forced to cover up for their loved ones’ absences from family functions have suffered. And all have had to fear for the health and wellbeing of their addicted loved one. In other words, addicts may think their drug habits affect no one but themselves, but they are mistaken.

However, when an addict gets the help she needs, there is new hope for everyone involved. To maintain that hope, the families of recovering addicts must create environments that are free of drugs and alcohol, because such environments are essential for continued success. An important part of creating a community where a recovery can thrive is agreeing with extended family members that holiday gatherings and other family functions must remain free of drugs and alcohol out of respect for the struggling loved one.

When a family support system refuses to help someone who struggles with addiction, then he is more likely to struggle with relapse. For instance, drug cravings and a longing to feel normal again can become overwhelming to a newly sober drug addict. However, drawing on the strength of family and friends during times of increased vulnerability can provide a necessary lifeline that discourages relapse. And, when relapse happens, a supportive community can increase the likelihood of a faster recovery.

How Friendships Affect Addiction Recovery

When someone enters addiction treatment, it will probably be difficult for her to leave her family members and friends behind. As her struggle to overcome painful withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings intensifies, it will be easy for her to think back about the life she left behind, including the friends associates with the drug culture. In short, while they are in treatment, recovering addicts are cut off from those who fed their addictions, but, when they leaves the security of rehab, the temptation to contact friends from their old ways of life may become overwhelming. For that reason, recovering addicts must find regular support groups before they ever leave a treatment facility. Support groups provide a place for recovering addicts to share struggles in safe and secure environments. Furthermore, these groups help patients develop relationships with other people who know and understand the recovery journey. This community creates a place where recovering addicts can be themselves and develop their lives without the control of drugs and alcohol.

At some point, friends from the past may try to reconnect with a recovering addict. People who have new, sober friends can deal with these temptations in positive ways, which can mean the difference between continued success and relapse. Along with support for recovery, support group members can provide a much-needed social outlet for times when parties or family functions will include alcohol. New, strong friendships with people who support sobriety and understand your story can be a lifeline throughout your recovery journey.

Giving Back: the Community Factor

Just as it affects entire families, addiction also affects the community. Neighborhoods are weakened by the drug culture, as schools are impacted when parents struggle with substance abuse cannot support their children. If you understand the way drug addiction cripples communities, then you will take an important step to helping recovering addicts flourish. Find ways to give back to the community through serving less fortunate drug addicts, speaking to school groups and developing an attitude of service. If you take these actions, then you can help yourself and your loved one give back to the many people who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction.

Habitat for Humanity and Meals On Wheels are great options for serving people affected by drug abuse. You can look for other opportunities to serve people through your place of worship. Learn how to stay involved in recovery communities to help yourself and other people stay clean.

Find Help for Drug or Alcohol Addiction

An important part of the recovery process is to create a caring and supportive community for yourself and your recovering loved one. When your loved one knows he has the full support of yourself and other family and friends, he has every reason to hope. If you or a loved one struggles with substance abuse, then call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now. You can speak with our admissions coordinator about available treatment options.