Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Accountability and Being Open About Your Recovery

Accountability and Being Open About Your Recovery

Though it may be hard at first, being open about your addiction can lead to good sources of peer support that encourage progressive recovery

Being open about your addiction and recovery can be intimidating. Stigmas and misconceptions of addiction still exist in some communities, which makes it hard for someone who is looking for peer support to find it without the fear of being rejected or categorized as a flawed, negative influence.

Nonetheless, if you feel ready to be accountable and open about your addiction and recovery, having someone else who is aware of and supporting your recovery can be greatly helpful if you want to stay sober. There are many specific positive aspects of receiving peer support from family, friends or a trusted support group, and this help can transform into lasting recovery.

The Benefits of Peer Support While in Addiction Recovery

The benefits of peer support in recovery have been the focus of much research. For example, a study published in the US National Library of Medicine regards community participation a form of addiction intervention: it found that participating in community programs to support addiction recovery can greatly increase your chances of remaining both sober and well.

However, the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center offers a word of caution when it comes to interpersonal relationships and the process of recovery. Recovering addicts sometimes encounter feelings of rejection or stress when they cannot obtain peer support. According to the article, when this problem happens, then the risk of relapse can increase in people who have both a substance abuse problem and sensitivity for rejection.

Such rejection from the community might be why some recovering addicts believe they must begin recovery alone instead of looking for support. The fear of rejection and the idea of disappointing someone can be so overwhelming that it clouds the clear benefits of receiving peer support from the right sources.

But, instead of letting a fear of rejection become an obstacle to finding good support for recovery, it should be an incentive to find the right kind of support from the right sources. Some benefits of being open about your recovery with the right people include the following list:

  • Having someone to share your feelings
  • Getting feedback regarding your progress
  • Finding a source of encouragement during difficult times
  • Receiving sound advice to stay sober
  • Learning from the experience of others in similar circumstances
  • Not feeling alone while battling with addiction

One of the best ways to receive this kind of support is to find a reliable person or group so you can be open about both your addiction and recovery.

Sources of Peer Support that Encourage Recovery

One of the main sources for peer support can be found in close family members. It might take extra effort and time to use these loved ones for recovery, and that is understandable. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence calls recovery a “family affair,” because addiction affects everyone around the user, which usually includes members of the household.

However, family recovery can increase the intimacy and bonds of the whole family when done under the appropriate settings with a clear goal in mind. Some families have opted to obtain the help of family counseling to develop strategies of peer support and healing with the aid of a trained therapist.

Another effective source of peer support involves group therapy. Some studies have found that, for some patients, group therapy can be more successful and helpful than individual therapy. It has also been found that a culture of substance abuse recovery can develop when a sufferer participates in meetings alongside other people who have similar goals for sobriety. People find such success in group therapy, because it not only focuses not only on how to stay sober, but it also encourages recovery in personal and social aspects, such as overcoming isolation, depression and other negative feelings.

Of course, some recovering addicts begin the process of forming supportive relationships by relying on a personal therapist. This professional resource is usually available in rehab and private settings outside treatment centers. These health professionals can help recovering addicts find good peer support, because they can explain and help patients see why being open about recovery is beneficial. Recovering addicts can also find trusted support whenever problems arise if they disclose their pain of addiction and recovery to others. In other words, you have better success finding help if you seek professionals who can steer you in the right direction.

Addiction Recovery as a Team Effort

Call our toll-free helpline so our admissions coordinators can be a part of your recovery efforts. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, and our services are free of charge. Our staff can help you find the right program for you or your loved one, including intervention services, family counseling, transportation to and from rehab and much more. Call now, because our coordinators would be glad to help you along your path toward lasting recovery.

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