Why Social Support Is Crucial in Recovery
Sobriety can be an isolating experience. Though the same can be true of addiction, many who embrace recovery find that they must step away from who they were and even some of their friends and peers.
But being in recovery doesn’t mean being alone. In fact, the willingness to invest in a new social network is just as critical to recovery as the decision to abstain from drugs. Research has shown that people who surround themselves with supporters increase their chances of remaining sober.
That’s why Eagleville’s treatment philosophy stresses the importance of social support.
Why does social support matter?
By nature, humans are social animals that need each other’s support and encouragement. The feelings of community and belonging that we receive from others are crucial in recovery.
The right social support:
- Provides a sense of inclusion
- Eases loneliness, which can reduce stress
- Fosters a sense of safety and security
- Offers a sense of purpose that heightens optimism
- Broadens perspective beyond your own concerns
- Counteracts the stigma tied to addiction
- Helps to sustain long-term investment in recovery
What is social support?
Social support in recovery takes on a variety of forms. In treatment at Eagleville, the allies are obvious: everyone is part of your social support network. Part of the role of a treatment facility is to provide a safe, nurturing environment occupied by therapists, physicians and other care providers, and peers who are also in recovery.
After discharge, a person’s support network may include other people, such as:
- Members of a 12-step group
- A sponsor
- A therapist
- A spiritual advisor
- Family and friends
- Other peers in recovery
Family, longtime friends, and partners can certainly be a part of a social network. But some people in recovery find that this is not the case. Sometimes friends and family find themselves in old roles and habits that can be triggering or discouraging to those in recovery.
That’s why one of the most important skills to develop after discharge is setting healthy boundaries and finding social support that will honor those boundaries. This way, you’re surrounded by people who respect and support your daily decision to remain in recovery.