Finding a Support Group in Los Angeles

Why Attend A Support Group?

Recovery is rarely linear. There will inevitably be bumps along the way, and a strong support system helps ensure that these hurdles are met with grace.

Many substance abusers believe that the period of detox is the most challenging to their sobriety. After all, nausea, anxiety, and even hallucinations that can accompany detoxing are certainly not a walk in the park. 

Still, detoxing often occurs in a controlled environment, like a rehabilitation facility. Many chronic users find themselves out of their depth once they complete their treatment program, and without continued help from a supportive environment, they may return to familiar habits.

What Makes Support Groups Helpful?

Support groups can be structured in many different ways, but the overarching commonality is that support groups give people struggling with similar afflictions a place to air their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or repercussions.

Additionally, making support groups part of a regular routine can provide a new structure to the life of someone in recovery. Forging new habits is obviously critical to replacing unhealthy ones, so if a prior user’s day is filled with productive activities, like work and support groups, then they’re less likely to revert to their old ways.

Finally, support groups provide attendees with practical, healthy coping mechanisms. Not every day will be easy on the path to total recovery and continued sobriety, but when someone has the option to pick up the phone and call a fellow support group member, or jump in the car and attend a meeting, they’re better equipped to handle the dark days.

What Is It Like to Attend A Support Group?

Every support group is different, depending on the specific programming that it follows, but there’s a general formula that one can expect when attending a meeting. Generally speaking, the group will sit together in some sort of formation that facilitates conversation, and a group leader will open up the dialogue.

After that, the attendees are usually encouraged to share their experiences, if they should so wish. There’s traditionally no pressure to participate until one feels comfortable; the simple act of hearing others’ similar experiences can be cathartic in its own way.

In addition to physical cravings, someone with an addiction issue will also spend a tremendous amount of time thinking about their drug of choice. These thoughts become a compulsion and impossible to control, which leads to drug-seeking behavior that can sometimes be criminal.

Feelings of depression, sadness, anxiety, despair, and the like are often at the root of substance abuse. The substance might temporarily mask these feelings, but they return once the high wears off, creating a vicious circle of drug abuse.

Taking a substance will temporarily stop the cravings and compulsion for it, but soon the same feelings return. In time, it takes more and more of the same substance to achieve the same effect it once had.

People addicted to drugs and alcohol may feel like they have no control over their drug use. Refraining from using or stopping seems to be an impossibility for them. The substance controls them, rather than the other way around.

Someone addicted to drugs or alcohol will continue to seek them out even if their addiction has made them lose friends, family, spouses, and jobs. Drug-seeking behavior can even lead to diseases such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.

Popular Support Groups Related to Addiction

Support groups are essentially just a type of therapy; because of this, there are a wide range of groups that address everything from grief to illness and beyond. Of course, someone in recovery wants to specifically seek out support groups that are meant to tackle their particular issue, which shouldn’t be difficult considering the many options.

12 Step Programs

Perhaps the most popular sort of recovery support group is a 12 step program. A person would either attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) depending on their substance of choice.

Obviously, anonymity is a major facet of each of these groups. Participants are encouraged to think of the meetings as confidential spaces. The 12 steps culminate with participants accepting that they have been powerless to their addictions, and often faith in a higher power is incorporated heavily.

Both AA and NA emphasize that participants should keep track of how long they have abstained from their substance of choice; accolades are given to those who reach major milestones in this regard, and the use of sponsors is meant to help newcomers traverse their recovery more easily.

For the families and loved ones of those struggling with addiction, Nar-Anon, Al-Anon, and Families Anonymous are support groups that tackle the associated struggles.

Self-Management and Recovery Training

Known as SMART in shorthand, this sort of program is not rooted in spirituality, and is somewhat less structured than 12-step programs. These meetings are peer-led, and participants are encouraged to interact as if they’re simply having a conversation.

This means that someone could pose a question to the group and bounce ideas for resolution off one another.

Dual Recovery Anonymous

Unfortunately, addiction also manifests alongside mental health issues. For past users who need help maintaining their sobriety, but who also need support for their mental illness, DRA may be the best option.

Deciding which sort of support group is right doesn’t have to be a complicated process. There’s usually no commitment to continue with a program if it doesn’t feel right after the first few meetings, so it might be a good idea to test the waters before settling into one.

If you are considering treatment for yourself or a loved one, call us today.

Local Support Group Options

Fortunately, because Los Angeles is a large metropolitan area, there is a wide range of options for those in recovery seeking support groups.

Alcoholics Anonymous — The L.A. chapter of AA makes it incredibly easy to find meetings. With literally hundreds of meetings occurring all over the metropolitan area every week, those in recovery from alcohol abuse can quickly locate the support group that best fits their schedule.

Narcotics Anonymous — Like AA, NA offers plentiful meeting options in the L.A. area.  Those recovering from narcotics abuse have the option of attending the same meeting every week or trying out new ones every single day.

Self-Management and Recovery Training — SMART meetings may not be quite as abundant as those for AA and NA, but there are still dozens that one can choose from each week in the Los Angeles region.

Private Outpatient Programs — Often, recovery facilities will offer an outpatient option that heavily features group therapy and support. For those who don’t feel that AA, NA, or SMART will benefit them, this may be an option worth exploring.

Battling addiction is a war that’s never really won, but the fight is made much easier with the proper support, whatever that looks like on an individual basis. Contact Nexus Recovery for qualified help recovering from substance abuse.

If you or a loved one are suffering from alcohol or drug addiction, we’re here to help. Contact us today and speak with one of our trusted recovery advisors.

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