Support systems are crucial to maintaining a life of recovery

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CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction is built on an irreplaceable foundation. Healthy support systems are one of the many cornerstones of a prosperous journey in recovery. No one does anything alone, and this is especially true with recovery.

Lion’s Gate Recovery insists upon and implements the necessity of building such a steadfast support system. From mentors to trusted friends, each can play a pivotal role in supporting an individual recovering from substance abuse. There are many outlets and opportunities to find and cultivate this support system, such as athletics, education, support groups and more. Each has the potential for individuals in recovery to find reliable and trusting people to cheer them on as they trek through the challenging adventure that is life after addiction.

Inpatient or outpatient treatment

Treatment is often the place where individuals meet the first people they know also fighting the struggle of substance use disorder. Many meet friends who help each other stay accountable and build friendships that last a lifetime. Though knowing who has committed to a life of recovery can be challenging, the benefit of finding someone to take it one day at a time simultaneously is without parallel.

The most significant opportunity in treatment is connecting with counselors and program directors linked to the recovery and treatment community. They can recommend 12-step meetings, support groups, employers who are understanding to recovery, sports teams and more. Lion’s Gate Recovery has a vast network of recovery connections and outlets in the community to further their clients long after their inpatient stays. 

Get active

Lion’s Gate Recovery is a proud supporter and sponsor of recovery-based athletics. Over the last few years, the athletic recovery community has grown like never before. There are all kinds of leagues, teams and groups committed to getting active rather than using drugs or alcohol. For many, this is the first environment where they can have fun and be themselves without drugs or alcohol ever being involved.

As an integrated part of life after treatment, individuals can find bonds within these sporting events to serve as the voice of reason when they are struggling the most. The combination of people fresh out of treatment with those who have navigated the dangerous waters of recovery for years creates a healing and welcoming environment. Whatever the activity, there is a group out there in recovery, enjoying life and breaking a sweat.

Family and friends

Though family and friends can be the biggest champions of an individual in recovery, the relationship must be vetted and deemed healthy and supportive. The wounds of active substance use may leave relationships torn and nerves exposed. It may take time for these significant people to fully accept the new life recovery brings. Even still, some are toxic to a life of recovery and must be kept at a distance – or cut off completely.

The hard choices of recovery can be difficult, but ensuring that the support system remains a healthy one is of paramount importance. Do not count out family and friends, for many have prayed and yearned for the individual to leave the substance use behind. They will be beyond elated to become an ally in the journey of recovery at last.

Support groups

Support groups may be the first place for those new to recovery to find the people most able to become substantial parts of their support system. There are many to choose from: 12-step meetings, group therapy, even family group counseling sessions at Lion’s Gate Recovery, where families recover together.

In these environments, individuals are free to share the woes and trials of their substance use with those who completely understand. It’s in these rooms where recovery and support systems are found, built and lived. There is no value like those suffering from substance use helping each other.

Maintaining sobriety requires an irreplaceable foundation of support. Individuals in recovery never have to be alone again with a support system that champions their pursuit of a new life.

Written by SHANE P. CURRIN, Lion’s Gate Recovery.

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