The community among those people affected by addiction provides one of the most powerful and longstanding forms of effective support.
Among the most successful known support programs are 12-step programs, the largest being Alcoholic Anonymous and Narcotic Anonymous.
Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) is a fellowship of individuals who share a desire to stop drinking. Members support each other in achieving and/or maintaining sobriety. The fellowship is not associated with any religion; however, personal faith can be applied to the program. Although, A.A. has embraced people struggling with other forms of substance abuse, Narcotic Anonymous (N.A.) (which was tailored after A.A. in 1953) has grown to be the preferred fellowship for persons with opioid use disorders. This is because of the tailored discussion and literature, but both groups share the following principles:
Meetings are run in a variety of formats by different people with a wide range of backgrounds and personalities. Some meetings will focus on certain themes such as early recovery or young people’s group. It is important not to get discouraged and to keep attending different meetings until you find the right fit. The overwhelming support from the network of peers is a powerful force in encouraging and supporting recovery.
Recovery coaches are people with substance use disorders (SUDs) in recovery who dedicate some part of their professional effort (volunteer, part time, or full time job) to help others work towards achieving and maintaining recovery. Formal week long training programs to gain a certificate as a recovery coach which provides a wonderful resource to programs such as hospitals and health centers who recognize the value of peer support to help engage people with SUDs to accept aide.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a free and confidential information service that provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations for individuals facing mental and/or substance use disorders.