Support Groups for Those Suffering from Addiction
(Visit websites to find group descriptions and meeting information.)
● Central Ohio Group Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous
● Central Ohio Narcotics Anonymous
● Center for Substance Abuse Treatment’s National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Service Help Line 1-800-662-HELP
(For support when a physical meeting isn’t possible or for information about addiction counseling services in the area.)
What Support Groups Provide to the Addict
These self-help groups, also called mutual support groups, offer their members support on a wide variety of issues. Unlike therapy groups that are run by medical professionals in formal programs at addiction treatment centers, support groups are run by their members. Research shows that participating in these groups increases the odds that the addict will avoid a relapse.The main focus of these groups is to help members get and stay sober. They often follow a specific 12-step program to help them develop a fulfilling life without the need for alcohol and other drugs.
Support groups are designed to provide members with a safe and accepting environment outside of a formal treatment facility. There are many types of support groups to choose from, and you can join a group that focuses on your particular addiction, like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Cocaine Anonymous (CA). There are groups for people trying to quit everything from methamphetamines to inhalants, including those who are wrestling with dual disorders, when two substances are being abused.
There are also groups just for women, like Women for Sobriety (WFS), and many that focus on cognitive healing with a secular, or non-religious, approach rather than a spiritual one, including Secular Organization for Sobriety/Save Ourselves (SOS) and SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training).
Addiction help lines, like the one run by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment’s National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Service (CSAT), can be good sources of support in times when physical meetings aren’t available to you. The CSAT line is 1-800-662-HELP (4357). (This is also a good number to call if you want to reach drug abuse hotlines or addiction counseling services in your area.) If you are in a geographically remote area, can’t physically get to a meeting, or prefer to remain even more anonymous, an Internet or a phone support group might be right for you. This can include:
● Online message boards. These provide a way for members to share comments in individual “posts.” Think of it as posting a message on a regular bulletin board. You get to say whatever you want, and people can then reply to your post to offer support or leave thoughts on the topic. One limitation is the lack of back-and-forth communication in real time.
● An online chat group. These groups let you have an online “conversation” with other people in the group. You type in what you want to say and others can respond to it right away. Joining these types of groups is easy: You just register for the Web site offering the chats and select the group that’s right for you.
● Phone support group. Members participating in phone support groups dial in to a telephone number reserved for their conversation. The result is somewhat like a large conference call; everyone is on the line at the same time and can talk and listen to one another. You don’t need a special kind of phone to participate.
The forum you choose for support is entirely up to you. What is certain is the role that social support can play not just in your recovery, but also in helping you to avoid a relapse.
Support Groups for Relatives & Friends of Those Suffering from Addiction
Support groups recognize that addiction affects not just the addict, but also their families and friends. Typically, these groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of addicts who share their experiences to help each other deal with their loved ones’ addictions. Most believe that changed attitudes within the family can assist with recovery. Family support group meetings are usually held at locations such as treatment centers, hospitals, churches, community centers, or local 12-step clubs. (Visit websites to find group descriptions and meeting information.)
● Al-Anon and Alateen of Central Ohio
● Ohio Nar-Anon
(To find local meetings, insert name of your city.)
● Parent Support Group for Alcohol/Drug Addicts
Wednesdays at 6:30 pm
Meadowpark Church of God (2425 Bethel Road, Columbus, Ohio 43220)
● The Ohio G.A.P. Network
Ten Ways Family Members Can Help (The Counseling Center, Portsmouth OH)
The Steps to Getting Help…For your loved one who may be struggling with addiction (Robin Seymour-Hicks, LSW, CDCA)