For those attempting sobriety for the first time, the world of recovery can be strange and a bit intimidating. Many individuals seek treatment for their substance abuse disorder far from home in order to separate themselves from an environment and people strongly associated with drinking or drug use. Whether or not you return home after treatment, you are likely wondering the best steps to take in order to build a sober support network. Here are a few ways you can jump right in to this critical component of a healthy recovery program.
If you have decided to remain in the vicinity of your treatment center upon completing the program, whether at their sober living facilities or another halfway house, you should already be familiar with some meetings in the area. Most reputable treatment centers will transport clients to outside meetings in order to introduce them to the recovery community at large. If this is your situation, then you are in luck! You should absolutely continue to attend those meetings you’ve been introduced to whose members you found relatable and approachable, as these individuals can quickly become a foundation in your sober support network. Hopefully you have asked for phone lists at these meetings already - if not, be sure to do so next time you attend. A list is only worthwhile if you use it, so step through the uncomfortability and call some numbers on your list. You will be glad you did when you have made meaningful connections to others in recovery, building a network of support as you begin your life in sobriety.
Perhaps you have a family and a career to return to, and are therefore not going to stay in the area in which your treatment center is located. Do not despair, as there are 12 step recovery meetings in every corner of the country, and indeed around the globe. As soon as you are able, you should search online for recovery clubhouses and meeting locations in your area. If possible, look for meetings designated as newcomer meetings, as these will be a good source of potential sponsors and sober supports once you have arrived back home. Pick out one meeting for each day of the week that fits into your schedule, and follow through on your attendance! The more present and active you are in the rooms of recovery, the more quickly you will develop a network of sober supports. It may be scary to raise your hand and identify as a newcomer in meetings at first, but this is the best way to introduce yourself to those around you and garner the support you need during this critical phase in your recovery.
Sober support is a crucial part of anyone’s recovery program, especially those in early sobriety. If this is your first time attempting recovery from addiction, you are likely unfamiliar with the best way to go about building a health support network. Hopefully your treatment center has provided guidance on going about this process while also introducing you to the recovery community in the area. Even if this is not the case, you are more than capable of taking on this task and developing a support network in your area, wherever that may be. Above all else, remember to be honest, open minded, and willing as you proceed into the rooms of recovery. Practice these principles to the best of your ability and before you know it your contacts list will be bursting with new sober supports and friends in recovery!