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Introduction to Self-Help Groups

Part 1: What Self-Help Groups Can Do for You

Self-help groups can greatly help people who are recovering from addiction. In a self-help group, people empower each other to take control of their lives by sharing their experiences and supporting others who share the same problems.

Secrecy and Isolation

Addiction means needing to use a drug even though bad things keep happening as a result. Because it is painful for most people to feel they have lost control, most addicts suffer embarrassment, shame, and hurt in secrecy.

As a result, most people who are addicted to alcohol or other drugs do not ask for help. Their addiction makes it so they don’t recognize how wrong things are and that they need help.

Even people who realize that they have a serious problem don’t believe that they need help to get better. They will think they can do it on their own. Most people have made numerous attempts to quit without any real success.

One of the most common reasons for a failed attempt at sobriety is that people try to keep their addiction a secret and try to go it alone.

The Process of Recovery

Although there are differences among drugs, it is amazing how similar the addiction process is, despite the drug used. Although alcohol and cocaine have very different drug effects, the way addiction develops is often the same. One addiction may occur more quickly than the other, and the triggers may be different, but the process of becoming addicted is far more similar than different.

Most important, the process of recovery from different drugs is nearly identical.There may be some small differences, but the principles of becoming and remaining drug free are the same.Therefore the focus of your recovery will not be on the specific drug you used, but on the process of getting clean and sober.


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