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Support Groups

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 25 Jul 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Support; Experience; Professionals;

Many sufferers of an addiction benefit from the existence of support groups to help on the road to recovery.

What Are Support Groups?

Support groups are groups of people who share a common connection and meet at regular intervals to share experiences. They offer a place where people can listen to others be active speakers in the group or simply obtain information and advice about their addiction. The groups can be made up of just a few members or can be a large assembly of people.

Many support groups offer their services to not only the person who is addicted, but those around them who are affected by the addiction also, such as family and close friends. The content and topics discussed is usually kept confidential amongst the group members and stories of a very personal nature can be freely discussed.

Most support groups specialize in one particular form of addiction, such as alcohol or gambling, so members can be confident that they are not alone in their troubles. Groups can also be targeted at specific age groups, such as teenagers so they are more comfortable communicating in similar company with like-minded individuals.

Many groups offer counselling using approved models/theories of emotional support; though these tend to be the groups run by professionals.

Referral can be made directly from the addict or from the GP responsible for the sufferers overall care.

Many people can be forced by a court of law as part of their sentence/bail conditions to attend therapy or a support group. Crimes that are related to substances such as drink-driving are often managed with this inclusion in the conditions.

How Are The Groups Organised?

Support groups can be set up and run by fully qualified professionals such as mental health staff or social workers. These are often set up on demand or as the need increases. They are usually non-profit based and sometimes carry waiting lists if demand is high. The timetable for these sessions is usually rigid as they are planned to fit around the organiser’s timetables. As they are run by professionals, the information and advice offered are good quality and well-researched. They can offer examples of approved and recommended models of help. Professionally run groups are usually held in a specialist establishment such as a hospital or clinic.

Other types of support groups are set up by former addicts as a way of providing a service and help for others. Often these support groups are set up with a therapeutic idea behind them. These sessions are more often planned around the members needs and timetables and duration of sessions can be adjusted to the required need; the environment is often much more informal and can even be in somebody’s house, though the ethics and implications of this may be questionable. They also allow the person to attend long-term as the rules can be extremely flexible. Advice and input is usually sought from a professional in the field with expertise and cascaded through the group.

How to Find a Support Group

Many modern support groups are found through the internet with members logging-on and sharing experiences. This way can be useful for allowing interaction from shy or ashamed sufferers as identity can be protected. Sessions take the format of forums, chat rooms and personal messages and on message boards.

The concept of support groups seems to be highly beneficial to addicts of most persuasions, as they allow interaction with other addicts and former addicts, who can provide an understanding and possibility of solution that non-addicts may not be able to.

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@Joey - stopping cocaine is easier then the likes of more physically addictive drugs. Change your social circle, change your life and change your way of thinking. It is completely doable, but you have to change your mindset. If you're hanging out with people who are doing cocaine and drinking every week, then you are never going to stop. You have to do the whole thing, otherwise you will always get tempted back. Try a support group, it will help. Throw yourself into another activity such as sport or something you are interested in. It's difficult if you have built up a network of friends etc who keep you tied in. The only key is to be determined.
Rich78 - 26-Jul-18 @ 11:03 AM
Hi, I’ve recently admitted to myself that I’m addicted to cocaine and have been for around the last 4/5 years without really knowing. I do cocaine at least once a week and spend around 100 a time. I work full time and have a good job but it still really cripples me financially as I have other outgoings from when I was a gambling addict ( that’s another story all together) I’m 28 and would really like some help stopping, I’ve tried to stop on my own but to no avail. I’m anxious and often suffer depression after taking the drug and really want to make a change in my life, thankyou for reading.
Joey - 25-Jul-18 @ 11:24 AM
Darren18 - Your Question:
Hi I don't really know what to write or how to go about it. But yesterday I come home from work and my partner and kids were gone. All there possessions packed up and a note left that told me that they can no longer deal with me as being an individual with an addiction to alcohol and gambling.I've tried to make contact but they are unwilling to talk to me until I take it upon myself to get help.I've struggled with alcohol and gambling addiction for years but have refused to admit that it has a hold over me. I quit drinking for a while after I almost got locked up for several years due to an offence I committed whilst drinking. But although I stopped drinking I turned to Codeine instead. That cycle continued for several years until I stopped and went back to the booze. With the added stress of a recent pending pay cut at work and mounting debts. I finally cracked and me and my partner had a massive argument. Which led to her most recent departure.I guess this has been a long time in the making and I only have myself to blame. I love them to pieces and would do anything to get them back.So here I am asking for advise on how one would go about getting the support and help I clearly need.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this and that your gambling and addictions have eventually lead to your partner leaving with your kids, a wake-up call if ever there was one. You have two initial options, first to seek help and try to keep things amicable and on talking terms with your partner in order to keep your kids in your life, or let your addictions win. Hopefully, you will take the first route. The NHS link may help you here. Go to see your GP and talk to anyone you need to in order to get help. You may also wish to read the Separated Dads pages and join the forum (which is one of our partner sites). We don't usually cross-pollinate our sites, but in this instance, it would be helpful to you. There you will receive support on getting access to your children. It may be advisable to suggest mediation with your ex to request access to your children. The main thing is communication and honesty with your partner in order to work through your issues. However, please also keep in mind that you have to do this first and foremost for yourself. There may be ups and downs, there is no guarantee that things will get back on track with your partner. Therefore, you have to look to yourself in order to get yourself out of the situation. We wish you the best of luck.
BeatingAddictions - 1-Mar-18 @ 9:33 AM
Hi I don't really know what to write or how to go about it. But yesterday I come home from work and my partner and kids were gone. All there possessions packed up and a note left that told me that they can no longer deal with me as being an individual with an addiction to alcohol and gambling.I've tried to make contact but they are unwilling to talk to me until I take it upon myself to get help.I've struggled with alcohol and gambling addiction for years but have refused to admit that it has a hold over me. I quit drinking for a while after I almost got locked up for several years due to an offence I committed whilst drinking. But although I stopped drinking I turned to Codeine instead. That cycle continued for several years until I stopped and went back to the booze. With the added stress of a recent pending pay cut at work and mounting debts. I finally cracked and me and my partner had a massive argument. Which led to her most recent departure.I guess this has been a long time in the making and I only have myself to blame. I love them to pieces and would do anything to get them back.So here I am asking for advise on how one would go about getting the support and help I clearly need.
Darren18 - 28-Feb-18 @ 12:03 PM
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