Support networks are the key to a fun, fulfilling and lasting recovery. They help you meet sober friends, share your experiences and provide a lifeline during hard times. Here are some useful resources available to young people in recovery.
Leaving addiction treatment and entering recovery is like embarking on a new life journey. You have developed new habits, made new friends and equipped yourself with the tools necessary to maintain long-term success. But that does not mean that recovery is easy. Fortunately, there are several resources and recovery networks where you can find some much-needed ongoing support.
In-Person Support Meetings for Young People (YP)
This is the original type of support structure for people in recovery, and it continues to be one of the most effective. Many insist that there is simply no substitute for coming together and meeting others in recovery face-to-face. Doing so certainly helps drive home the fact that you are not alone and that maintaining a successful recovery really is possible.
If you are looking for support groups in your area, look online as well as on bulletin boards at local locations like libraries and community centres. Make a point of looking for meetings that are marked ‘YP’, as this indicates that they are held specifically for young people.
If you cannot find a regular meeting, you may still be able to connect with sober young people in your area through conferences and events. For example, AA hosts an annual conference called ICYPAA, which is intended specifically for young people and helps to set up regional support groups internationally.
Campus Sobriety Groups for University Students in Recovery
University life can be a somewhat challenging to navigate for students in recovery. It is easy to convince yourself that everyone is drinking and partying except you. But if you look a little deeper, you will probably find that there are several recovery meetings and support groups operating. Enrolling in a campus sobriety group is a great way to find the support you need to stay sober and make some new friends in the process. Even better, these groups are sure to host regular sober events with other like-minded people throughout the year – these are especially handy for staying sober at the weekend.
Online Recovery Support Groups
After getting sober through an inpatient treatment programme, it is wise to seek out others in recovery who you can interact with on an ongoing basis. Fortunately, the Internet makes it is easier than ever to find and connect with people. Some options are:
- Social media groups: These offer the ability to connect, share and support in a dynamic, user-friendly format. Some social media groups are closed, ensuring the privacy of members; others take a more open approach to providing support. It all depends upon your preferences. Try finding one with members in your area so that you also have the opportunity to get involved in events and activities. A good example of social media recovery groups include the US-based Young People in Recovery (YPR)
- Message boards/ forums– This is probably the oldest type of online community in operation. Members can ask questions, share their experiences and offer support to others in recovery. It is a simple and straightforward way to stay connected to a community of young people in recovery no matter where you are in the world. All you have to do is register. One popular forum is the message board run by SMART Recovery, but a quick search will turn up countless others.
- Chat groups: Another tried-and-true version the online community, chat rooms give you the chance to connect and communicate with like-minded people in real time. As with message boards, you usually have to register to participate, but the real-time aspect of the communication makes it feel more like a conversation. This is a great place to turn to when you are feeling temptation to relapse.
There are many other online resources available to teens and young adults – not all of which fit tidily into the above list. For example, Above the Influence operates an ‘Inspiration Wall’ where young people can post messages to inspire and encourage one another. The best way to proceed is to simply have a look around and see what resonates with you.
At The Edge, we provide our participants with a unique Online Video Aftercare Programme that offers support over the weeks following your initial addiction treatment. This consists of regular video group therapy sessions, as well as optional one-on-one therapy sessions, conducted online. In the course of this, programme graduates are able to stay connected to Cabin counsellors and their recovery peers.
Staying connected with counsellors and group members helps the young people who have gone through our programme maintain success in recovery. We have found this to be an indispensable tool in ensuring the overall effectiveness of addiction treatment.
Give Back by Becoming a Mentor to Others in Recovery
You will hear it said over and again: one of the greatest gifts in the addiction recovery is the chance to give back to others. As many who have gone through the recovery process will tell you, it is often the example of others that encourages them to come clean themselves. This is why your example as a person who has left addition behind is such a powerful tool for the addiction recovery community.
Any of the above resources will also offer opportunities for those who have gone through the recovery process to become mentors. Our well-rounded addiction treatment programme gives young men the chance to develop their skills and leadership abilities in the course of their recovery. They have the chance to help to others who are struggling with similar issues.
We also offer an extended programme with reduced-rate housing options that give our clients the chance to continue training, mentoring and developing their leadership skills. By the time you move on from our programme, you will be fully equipped to help others discover the same sense of freedom in recovery that you have. To learn more about that freedom and how you can achieve it, contact the team at The Edge today.