Why Small Recovery Groups Work

Why Small Recovery Groups Work

When individuals begin treatment for substance use and any co-occurring disorders, they will participate in one-on-one sessions with a licensed addiction therapist, treatment center activities, and small group therapy sessions. While individual therapy will allow clients to discuss some of the more intimate struggles with substance use, small groups will give clients a sense of community and camaraderie. 

What Are Small Recovery Groups? 

Small recovery groups are groups of 10 to 12 people who all struggle with substance use disorder (SUD) or co-occurring mental health disorders. These groups are often led by peers, but they can also be led by addiction specialists, technicians, or physicians. During these recovery group meetings, participants will be able to share their struggles or successes. Through sharing stories, offering support, and providing advice, participants of small recovery groups will feel a sense of community and an obligation to continue their hard work in recovery by abstaining from drugs or alcohol. 

Small recovery groups can be based on different recovery programs that have been researched and accredited for their efficacy, such as the 12 Step Program, SMART Recovery, Refuge Recovery, and others. Addiction treatment centers will provide their clients with weekly or bi-weekly small group meetings so they can feel support from many sides during the beginning stages of recovery. Participants can continue to attend these small groups to help them maintain motivation in long-term recovery as well. 

The Benefits of Small Groups 

Attending a peer support group for SUD, trauma, grief, or mental health disorders for the first time can be nerve-wracking. It is important to remember that these groups are formed with the mission to provide a non-judgmental, supportive environment for individuals who are experiencing similar trials. The group facilitator will rarely expect newcomers to speak, and visitors will walk out feeling much better than they did when they walked in. 

In a study published in Volume 7 of Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation titled, “Benefits of Peer Support Groups in The Treatment of Addiction,” Kathleen Tracy and Samantha P Wallace reported, “Those who participated in treatments, including peer support groups, showed higher rates of abstinence in substance-abusing populations while also being more satisfied with the treatment.”

Aside from higher rates of abstinence, here are the benefits of small support groups for SUD: 

  • Meeting new people with a common goal of sobriety: When individuals begin recovery from addiction, they may find it difficult to spend time with old friends who continue to drink or use drugs. Joining a small support group will allow them to make connections with people who are also striving for a sober life. 
  • Building a larger network of support: Family support is beneficial for someone’s decision to get sober, but attending a small recovery group will develop their support group so that they will be able to get support when they are struggling emotionally. 
  • Being held accountable: Knowing they will face their support group once per week may keep individuals motivated to stay abstinent as they do not want to let their group down. 
  • Learning skills to conquer cravings: One of the most comforting aspects of attending a recovery support group is that these recovering individuals are not alone in their struggles. Speaking with others about their challenges with cravings may open the door for some great advice on how to manage them. 

Why They Work

If someone feels as though they are alone in their decision to stay sober, it can be even more difficult to abstain from drugs or alcohol. Having a handful of supportive individuals that they meet with each week will motivate them and remind them of the reasons they chose recovery in the first place. These groups will be available to individuals even after formal treatment, which means it is a treatment method that is suitable for long-term use. 

Small Recovery Groups at Healing Pines Recovery 

Healing Pines Recovery is a boutique-style residential treatment center for men suffering from SUD. We stand behind the importance of small recovery groups, as they are at the very center of our operation. Healing Pines Recovery will house no more than eight men at one time, allowing our master’s and doctorate level therapists and addiction specialists to spend adequate time developing the correct treatment plan customized for each client. 

Because Healing Pines is exclusive, our staff is able to invest time, resources, and care into each of our clients. Located on 40 acres in rural Elizabeth, Colorado, our clients will experience quiet, peaceful solitude away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. They will also be able to form strong bonds with our staff, animals, and their fellow peers during activities, group therapy, and nature excursions. 

While many people have become sober by simply attending weekly or bi-weekly support groups, many often need more intensive addiction treatment to ensure long-term recovery. A major benefit of small support groups is their ability to be used during and after treatment, making them suitable for growing in recovery as well. These support groups will allow the facilitator to spend adequate time dissecting each individual’s struggles and triumphs in recovery from SUD. Healing Pines Recovery in Elizabeth, Colorado provides residential addiction treatment for no more than eight men at one time. This allows our specialists and clinicians to invest time, resources, and care into each client, personalizing their treatment plans and prioritizing their success. If you or a loved one are suffering from SUD and could benefit from boutique-style care in the Colorado wilderness, call Healing Pines Recovery today at (888) 855-9561.

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