Recovering from alcohol or drug addiction is one of the hardest things that a person can do. It takes a great deal of time and effort plus a number of other tools such as:

  • medication to help with the withdrawal symptoms
  • therapy to deal with the mental and physical changes that have occurred due to addiction
  • support of friends and family

However, there is one thing that is most important than anything else and that is addicts working with each other and supporting each other. There are a few reasons why this is the most important tool that are recovering addict can have. Let’s take a look at some of these reasons.

Why There’s Nothing More Important In Recovery than Addicts Working With Each Other

Addicts Know Addiction

When it comes to understanding addiction, a recovering addict can offer a great deal to another recovering addict. While it can definitely be helpful to have a therapist that is trained in addiction, there is no substitute for someone else who has been through withdrawals, can’t imagine having fun without alcohol, or is in a later stage of their recovery than the person that they are mentoring. Someone that has just entered recovery can learn an amazing amount of information and coping tools from a person that has been recovery for many years. That’s why AA uses sponsors that have already been through the program and are actively recovering from alcohol addiction successfully.

In addition, addicts understand lifestyle and personalities that go along with addiction. They know what kind of things that addicts have done to get drugs, how relationships have been ruined because of alcohol, and they can relate. They also can easily see through stories, denials and lies that many addicts tell automatically. An addict in recovery is going to give another recovering addict the straight information when it comes to what they need to do for recovery and will not accept any excuses or be fooled by stories. It can be difficult for someone not familiar with addiction to know when they are being conned, but another addict will always know.

There is Solidarity in Recovery

Being in recovery with other people that are trying to recover from alcohol or drug addiction can actually increase the chances of success. That’s because understanding that other people are there doing the exact same thing that you are doing and doing it successfully without alcohol or drugs, can be helpful for many recovering addicts. Just like when people lose weight together, there is a great deal of solidarity that comes from being in recovery from other people who know where you have been and are now having success and happiness in life.

That’s because it can be difficult to see how you can ever be happy without the benefit of drugs or alcohol when you are an addict. Life just doesn’t make sense without those things, and it can be pretty depressing to think about living life without the object of your addiction. This is one of the reasons that recovery fails. People just don’t believe that they will ever be happy and complete without their drug of choice. However, that’s not the case at all, and many recovering addicts do find complete happiness.

Hearing Stories like Yours Can Help

Sometimes, you think that your story is unique and that no one could possibly understand what you are going through with your own journey to recovery. Every addict thinks this. However, what almost every one of them find when they get into recovery is that there are addicts out there with almost exactly the same story. Many of the things that addicts think are unique to their own life, including many of the things that they are ashamed of in their past such as job loss, divorce, or financial ruin due to alcohol addiction, are also part of someone else’s story. It is often surprising to learn that other people have the exact same baggage in a recovery setting.

Most importantly, especially for people just getting into recovery, understanding that people that have had the same problems in the past and have overcome them to have a successful and happy life can be extremely liberating. Many former addicts are addiction counselors, and understanding that they have overcome jail, family separation or many of the other things that are part of an addict’s life and are still able to recover from that addiction and have a normal life, buy a house, hold down a job and do many of the things that newly recovering addicts are not sure that they will ever be able to do.

Behavioral Treatments

Behavioral treatments involve working with a professional or an individual who has experienced what you are going through. They can help identify and help change the behaviors that lead to heavy drinking. Behavioral treatments share certain features, which can include:

  • Developing the skills needed to stop or reduce drinking
  • Helping to build a strong social support system
  • Working to set reachable goals
  • Coping with or avoiding the triggers that might cause alcohol relapse

The Bottom Line

There are several good reasons why another recovering addict is one of the most important tools that someone can have when they are trying to overcome addiction. Trying to get clean and sober is far easier when you do it with other addicts.

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