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Recovery Self-Help Groups

Self-help groups can complement and extend the effects of professional treatment. This group therapy model draws on the social support offered by peer discussion to help promote and sustain drug-free lifestyles. These groups offer an added layer of community-level social support to help people in recovery with abstinence and other healthy lifestyle goals.

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): Recovery from alcohol addiction through a 12-step program including regular attendance at group meetings
  • Celebrate Recovery (CR): Recovery from drug addiction through a Christ-centered, 12-step program including regular attendance at group meetings
  • Cocaine Anonymous (CA): Recovery from cocaine addiction through a 12-step program including regular attendance at group meetings
  • Crystal Meth Anonymous: Recovery from crystal meth addiction through a 12-step program including regular attendance at group meetings
  • Dual Recovery Anonymous: Recovery from joint chemical dependence & emotional/psychiatric illness through a 12-step program including regular attendance at group meetings
  • Heroin Anonymous: Recovery from heroin addiction through a 12-step program, including regular attendance at group meetings
  • Marijuana Anonymous: Recovery from marijuana addiction through a 12-step program including regular attendance at group meetings
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA): Recovery from drug addiction through a 12-step program including regular attendance at group meetings
  • SMART Recovery®: A 4-Point Program® that helps people recover from all types of addictive behaviors by teaching participants how to change self-defeating thinking, emotions, and actions
  • Al-Anon Family Groups: Helps family and friends recover from the effects of someone else’s drinking through a 12-step program, including regular attendance at group meetings
  • Nar-Anon: Helps family and friends of addicts recover from the effects of living with an addicted relative or friend

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Signs of Drug Use and Addiction

People with drug problems might act differently than they used to. They may:

  • Spend a lot of time alone
  • Lose interest in their favorite things
  • Exhibit poor grooming habits, such as not bathing, not changing clothes, and not brushing their teeth
  • Appear tired and sad
  • Be very energetic, talk fast, or say things that don’t make sense
  • Be nervous or cranky
  • Experience mood swings
  • Have irregular sleep patterns
  • Miss important appointments
  • Have problems at work
  • Eat a lot more or a lot less than usual

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse, Easy-to-Read Drug Facts

What is Relapse?

Sometimes people quit their drug use for a while but start using again no matter how hard they try. This return to drug use is called a relapse. People recovering from addiction often have one or more relapses along the way, and once a person relapses, he or she could be just as hooked on the drug and as out of control as before.

With some drugs, a relapse can be very dangerous – even deadly. If a person uses as much of the drug as they used before quitting, they can easily overdose. An overdose occurs when the person uses too much of a drug and has a toxic reaction that results in serious, harmful symptoms or death. Overdoses can happen on purpose or accidentally.

What is Recovery?

Recovery is when someone quits taking drugs and starts learning how to live life without drugs. Recovery from addiction means to develop different coping mechanisms. Drug addiction makes it hard to function in daily life. It affects how you act with your family, at work, and in the community. It is hard to change so many things at once and not fall back into old habits.

Recovery from addiction is a lifelong effort, and sober living can be difficult, but there is good news. Research shows that living sober for 6 months after residential treatment or outpatient care reduces the relapse rate as much as 50%.

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse, Easy-to-Read Drug Facts

This program is made possible in part by the support of the Jefferson County Public Health Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham.

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