Long-Term Sobriety and the Power of Community Support
By Avi Satz
Drug and alcohol recovery is a lifestyle
In my years working in the recovery field, I’ve witnessed too many individuals treat drug and alcohol recovery like they would a diet rather than a lifestyle. Most diets (if you stick to it) help individuals loose weight or achieve their goals. However once you stop dieting, your weight returns. A diet is a temporary solution, a Band-Aid to the problem. Embracing a healthy lifestyle, that is permanent.
How can you learn to live a healthy sober life?
Successful long-term sobriety is much more than abstinence from mind-altering substances. Though stopping the intake of substances is certainly the first step towards a successful recovery, learning to live healthy and responsible lifestyle is they key to achieving quality sobriety. Encouraging healthy, responsible behavior must be a priority. By processing and discovering the issues that trigger the use of alcohol and drugs, individuals learn skill sets to avoid these types of personal triggers in the future. This imparts to them the life skills necessary to lead happy, sober lives and focus on character-building, self-esteem, honesty, and humility. Recovery becomes a way of life, not just a temporary state of being.
Peer support in a recovery community
We have found the most effective way to encourage this type of life change is through peer support within a recovery community. By interacting with a support system one can identify with,individuals can build relationships and trust with others. This enables room for personal growth and change.
A peer community should not replace the individual’s therapeutic needs, but rather complement the treatment process. By changing one’s lifestyle towards recovery, a recovery support system is a must!