What is a support system, and why are they effective?

According to Merriam-Webster, Support systems are a network of people who provide an individual with practical or emotional support.

Support systems are so much more than that however. The relapse rate of individuals in recovery with strong support networks has been shown to reduce.

Now why is it that these support networks are a pivotal part of an individual’s ability to remain in recovery?

There are 3 main components that these support networks offer:

  1. A sense of community and belonging
  2. Accountability and a push to follow through
  3. Inspiration and motivation from others 

A sense of community is important as being in recovery can make you feel isolated from those around you. Your normal social groups may have a hard time relating to your struggles, or you may simply not feel comfortable sharing with them. Support networks offer a judgement-free space to talk about your challenges (and successes) in recovery and hear from others going through similar experiences.

Accountability is imperative to any recovery. We need to be held accountable by others who are also going through a similar experience in order to stay the course. It’s much harder to slip up when you have to prove that you’ve done the work you were tasked with. 

Seeing and hearing others stories of recovery and abstinence can be incredibly inspiring and motivate you to push just that little bit harder in times of struggle. This can help provide some perspective and shows that if they can do it, so can you.

When you combine these 3 elements, it is an immensely powerful thing.

At SHiFT Recovery, we are a strong believer in the power of support groups. With the world being the way it is right now, the ability to have physical gatherings isn’t a reality, yet we have pivoted to have regular virtual meetings to continue this support for those who need it.

If you are looking for a support network, please feel free to reach out to us, and we can direct you to the appropriate program/group based on your specific needs.