As you enter the early stages of crystal meth recovery, you will probably hear from doctors, treatment professionals, and other recovering addicts who say you should join a support group. Many people are reluctant to join these groups for any number of perfectly understandable reasons, but this hesitation is usually based on misconceptions about what happens in support groups. Television and movies have often portrayed these groups in an unflattering light, but in reality support groups are overwhelmingly positive organizations that can help a great deal.
Types of support groups
You’ve probably heard of Crystal Meth Anonymous, a support group inspired by the principles pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous with its 12 steps of recovery. Over a half century after its creation, the 12-step process is still one of the most effective crystal meth recovery programs. Although it has received some criticism over the years, the 12-step philosophy continues to evolve with the times, and has helped thousands, perhaps millions, of people.
However, if you are uncomfortable with any aspect of the 12-step recovery process, there are alternatives. Most major metropolitan areas have multiple crystal meth recovery support groups, and you should be able to find one with a record of helping people through recovery without relying on the 12-step model.
Your level of involvement
The degree to which you benefit from your crystal meth recovery support group is highly dependent on your level of participation. If you are a naturally quiet person or you are just not ready to talk about your addiction, this doesn’t rule out your participation. Everything that takes place in support group meetings is completely voluntary. You will be encouraged to speak, but you never have to. Even if you go twice a week for a year and never speak up, no one will say that you can’t be there.
Of course, if you do participate, it will be to your benefit. Even people who initially doubt support groups are often surprised by how helpful it can be to get your feelings off your chest in such a supportive and understanding community. Plus, it can be extremely helpful to listen to what others have to say about their own crystal meth recovery experiences. It lets you know that others have been where you have been and that there is a path forward.
Some recovering addicts bid farewell to their support groups after a few months of successful drug-free living, but this is a matter of personal choice. Others find that they need their support groups in order to stay on track, and they may continue attending for years. In any case, joining a support group will provide you with a community that you can turn to in your times of need, whether it’s in the early stages of your recovery or at some time in the distant future. All in all, it can’t hurt to at least give it a try.