What Should You Look For in a Recovery Community Before You Join?

What Should You Look For in a Recovery Community Before You Join?

Two common obstacles to addiction recovery are boredom and isolation. To overcome these potential challenges, you need to stay connected with a strong recovery community even after treatment and years of recovery. The power of peer support should never be underestimated. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals is essential for your ongoing sobriety and long-term recovery.

What Is a Recovery Community?

When searching for a recovery community, you’re not looking for treatment but support outside treatment. You are looking for a community to connect with long into the future. Your treatment facility and the community of peers by your side throughout treatment and after are vital to your recovery.

On the surface, many treatment programs may look the same. Different centers offer different options, and while finding the right ones for you is important, it is the people that matter most. Of course, you should find a facility staffed by trained health professionals who can offer personalized attention and customize treatment plans for you. 

In addition to a well-balanced treatment program, it is vital to have a strong recovery community as a support system with resources and tools to care for its members’ needs. As you get clinical offerings from your treatment center, your recovery community provides a culture of care and a holistic understanding of what full recovery looks like. There is ongoing support to promote whole-person healing, self-confidence, and relationship-building.

A recovery community also integrates a holistic understanding into its relapse prevention programs. As much as getting sober is important, maintaining sobriety takes much more work and commitment. Fellow individuals in recovery can help you understand and work through the root causes of your addiction by providing resources and support.

How to Choose a Recovery Community

You may need to look around and check out a few options before choosing a recovery community to stick with. Sometimes it will take a while to feel comfortable with a certain group. Speaking with members and getting a glimpse of their experiences in the community can help. Also, being the expert on your health conditions, you can identify what you need the most support with. For example, if you are recovering from both intimate partner violence and addiction, you may need to find a recovery community that has experience with both.

If accessibility is a concern, check if the facility offers outpatient programs that treat similar conditions to yours. Additionally, some facilities and recovery communities have online options if there is nothing near your location or if the ones aren’t right for you. Once you have done sufficient research, you can narrow down to a few places and request on-site visits to see the facility and get a feel for the community.

What Is the Culture of a Recovery Community?

You can gauge the culture of a recovery community or group by talking to the members. Ask about their experiences and if they think they can help support you. This is similar to looking into a treatment facility. When seeking initial treatment, verify the staff’s credentials and explore the alumni program. Such programs are a bigger support network for most people who have completed treatment there. If you see evidence of a strong and vibrant alumni community and programs, the treatment center likely cares well for its patients long-term.

This research method mirrors how you seek out the right recovery community to get involved with. You may have wanted to find a facility offering a wide range of treatments, including traditional, group, creative, and other holistic methods. Consider these when finding the right support group as well. Do you want a group that schedules outings and exercises or meets more traditionally? 

What Happens After Treatment?

Every treatment facility provides something different in terms of aftercare. But, in the end, how do community members remain sober for the long term? How often do they participate in peer group meetings? What is the atmosphere like in their 12-Step group sessions? These are key questions to ask.

A strong recovery community also has abundant resources at local and national levels. You might ask questions of the recovery community, like whether this facility regularly participates in mutual support and sharing ideas and methods with experts in the field. Does it have a good local reputation that allows for sharing of resources? After treatment, can you depend on your facility to connect you with the right community support? An ideal recovery community can plug you into a much wider care network locally and nationally. 

Other Factors to Consider

A strong recovery community cares for its members’ reintegration into society. Some facilities offer life skills coaching so recovering individuals can gain confidence when transitioning to their home or work environment. Healthy lifestyle training and nutritional therapy are also essential points of support.

If you are struggling with both substance addiction and mental health issues, find a facility that offers dual diagnosis and treatment, which is a higher level of care. These programs should also have strong aftercare support so that you can heal from both conditions. In sum, intentionally seek a strong recovery community because that will greatly enhance your chance of restoring long-term health.

Do you know that when choosing a treatment facility, you should look at the strength of this recovery community? Do you know what areas show that strength? How do you find out? A strong recovery community should have a wide range of medical resources, including medically-assisted detox, traditional therapies, and other holistic methods. They should also have strong alumni or aftercare programs that connect people to key resources for long-term recovery. At Laguna Shores Recovery, our strong team of health professionals is dedicated to building a strong recovery community. Our wide range of services includes residential rehab, outpatient programs, and a reputable alumni program. For more information, call (954) 329-1118.