RecoverySupport: Community-Based Support Groups
Everyproblem faced by a human is half solved when shared. This is evenbetter when shared with people who have been through the sameproblem. The people can relate and are less judgemental hence are ina better position to give consolation and advice. Community recoverysupport groups are informal groups where people come voluntarily toaddress their common problems. The support groups are formed from theidea of mutual help. Since people face different problems in life,there are as many recovery support groups as there are problems inthe community (Kemp& Rao, 2014).Contrary to the opinion of many people, the recovery support groupsare not only meant for addicts but also for people interested inhuman growth, social empowerment, and poverty mitigation.
Overthe past 20 years, the recovery support groups have been used invarious ways to eradicate problems in the society. This is becausethe recovery groups offer better and more reliable platforms forreaching out to people. These recovery support groups occur indifferent forms (Chandra,2011).They range from two people sharing experiences to small groupsmeeting in rooms to large organizations offering support services. The recovery support groups are platforms that equalise every personin the community. This includes the people suffering fromdisabilities, the women, different types of addicts and youths. Therecovery support groups can also take a different course like the 12Steps Groups, the Life Ring Recovery or even the Women for Sobriety.Deciding on which group to join majorly depends on an individual’sproblem. For example, an alcohol addict might not get help in a groupof sex addicts or a group of people interested in poverty eradication(Kemp& Rao, 2014).Additionally, the recovery support groups have no membershiprequirements thus making it easier for individuals to join.
Argumentfor Recovery Support Groups
Groupsare a significant part of the community where people get support anddiscuss challenges. According to William White, in his book Slayingthe Dragon: the History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery inAmerica, staying enthused and active is much easier when anindividual has someone to turn to and lean on while in tough times. To begin with, recovery support groups for people suffering fromdisabilities assist the members to discover things they can do withtheir knowledge and the different skills they can adopt to becontributors in their families and communities (Chandra,2011).Through this, the disabled feel a sense of worth and those withself-blame are consoled. When a person feels important and wanted,he/she stands a chance to live a happy and even longer life. On theother hand, these support groups reach out to the family, friends,and community and enlighten them on how to live with and handle thedisabled.
Recoverysupport groups that focus on human growth, social empowerment, andpoverty mitigation are fundamental pillars of societal development.They collectively result in the improvement of the national economy.Consequently, the groups are significant in fostering holistic peoplein the community (Chandra,2011).A community with well-fostered members is bound to move forwardregarding development, leadership, and even life opportunities. Anindividual who has joined a support group that promotes humandevelopment has improved decision making skills as compared to onewho has not gone through such a support group. The community supportgroups also help in reducing crime in the society. In the groups,people come up with better ways of spending their time and generatingincome (Kemp& Rao, 2014).Owing to this, fewer people turn to crime or other negative ways ofgenerating income.
Recoveringsupport groups focused on individuals going through addiction areparamount in ensuring the person does not revert back to theaddiction. An addiction can be either to drugs and alcohol, food, sexor even to watching pornography. In the recovery support groups, anindividual meets people who have been through the various addictionseither successfully or are also in the process of recovery (Kemp& Rao, 2014).Addiction is a vice that can lead to death of the victim. In case oflack of money, a drug addict, for example, will engage in crime togenerate money that he/she will use in procuring drugs. The addictionalso impairs judgment, and the affected person fails to make properdecisions. This is because addicts prioritize the wrong things(Nasem,2016).An alcoholic will prefer alcohol to food a sex addict will prefersex without considering the possibility of contracting diseases whilethe food addict will prefer food to health. As such, the recoverysupport groups have proven worthwhile and one of the best behaviourand health correction centres (Kemp& Rao, 2014).This happens without any judgment since all the members have beenthrough a recovery process in one way or another. Recovery supportgroups finally cause the mushrooming of positive members of thecommunity and motivators who talk to others about the dangers ofaddiction. Eventually, the society is clean of addictions and thevices that come along like theft, sexual harassment or even spread ofsexually transmitted illnesses.
Argumentagainst Recovery Support Groups
Theeffectiveness of a recovery support group depends on an individual’spatience. Some get help from the group therapists while othersworsen. However, there are factors making the recovery support groupsnon-satisfactory regarding delivering comfort and solutions to theindividuals (Loat,2011).Most people sorting help from the recovery support groups areemotionally weak. They normally turn to the group therapy when theirlives turn for the worst. At this point, the individual isemotionally unstable and requires much guidance and care. In groupmeetings, however, there might be disagreements and arguments fromthe members since they differ in personality and view of things. Thispushes back the emotionally weak individuals to the addiction problemmaking it harder and more intense. Eventually, the group that meantto help a person causes him or her to withdraw (Nasem,2016).When compared to one on one interaction between the victim and atherapist, the recovery support groups prove ineffective.
Ina recovery support group the members are not confidential and mightleak personal information. Since the inception of the recoverysupport groups, people have been having misguided perceptions aboutthose joining the support groups (Loat,2011).These wrong opinions attract stigmatization on the individuals whoaccede to the recovery support groups. Stigmatization meansdiscrimination against someone based on the mere fact that a personhas joined a recovery support group. The community as a wholeunderstands that people joining the support groups are bad and ofnegative influence to the community (Kemp& Rao, 2014).In respect to this, individuals fear the support groups despiteknowing that they need the help. They end up succumbing to theirproblems with no one to lean on. Additionally, stigmatization alsoaffects the individuals who have already joined the groups and are onthe healing process (Chandra,2011).It eventually leads to relapse of those particular people. Havingpersonal interactions with therapists are therefore preferred sincethe whole process is carried out without the knowledge of the publicand hence the individual is free from stigmatization.
Belongingto a recovery support group is a personal decision. However, anindividual should join a group that he/she can relate to. This meansthat a person should join a group of people they share the sameproblems and want to achieve the same objectives. This makes thehealing process simpler and more guaranteed. Additionally, it isimportant to note that whether a group is useful or not depends onthe individual thus the failure or success of a support group shouldnot be the reason to or not to join a group.
Chandra,A. (2011). Buildingcommunity resilience to disasters: A way forward to enhance nationalhealth security.Santa Monica, CA: RAND.
Kemp,C. G., & Rao, D. (2014). Mixed-methodsevaluation of a novel community-based support and educationintervention for individuals with HIV/AIDS in KwaZulu-Natal, SouthAfrica.
Loat,M. (2011). Mutualsupport and mental health: A route to recovery.London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Nasem.(2016). HearingHealth Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access.Natl Academy Pr.