Stopping alcohol or drug use is just the beginning of the recovery process. You or your family member must learn new ways to cope with daily life, including how to have fun or deal with stress, anger, or social situations without using drugs or alcohol. Learning these new skills is a lot of work.
Many treatment programs recommend or require attendance at self-help groups. By attending, many people make new friends who help them stay in recovery. The number of meetings required varies by treatment program. Many programs require participants to attend 90 meetings in 90 days. Some treatment programs encourage people to find a “sponsor" - someone who has been in the group for a while and can offer personal support and advice.
Participants in self-help groups support and encourage one another to become or stay drug and alcohol free. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and other 12-Step programs are perhaps the best known of the self-help groups. Self-help groups are very important in most people’s recovery. These groups are not the same as treatment. Members themselves, not treatment facilities, run self-help groups. In many places, self-help groups offer meetings for people with particular needs.
There are self-help groups for family members, too.