Lantana Recovery
A modern, community-based approach to addiction treatment for Men and Women in Charleston, SC

The Importance of Giving Back to the Sober Community

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Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and substance use disorder (SUD) are “cunning, baffling, and powerful” diseases that can damage every aspect of an individual’s (and their family’s) life. However, they don’t have to. There are ways to overcome and manage addiction, if one has the right tools and support. Often, that support comes from a sober community.

What Is a Sober Community?

A sober community simply refers to a group of people who get together to focus on their sobriety and recovery. Perhaps the most well-known sober community today is Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) and all of the 12-Step programs that have stemmed from it. There are also many other types of sober communities within the canopy of 12-Step recovery. For example, some communities focus on the spiritual aspect of recovery, communities that choose agnosticism, and solely virtual communities.

There are also many communities outside the direct realm of 12-Step recovery. This includes groups that focus more on the self-will side of sobriety like SMART Recovery, and groups that have a specific religious affiliation like Recovery Dharma.

Some recovery communities also focus solely on the impact on family members and children of those struggling with addiction. This includes groups like Al-Anon and Alateen (both 12-Step related). Lastly, there are groups that are formed by people who recovered together in treatment centers. These groups often remain connected to the specific treatment center and are considered alumni groups or alumni classes.  

Connecting With a Sober Community While in Treatment

Many people are under the misconception that individuals in treatment are wholly insulated from outside recovery groups. This is not the case. In fact, many recovery centers require their clients to regularly attend recovery meetings and even have meetings brought into the facility.

Connecting with a sober community while in treatment is ideal because it sets individuals up for success after they leave treatment because they have an established community that is going to help them remain sober and avoid a potential relapse. 

Unfortunately, relapse is a part of recovery. While it certainly does not have to be part of anyone’s recovery journey. It does happen more often than many people think. According to the peer-reviewed journal, Current Psychiatry Reports, “Recent estimates from clinical treatment studies suggest that more than two-thirds of individuals relapse within weeks to months of initiating treatment.” Also, “For 1-year outcomes across alcohol, nicotine, weight, and illicit drug abuse, studies show that more than 85% of individuals relapse and return to drug use within 1 year of treatment.”

Connecting With a Sober Community After Treatment

Some people choose to connect to a new recovery community after treatment. In fact, many people choose to become part of multiple communities. This is great. The key is to stay involved and stay active. 

It is often said that the best way to stay sober is to help another person stay sober. The primary text of 12-Step recovery (often referred to as the Big Book) states, “Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking [and using] as intensive work with other [people in recovery]. It works when other activities fail…You can help when no one else can.” However, it is important to remember that just “being around” is not the same as “being involved.”

Being Involved Versus Just “Being Around”

It should be noted that going to recovery meetings can be an essential part of anyone’s recovery journey. However, just going to recovery meetings does not offer the same benefits as being involved in those recovery meetings.

This includes activities like leading meetings, making coffee, greeting “newcomers” at the door, and getting involved at the more nuclear level with group decision-making. This involvement helps connect individuals to the group and if something happens (like a relapse) it creates a stronger “sober network” to help find a solution to the situation.

Being involved in a recovery community is also, simply, much more fun. People didn’t get sober just to sit around and be miserable – that is what active addiction was like. No, people get sober to expand their lives and start experiencing the world in a whole new positive light. Sober communities can help make those goals a reality.

The Importance of Long-Term Success With Lantana Recovery

Here at Lantana Recovery, we believe in long-term success over short-term “fixes.” That is why we promote and connect all of our clients to healthy sober communities. We also offer our own community support via our alumni groups and events.

Recovery is just over the horizon. The key is taking the first step. It is always important to remember that recovery is more about the journey than the destination. That journey is also much more fun (and successful) when it is taken with friends. 

There are many benefits of being part of a sober community. This includes having people to connect with when times get tough, as well as having a healthy friend group to enjoy sober outings and events with. However, the key to being a successful member of a sober community is to be “active” rather than “passive” and participate. This means things like volunteering, leading meetings, becoming a sponsor, making coffee, etc. to help everyone sustain sobriety. If you feel like you or a loved one are struggling with issues of addiction, mental illness, or both, we can help. For more information about joining a sober community, please reach out to Lantana Recovery today at (866) 997-2870.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.