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What are the Different Types of Addiction Support Groups?

Long-term recovery from substance abuse is not a solo project. While you certainly do the heavy lifting regarding addressing and learning to overcome your addiction, having support is key in maintaining lasting sobriety. Support recovery groups are absolutely essential in providing the motivation you need to be empowered and confident in your recovery. This article will explain what a recovery support group is and how it benefits your recovery. You will also learn about the different types of addiction support groups that you can join to help you take your recovery to new heights.

What is an Addiction Support Group?

Addiction support groups encourage those in recovery to take accountability for their actions. In these recovery support groups, people share their experiences of hope and sobriety with others in a safe and non-judgmental environment. The knowledge and wisdom shared in these groups provide the motivation for people to continue to work on their individual programs of recovery. It is important to note these groups are not designed to replace drug rehab. Instead, they complement drug treatment programs and give those new in recovery a better chance at achieving long-term recovery.

What are the Different Types of Addiction Support Groups?

Much like drug treatment, addiction support groups aren’t a “one size fits all” concept. Every recovering addict is unique in their needs and goals. When it comes to finding a support recovery group, you need to find one that best fits your needs but still places emphasis on learning healthy coping skills and practices accountability for your actions. The following are different types of addiction support groups available that can help you get and stay sober.

12-Step Groups

The most common of all recovery support groups are 12-Step groups. Examples of these include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Cocaine Anonymous (CA). The guiding principle of 12-Step groups is that addiction is a disease that can be controlled but never fully cured. The way people find lasting recovery is through working on a set of “steps” that are guiding principles that can help people accept, address, and overcome their addiction. Along with the solid support of their peers, people in 12-Step groups surrender to a “higher power” in order to help them identify and remove the underlying roots of their substance abuse.

While these groups have helped countless addicts find sobriety, they aren’t without some controversy. For some people, the concepts of “higher power” and “surrender” have too many religious implications and may turn them away from this type of addiction support group. While the higher power concept has shifted over the years, there are people early in recovery who are seeking alternative support recovery groups to help them find lasting sobriety.

SMART Recovery

One popular alternative to 12-Step groups is called SMART Recovery. SMART is an acronym for self-management and recovery training and believes that the addict themselves can transform themselves and not a higher power. Those who join this support group learn the coping skills needed to overcome addiction and transform their lives. SMART Recovery uses therapies such as CBT to help people build and maintain motivation, cope with urges, manage thoughts and behaviors, and move towards living a healthy and balanced life. In addition to in-person groups, SMART Recovery is also available online.


LifeRing is another secular-based sober support group that focuses on peer-to-peer interaction and support. The underlying philosophy of LifeRing is that the addict is the best person to design their own individual treatment program. The LifeRing philosophy states there are many ways to get and stay sober, and people can learn the coping skills and tools needed to find recovery through peer-run meetings. Like SMART Recovery, people can attend meetings in person or online.

Rational Recovery

One of the different types of addiction support groups that some favor is Rational Recovery (RR). Rational Recovery believes that addictive behaviors are voluntary and not because of disease or spiritual failing. RR is unique in the fact they offer no meetings. Instead, people in Rational Recovery learn how to manage the thoughts and triggers that lead to substance use through videos, forums, and other literature and resources.

How to Find Addiction Support Groups Near Me

Addiction support groups are an essential part of the recovery process. The fellowship, support, and resources found in these groups help addicts from all walks of life address and overcome their substance abuse. If you are new in recovery and are seeking an addiction support group, Aspire Treatment Solutions can help. Our outpatient treatment programs feature support group help in addition to other evidence-based programs and services individually tailored to meet your needs.
Call us toll-free today and get the tools and support you need to break the vicious cycle of addiction for good.