How Communities Can Make an Impact on Addiction Recovery
Addiction tends to make you feel alone. You feel like you are the only one in the area that is struggling and that there isn’t anyone to turn to. The truth is that the opposition of addiction is a community. Being that coming together can be the key to achieving sobriety.
Common Addiction Beliefs That Lead to Isolation
One belief that contributes to individuals isolating themselves when dealing with addiction is believing it is a personal weakness. Another is that sometimes addiction can be the result of one’s genetics and therefore cannot be helped.
A third belief is lacking spirituality and finding your purpose in life is a daunting task. The truth is that humans are social creatures who need to bond with one another to feel whole. The same principle can be applied in addiction recovery.
Addiction does not have to make you weak and your genetic predisposition is never an excuse for refusing to seek out help. Reaching out to people in your community and taking advantage of the resources it has to offer is a large step towards recovery.
The Rat Park Experiment
In the past, there have been experiments in which rats would be isolated and given water laced with cocaine to drink. Once they had the laced water, they would have the option of pure water and the laced batch.
Once discovered, the rats became addicted to the water which was laced with cocaine. The rats who continued to consume the laced water would even ingest enough of it to die.
In the 1970s, however, multiple rats were placed in cages together, as opposed to being by themselves. While the rats who were placed in cages together would still try the cocaine laced water, they didn’t show the same dependence as those who were alone.
These rats eventually reverted to the pure water they were offered. This experiment reveals that connections amongst living creatures are powerful. Not only to comfort one another but also to show each other that there is a way to overcome situations.
Other Studies to Prove the Theory of Compassion
A 1993 study showed how a significant other’s involvement in behavioral therapy greatly improved the outcomes of recovering alcoholics. A 2008 study showed how people struggling with addiction were successful in their recovery when they participated in peer-supported groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
This is why it is critical to address unity in addiction recovery. While the physical symptoms of addiction should not be disregarded by any means, many other factors need to be taken into consideration.
The Impact of Human Connection in Group Therapy Sessions
A 2001 research experiment was conducted to discover if group therapy was more effective than an individual therapy approach. The group therapies ranged from 4 weeks to 52 weeks for individuals seeking routine out-patient treatment for depression.
In this instance, 45 out of 48 studies showed that group psychotherapy was effective. Also, 43 out of 46 studies showed group therapy to significantly reduce depression compared to those who received individual treatment or none at all.
The results of this large study showed that community can aid in a wide range of problems a person is suffering from.
The first way you can spark change in your community is by providing education about drug use in your community. People of all ages need to know the seriousness of drug use and how it can dismantle your life. It is also important for parents and guardians to be educated so they can teach their children about drugs and their devastating effects.
Having this knowledge can help dissuade children from using drugs in the first place and encourage them to seek out help if they happen to form a habit. Drug addiction experts and even those in recovery can visit schools and discuss their personal experiences that students are able to relate to. You can pitch your campaign out to radio, television talk shows, local newspapers, and social media sites.
A discussion can be started in op-eds in your local newspaper or community bulletins. Planning drug awareness events in your community like National Drug Take-Back Day, National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month, and National Recovery Month.
Skills to Learn
These efforts can teach everyone how to recognize the signs of drug addiction. It can be about teaching your children how to properly take their prescriptions to avoid the chance of developing a dependency or forming an addiction.
You can also learn about the proper actions to take in the event of an emergency. There are several institutions which can benefit from this information including schools, law-enforcement offices, hospitals, medical and pharmacy schools, and drug manufacturers.
The more people are informed of these tools the more lives they will be able to save.
Create Support Groups
Support groups are essential to ensure that communities do not feel alone in their struggles. You can create these support networks by encouraging peer mentorship groups and abuse recovery programs.
Fellowship communities, such as 12-Step programs allow members to share their stories and meet others who are on the same path to recovery. These support groups can present themselves at conferences or health fairs to increase their social presence amongst the community.
Posting flyers in places people in need can see or on social media will help spread awareness and alleviate an individual’s feelings of loneliness.
Speaking out to your local government can help kickstart action in your area. Writing letters and even arranging a meeting with local politicians to voice your concerns about the dangers of drug use is another option.
Not only can you express your worries on the issue, but you can also present ideas for how to take action moving forward. Speak about the importance of drug use prevention and encourage your officials to create more outreach programs.
Promote the use of drug courts and drug screenings in school and the workplace. If residents in your community can benefit from addiction recovery efforts, other cities will be inspired to follow suit as well.
Located in Huntington Beach, California next to a beautiful pond, Silver Lining Recovery is a serene outpatient care center that believes in staying relaxed while receiving treatment. Silver Lining’s philosophy is the most effective way to treat addiction is to find the underlying cause of it and offer professional help. Their customized treatment program offers a number of different individualized therapies with knowledgeable and experienced counselors to be there for you and uncover unresolved issues like EMDR, CBT, DBT, meditation treatment, faith-based treatment, and academic and career counseling. For more information, please call us at (833) 847-6984.