Every September is National Recovery Month, a time when we celebrate healing from drug and alcohol addiction.

Each National Recovery Month has a theme. The theme for September 2019, Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger, points to an extremely useful tool for healing and recovery: social support.

 

How Can Others Help People Heal?

Humans are social creatures. Numerous studies have confirmed that spending time with people helps us mentally and physically. People who do not do this may suffer consequences.

If we don’t have companionship, it may produce negative effects on our physical health and mental well-being. If people are isolated, their bodies may go into the fight-or-flight mode, which could raise levels of a protein called fibrinogen. Fibrinogen clogs the arteries and raises blood pressure, which could lead to strokes or heart attacks.

Socializing may help prevent this. It may provide benefits when we are sick or upset, encourage us to engage in healthier habits, and even help us live longer.

 

How Do We Meet Others?

While we know that friends and companions are important in so many ways, it is not always easy to make or keep them. It may be especially difficult if we are recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction.

We may be anxious if we said or did things while were addicted that may have harmed our relationships. We may be worried that others will stigmatize us for our addictions or for seeking treatment. Or, we may have to make new friends because our old friends are still abusing drugs or alcohol.

There are ways to find companions after rehab, though. Some of the ways include:

  • Joining sobriety support groups. People in groups such as SMART Recovery and Alcoholics Anonymous have had similar experiences, so they are less likely to judge people for their addictions or other struggles.
  • Finding hobbies. By pursuing what they love, people may meet and bond with other people with the same passions.
  • Going online. Sites such as Meetup.com and Facebook pages list events in different communities that allow like-minded people to connect.

Since it provides so many benefits, meeting with other people proves that together we are stronger. Socializing provides benefits during National Recovery Month and throughout the year.