Peer support can be defined as the process of giving and receiving nonprofessional, nonclinical assistance from individuals with lived experience to achieve long-term recovery from mental health or substance use disorders. Through shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment, peer support meetings help people become and stay engaged in the recovery process and reduce the likelihood of relapse.
The concept of peer support during and after treatment has become popular because it offers practical benefits for individuals who are doing the difficult work of rebuilding their lives after addiction. Peers can offer assistance to each other in four different areas:1
- Emotional support – Peers often have a good understanding of the emotional responses and needs of the individual and can provide feedback in language that is most meaningful to the individual.
- Informational support – Peers can share knowledge and information on a lateral level that circumvents problems with resistance to authority.
- Instrumental support – Peers can also offer practical help learning new skills that can be shared with other people, a process that increases self-esteem and feelings of competence.
- Affiliational support – Interactions with peers on a regular basis creates a feeling of belonging to a group that can be relied upon to help with problems and a place where their unique qualities can help others.
SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) Recovery
SMART Recovery is an abstinence-oriented, not-for-profit organization for individuals with addictive problems. Our self-empowering, free mutual support meetings focus on ideas and techniques to help you change your life from one that is self-destructive and unhappy to one that is constructive and satisfying.
SMART Recovery’s approach to behavioral change is built around our 4-Point Program®: (1) Building and maintaining the motivation to change. (2) Coping with urges to use. (3) Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in an effective way without addictive behaviors. (4) Living a balanced, positive, and healthy life.
SMART Family & Friends
Effective, easy-to-learn tools to help both you and your loved one. The methods are based on the tools of SMART Recovery and CRAFT Therapy (Community Reinforcement & Family Training). Meetings — available both in-person and online — provide concerned significant others the tools they need to effectively support their loved one, without supporting the addictive behavior. These tools also help Family & Friends better cope with their loved one’s situation and regain their peace of mind.
Refuge Recovery is a community that welcomes all people. We believe the wisdom and compassion gained through our practices enable those struggling with any form of addiction to become more mindful of their mental processes while also developing a deep understanding of the suffering that addiction has created and compassion for their own pain. The mission of Refuge Recovery is to support those on this path of recovery by building a comprehensive network of Refuge Recovery groups, meetings, and communities available to anyone seeking recovery from addiction.
Our program does not ask anyone to believe anything, only to trust the process and to do the hard work of recovery. Our program is a systematic approach to treating and recovering from all forms of addiction using the traditional Buddhist practices of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.
The grief group at Live4lali started at the beginning of 2016 and has supported many people that have lost loved ones from substance use related loss. Parents, grandparents, friends, relatives, nieces, nephews, etc. Our group offers an amazing and very necessary source of support in that everyone that attends feels comfortable knowing that they can say whatever they want and feel comfortable because we all “get it” and they won’t be judged. The group helps those that are starting the devastating journey of grief on a healing path – slow as it is at times. I’ve also met one-on-one with people in person and keep in touch with many that have been part of the group.
We get together 3 times a year socially to have a pot luck at someone’s house or at a restaurant just to get out and enjoy a few hours and get to know each other on a different level other than just people that are grieving. This gives a chance for those who don’t come regularly to connect with those they may not have seen in a while and meet new people.
Some people have come since we started, some come and then take breaks – they always know we are there to support them. There are other more general type grief support groups but the fact that the group is specific to a substance-related loss makes it unique and offers a safe space for them.
Click here to find a schedule of Live4Lali’s peer support groups
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This post was written by live4lali