Anonymous support group is an essential component of a recovery plan. Talking about your struggles addictions and recovery with other people prevents feelings of isolation that can quickly lead to relapse. Anonymous support groups also help you gain control over your life. They promote a high level of personal accountability, offer support and advice without passing judgment and help you gain a deeper perspective on your problems.
A recent review of peer support systems found evidence that support groups provide many benefits, helping to:
- Reduce substance use
- Improve engagement in treatment
- Ease cravings
- Increase self-efficacy
Treatment and aftercare plans include participation in a support group to help improve the outcome.
Are Anonymous Support Groups Really Anonymous?
Recovery support groups are, by nature, anonymous in that last names generally aren’t used and members agree that what happens during a meeting doesn’t leave the meeting. They’re also anonymous in that many support group meetings take place online, with each member participating under a username of their choosing.
But while names aren’t used, you often get to know the members of your group very well, and it’s likely that you’ll form a strong bond with at least one of them. The bonds you form can help you through rough spots in recovery and offer a strong cheering section that’s always on your side.
SMART group is a support group by Mind Nurture that offers tools, techniques and strategies for each of four program points:
- Building and maintaining motivation
- Coping with urges
- Managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors
- Living a balanced life
- Setting goals
- Ranking your risks
- Making an action plan to achieve your goals
- Learning to believe in yourself
Daily meetings are held online and in person.
Choosing the Right Group for You
You can learn about the various anonymous support groups and choose the one that speaks to you. An addiction counselor or mental health professional can help you decide which program might be most beneficial for you, based on your needs and preferences. The most important thing is to engage with your support group on a regular basis.