Whether you’re recovering from drug or alcohol abuse or dealing with a mental health condition, you need the right support.

You may have completed inpatient or outpatient treatment for your condition, and you’re ready to get back to your life. But without the proper support, it can be challenging to maintain your progress.

Learn why support programs are so important, the difference between peer support and formal support groups, and how to find the right support program for you.

Why Use Support Programs?

People recovering from drug or alcohol abuse or mental health conditions need support after treatment. When you have a solid support system, you’re more likely to stay sober and healthy. The question is, what kind of support do you need?

Family and friends often mean well and want to help, especially after you’ve been through inpatient or outpatient treatment. You can certainly lean on them for support. But you need something more—a structured program led by trained professionals to give you the specialized help you need. Take a look below at some of the many benefits of joining a support program:

  • Licensed professionals lead support programs, offering you a structured environment that includes a specific plan of action.
  • A group of people going through the same struggles you face provides a supportive network.
  • Many people with mental health and substance abuse issues have dual diagnoses (two disorders at the same time, such as depression and alcoholism). A support program can provide you with additional resources for all your needs.
  • What are Peer Support Groups?

    People going through challenges such as addiction or mental health issues often come together to form groups to connect with others who share their struggles and get help. These support groups greatly differ from formalized support programs.

  • Peer support groups are usually led by group members. They may or may not include a licensed professional.
  • They can be informational in nature. Members often take turns sharing their struggles or experiences since the last meeting. Some groups even have a different speaker at each meeting.
  • Peer support groups may be held in group members’ homes, community centers, churches, or other public spaces.
  • Frequency of meetings vary, depending on availability of members and location.
  • How to Find Legitimate Support Programs

  • Research your options. Visit facilities that provide a support program that meets your specific needs.
  • Ask questions. Is their staff licensed? How are they trained? Can they give you testimonials or references?
  • Look for a facility that uses evidence-based practices and other effective methods to support mental health and substance abuse conditions. Evidence-based practices are methods that have been proven to produce positive outcomes based on data and research.
  • How often does the support program meet? Consistent, frequent meetings work best to ensure continuity of care.
  • Are the groups co-ed or split into male and female groups? Based on your needs and comfort zone, decide what’s best for you.
  • With the right support program, you can get the help you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, feel supported by others going through similar challenges, and stay on track! Pyramid Healthcare offers a variety of support programs for adults and teens struggling with addiction, mental health concerns, and more. Contact us today to determine if we’re the right fit for you.

    Author's Bio: 

    Desiree Patton is a Media Correspondent for Pyramid Healthcare, Inc., a provider of treatment for adults and teens suffering from addiction or substance abuse, as well as individuals with mental health disorders. Our locations in western, central, and eastern Pennsylvania allow us to provide comprehensive care across the entire state to people with behavioral health issues.