The Importance of Building a Reliable Support Network

In both initial treatment and during ongoing sobriety maintenance, addiction recovery is a process that many individuals begin by entering a treatment facility. We often refer to treatment as a process because there is no cure for addictive disorders. This disorder more closely resembles a chronic illness or autoimmune disease in that remission is undoubtedly attainable but only through a lifetime of vigilant treatment methods. The 90-day inpatient services offered at treatment facilities like Choice House provide a safe space for patients to achieve initial sobriety as they begin to learn about addiction and any underlying co-occurring mental issues. However, this is only preparation for a lifelong recovery effort to reduce addictive behaviors and abstain from illicit substance misuse. 


This is not to suggest that maintaining sobriety will always need to be at the forefront of attention. The addiction recovery process will get easier over time as healthier, sober routines gain traction to become new habits. However, early recovery is often beset with the type of trial and error frustrations associated with any newly acquired learned skills. Thankfully, recovery patients do not have to tackle the process of ongoing treatment for their addictive disorders alone. Forming a reliable support network is paramount to a successful recovery effort after leaving a rehab facility. 


What Is a Support Network?


A support network consists of family and friends who can offer some form of assistance to patients with their addiction recovery. This assistance can be as simple as having a frank conversation about the personal struggles of an addictive disorder or as intimately involved as attending meetings together and offering a place to sleep. A support network should also be varied and involve more than one person. Especially in early recovery, addiction recovery patients can struggle with maintaining sobriety. They must have some form of assistance and guidance to help steer them back to their chosen path of abstinence. Left to their own devices, those in addiction recovery will often progress into a solitary existence that eventually leads to depression, negative thought patterns, and a reversion to old habits. Without a support network, addiction recovery patients will be more likely to give up on their recovery especially following a relapse.


A Triggered Relapse Won’t Wait


Recognizing and taking preventative measures to avoid potential triggers is one of the best methods of continuous treatment for addiction recovery patients. In early recovery, this form of sobriety maintenance will make up a large portion of the recovery efforts mentioned in the first section. However, these preventative measures will sometimes fall short, resulting in addiction recovery patients experiencing specific triggers, some of which may also be unavoidable. In these instances, impulse control over acting on an urge to use again can regularly be a problem in early recovery. A disconnect tends to form between the negative aspects of substance misuse and the positive elements of continued sobriety. Many in addiction recovery will have difficulty fully recalling the awful emotional responses that either drug or alcohol misuse brought them in the past. They seem to have trouble remembering that touching the hot stovetop burns their hand. 


Once triggered, patients will begin to struggle with urges to misuse illicit substances. The immediacy of coping with impulse control problems is just one of the many reasons patients will want to have already set up a reliable support network. In these times of need, having someone to call or meet up with can prevent relapse altogether. The support network not only provides a tangible safety net for those in addiction recovery, but it can also provide the intangible feeling of safety that can help reinforce faltering confidences in sobriety.


Where to Start Searching for Reliable Addiction Recovery Support


Finding a reliable support network is essential to any recovery process from an addictive disorder. We have listed some of the main where addiction recovery patients can begin when it comes to building their support network. 


  • Family and friends
  • Alcoholics Anonymous meetings
  • Smart Recovery meetings
  • Outpatient programs
  • Sober living homes
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Online addiction recovery support groups


If you are struggling with substance misuse from an addictive disorder with co-occurring mental health issues and think you would benefit from an extended support network, then Choice House has a dual-diagnosis treatment program that can help you start that process. We offer men the opportunity to achieve initial sobriety through various therapeutic modalities, including our unique outdoor wilderness therapy. In wilderness therapy, men reconnect with themselves and develop lifelong bonds of friendship through physical activities like hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking. The bonds of friendship formed prove vital to recovery efforts and serve as a perfect introduction to the importance of creating a reliable support network once re-entering society as a sober individual. Our treatment services are provided in the Boulder County area of Colorado and include a 90-day inpatient program, an intensive outpatient service, and the chance to take up residency at our sober living campus. As patients build a new foundation of love and empathy, they begin to learn the skills necessary to maintain long-term sobriety. These skills, in turn, place our patients in an ideal position to start building their support networks in early recovery once they have left our rehab facilities. For more information regarding Choice House’s addiction recovery treatment services or about our facilities, please give us a call at +1-303-578-4977.

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