During recovery from a drug addiction, the main factors of success is the former user’s feeling of outward support from friends and family coupled with inward emotional stability. Both factors are enhanced with membership in a drug recovery network. There are a variety of drug recovery networks in the United States, but the main two are Alcoholic’s Anonymous and SMART Recovery.
Drug recovery networks are not to be confused with treatment programs. Treatment programs specialize in the actual detoxification of the user; this may require medical attention due to withdrawal symptoms or the prescription of less volatile drugs to aid in recovery.
Drug recovery networks, however, act as emotional support for many former users. They hold weekly meetings wherein former users discuss their personal tribulations and coping mechanisms. They support one another and meetings are often presided by former addicts who have been affiliated with and were successful with that particular drug recovery network.
One of the oldest networks is Alcoholic’s Anonymous (AA). Their newer offshoots include Narcotics Anonymous (NA) for smokers and Ala-Teen which is a support group for teenaged children of alcoholics. AA and its affiliates are faith-based organizations which implement a 12-step program for participant’s to tackle on their road to recovery.
Of the newer drug recovery networks, SMART Recovery (Self Management and Recovery Training) boasts the most credentials as it is recognized by the US Department of Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and other health care organizations. In sharp contrast to AA/NA, SMART’s program bases their recovery methods on scientific knowledge.
Whichever program the recovering addict chooses, it is important to remember that they will receive the emotional support and encouragement they need from either drug recovery network.