So, you’ve gone to rehab and quit using drugs or alcohol. Congratulations! You’ve faced significant challenges and you’ve accomplished so much.

It’s important to celebrate these successes. A good time to celebrate is September, which is national recovery month.

National recovery month celebrates all of the people who have done the difficult work of becoming and staying sober. The theme for September 2019’s national recovery month is Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger.

By using words such as join, together, and we, the 2019 theme illustrates how recovery is not a solo mission. It’s a group effort.

How do others help in rehab?

No person is an island. Getting better means reaching out. Drug and alcohol rehab centers recognize this. They employ teams of professionals to assist clients.

This assistance begins early. During the admittance process, professionals at treatment centers help determine the mental and physical needs of their clients and work to fulfill these needs.

While they are staying in the centers, clients continue their connections to other people. They continue to work with therapists and medical professionals.

People staying at inpatient centers also interact with other people who are receiving treatment at the facilities. They may do this during formal group therapy sessions. They may also do this through more informal situations, such as during meals or recreational activities.

Such interactive opportunities may be very useful. They show people that they’re not alone. If people are struggling, they may support each other. If people are triumphing, they may serve as role models who prove that success is possible.

How do others help in recovery?

After people leave rehab centers, they should try to connect or re-connect with others. They shouldn’t have to face post-rehab life, or life in general, on their own. Luckily, they have resources that may help them.

Sobriety support groups are resources that may help. Like group therapy sessions at rehab centers, sobriety groups feature people who have experienced similar challenges and triumphs.

Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous (AA and NA) encourage people to find sponsors to guide them and to serve as sponsors themselves. Sponsors act as mentors and serve as sources of support during trying times.

AA and NA are not the only groups that promote sobriety by using social approaches. Self-Recovery and Management and Recovery Training is another such organization. Known as SMART Recovery, this organization uses science-based methods to teach coping skills.

Like SMART Recovery, AA, and NA, other groups such as Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) and Women for Sobriety encourage people to communicate with each other. They may meet in person at meetings for face-to-face contact. Or, they may participate in online meetings if they are hesitant to travel or physically unable to do so. The connection, not the mode of connection, is important. SOS meets on Wednesday evenings at Mental Health Community Centers’ Sarasota locations. For more information, call 941-953-3477.

DRA, dual recovery anonymous is a twelve-step program, the requirements for membership is the desire to stop using intoxicating drugs or alcohol, and a desire to manage our mental illness in a constructive and healthy way. It helps people work with and manage mental health symptoms as well as addiction. There are two meetings in Sarasota, and we are looking to grow our fellowship. For more information, contact tbisson@mhcci.com

Connecting with each other may help us succeed in recovery and in all aspects of our lives.

About the author: Pamela Zuber is a writer and editor who has written about a wide variety of topics, including health and wellness, Orange County rehab centers and other treatment options, human rights, and gender politics.

This blog post has additional notes from MHCCI on DRA and SOS.

MENTAL HEALTH COMMUNITY CENTERS (MHCC). IS A REGISTERED 501c3 WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE #04-3585931 AND WITH FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS # CH38125 A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED BY THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS BY CALLING TOLL FREE 800-435-7352, WITHIN THE STATE OR VISITING: WWW.800HELPFLA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.”