Finding Sober Community Opportunities

Finding Sober Community Opportunities

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 70 million adults in the U.S. have substance and or mental health challenges. Specifically, 29 million adults have difficulties with substance use disorder (SUD), and 58.7 million face challenges with mental health disorders. However, 72.2% and 66.5% of individuals with SUD and mental health disorders, respectively, consider themselves to be in recovery. The prevalence of recovery stems from the process of continual growth and building connections through a robust, sober community.

At Driftwood Recovery, we know fostering a connection with your peers through a sober community is vital to building a strong foundation for sustained recovery. With a commitment to attachment as a core feature of our treatment model, you can find the connection and sober community you need to heal. Through an attachment approach, our sober community has learned to impart compassion, understanding, and guidance to each other.

However, in the early stages of recovery, it is understandable to feel doubt about maintaining your recovery. Emerging from your treatment program back into the stressors of daily living can feel daunting. Therefore, understanding early recovery is important for dispelling and navigating your fears for recovery.

What Is Early Recovery?

Early recovery does not have a specific time frame or follow a particular set of parameters. For many people, early recovery can be anywhere from the first 90 days to a year after treatment. However, regardless of time, early recovery is often a tumultuous period when the chance of relapse is at its highest. As noted in Substance Use: Research and Treatment, the first year in recovery is a crucial time to address risk factors to prevent relapse. Yet, you may wonder what kinds of challenges can arise in early recovery.

The Challenges of Early Recovery

As noted in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, a key feature in relapse prevention is understanding that relapse is a gradual process. Much like the process of recovery, a relapse does not happen overnight. The stages of relapse can include emotional, mental, and physical relapse. An emotional relapse happens when you are in denial that negative thoughts and behaviors are disruptive to your healing.

Whereas the transition to mental relapse happens when your resilience to thinking about using substances starts to erode. Then comes the physical relapse, which happens when you find a window of opportunity to start misusing substances again. The negative thinking and behavior patterns that occur with the emotional and mental stages of relapse highlight the need for a sober community in recovery. Without a strong, sober community, you can find yourself returning to that cycle of suffering.

Listed below are some of the challenges that can come up during early recovery:

  • Trying to find new meaningful activities to replace the time spent using substances
  • Being near people and places associated with your past substance use
  • Learning to set boundaries and remove harmful relationships from your life
  • Actively using your new healthy coping skills
  • Managing life stressors after transitioning from treatment
    • Household responsibilities
    • Finding or going to work
  • Taking time to foster new relationships and repair old ones

Much like bills, doctor appointments, and interpersonal conflict, the challenges of early recovery cannot be avoided. However, with the support of your sober community, you have a network of peers who offer insight and other resources for lasting recovery. Although connection is a vital part of an alumni sober community, there are some additional benefits. A robust sober community also gives you access to goal-setting tools and sober activities to support you in challenges and when you are thriving.

Sober Community Healing: Setting and Achieving Goals

As the Journal of Lifestyle Medicine notes, goals act as a mental representation of your desired outcomes. Yet, setting goals on your own can feel overwhelming. When you are overwhelmed, it is easier to doubt your ability to set or achieve goals. However, with the encouragement of your sober community, you can set goals and have mutually supportive peers who hold you accountable to achieving your goals for a life in recovery.

Moreover, as Mental Health America (MHA) states in “Setting Goals for Recovery,” the process of goal setting helps you envision the life you want to lead in recovery. When you envision your sober life, you foster hope that empowers your motivation to build a fulfilling life without substances. Furthermore, the impact of the sober community on your sense of hope can also promote your sense of belonging through sober activities.

Finding Sober Activities for Healing in a Sober Community

One of the major challenges in early recovery is finding meaningful ways to fill your time without substances. Another key factor in a deeply interconnected sober community is access to activities for connection, meaning-making, and belonging. Some of the many sober activities you can engage in to support lasting recovery include:

  • Volunteering
  • Cooking classes
  • Art classes
  • Time in nature
  • Game nights
  • Alumni meetings
  • Exercise
  • Book club

The variety of sober activities you can engage in showcases that you truly can lead a fun and purposeful life without substances. Moreover, discovering your sense of purpose and belonging blossoms from a desire to a reality with a sober community.

Building Sober Community Connections at Driftwood Recovery

At Driftwood Recovery, we believe access to a peer-driven network gives you the tools to thrive after treatment. Through a strong and vibrant sober community, you can find the service, accountability, and encouragement needed to thrive in every stage of recovery. Thus, with an engaged and supportive alumni program, we are dedicated to helping you reintegrate into the real world to lead a courageous life in recovery. Whether you are looking for weekly check-ins or opportunities to connect with peers and even your family, joining a sober community can give you a life-changing experience.

Early recovery can be an exciting and tumultuous time. Various challenges come with recovery that can be disruptive to the healing process and lead to relapse. One of the biggest challenges of early recovery is finding new, meaningful ways to spend your time without substances. However, engaging in a supportive sober community in your alumni program can give you the support, tools, and resources to maintain your recovery. Through your sober community, you can uncover opportunities for connection, goal setting, and sober activities, among many others, to heal. Therefore, at Driftwood Recovery, we are dedicated to providing a life-changing experience at every stage of recovery for you to thrive with purpose. Call us at (512) 759-8330 today.