Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, Narcotics Anonymous in Suffolk County
Drug and alcohol addictions are unfortunately common in Suffolk County, and they can have devasting impacts on personal health, quality of life and even the lives of loved ones. Breaking a drug or alcohol addiction is an arduous process, and success getting clean is followed by the challenge of staying sober. An addict may rely on drugs or alcohol to cope with stressors in his or her daily life, to manage mental illness symptoms or for other reasons. In addition to being physically dependent on drugs or alcohol, factors like daily habits, relationships and psychological factors could contribute to the likelihood of a relapse. Completing an addiction recovery and rehab program can help an addict through the detoxification and recovery steps, but many people also benefit from additional support after the completion of a program. Suffolk County support groups that have been effective for many people over recent decades are Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Al-Anon.
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The Importance of Support in Recovery
For some addicts, various stressors and influences have contributed to the addiction. These may include toxic or enabling relationships, financial concerns, issues at work and various other factors. After completing an addiction recovery program, the addict’s body will be cleared of the substance. However, the person will return to his or her regular life. The stressors and influences that were present previously may remain. Because of this, the addict may need to make numerous changes to counter those stressors and influences in order to maintain sobriety. These may be major life changes, such as ending toxic relationships, getting a new job and more. Adjusting to these changes and avoiding temptations are not easy to do. AA, NA and Al-Anon offer peer-to-peer support that may make a difference in your journey to maintain sobriety. They provide opportunities to learn from others’ experiences, to establish new relationships and to grow in various other ways.
Alcoholics Anonymous Suffolk County
Founded in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous is a faith-based support group that has helped millions of alcoholics around the world achieve and maintain their goals. Anyone who is trying to get sober or maintain sobriety is welcome to attend meetings. Members may benefit from attending daily meetings, but there is not a mandatory attendance requirement. AA is a private group where members remain anonymous. New members receive an assigned sponsor who supports them on their journey.
Alcoholics Anonymous is rooted in its 12 steps. These steps are based on the acknowledgment of a higher power. However, each member can decide for himself or herself what or who this power is. The group encourages its members to take each day at a time. The focus is on not drinking right now rather than avoiding alcohol indefinitely. Through this focus, the recovering alcoholic can manage present actions rather than stressing about the future.
Whether a group has a few members or a few dozen members, the group leader determines the structure of the meetings. Many Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, however, are discussion-based. The topic of the day is selected by the group’s leader, and it may be related to topics found in the AA book. Some of these could include freedom from alcoholism, managing anger, making amends and others. Open discussions among members usually follow a reading from the AA book, and this allows members to share their personal experiences. Some meetings are structured with a primary speaker who goes in depth about his or her experiences, and others have a question-and-answer format. These speakers are selected before the meetings.
Al-Anon Suffolk County
While Alcoholics Anonymous’s membership is exclusively available to those who are overcoming an alcohol addiction, Al-Anon is for family and close friends of alcoholics. The loved ones who are struggling with alcoholism do not need to be in recovery. Their attendance at AA meetings and even their acknowledgment of having a problem with alcohol are not required. However, evidence suggests that a recovering alcoholic has a better chance of maintaining sobriety through AA meeting attendance combined with loved ones attending Al-Anon meetings.
Al-Anon was established in 1951 and closely follows the structure of Alcoholics Anonymous. This is a 12-step, faith-based program that focuses on the experiences of the alcoholic’s family members. By sharing experiences and discussing relevant topics in a non-judgmental, group setting, Al-Anon members benefit from support from their peers. The purpose of Al-Anon meetings is not to find ways to help the alcoholic. Instead, the meetings help the loved ones manage their emotions and stress related to that person’s alcoholism. Al-Anon members accept that only the alcoholic can decide to get and stay sober.
Members are not required to speak at Al-Anon meetings, but many do talk about their experiences and feelings. Often, the meetings begin with a related reading and open conversation among group members. Groups with larger memberships may divide into smaller groups for better discussions. Some of the many topics that may be discussed at Al-Anon meetings are enablement, support, pity, loyalty, caretaking and others.
Narcotics Anonymous Suffolk County
Narcotics Anonymous was established only a couple of years after Al-Anon in 1953. This program is modeled closely after Alcoholics Anonymous with the purpose of supporting recovering substance abusers. Members may be at any stage of their recovery process. Some have just completed detox, and others have been sober for a while and are sponsors for newcomers. Sponsors serve the purpose of helping newer members walk through the 12 steps and maintain a clean lifestyle. In addition to being a faith-based support group that follows a 12-step format, NA meetings and members are nonjudgmental and welcoming.
Narcotics Anonymous meetings may be structured in different ways, and group sizes vary. Many meetings have one or two speakers who share their experiences in detail, and others have a discussion that is based on a pre-selected topic. For speaker meetings, members are encouraged to reserve comments and discussions for breaks or for conversations after the meetings. For discussion meetings, members are encouraged to share while also allowing time for other members to contribute to the dialogue.
Selecting a Support Group
Whether you are searching for an AA, NA or Al-Anon meeting in Suffolk County, it is important to note that the meetings can vary from group to group. In addition to having a different membership base, the format of the meetings may center more heavily on discussions or speakers. You may find that you get more out of one type of meeting than the other. The size of the group can also impact your experience. Smaller groups can be more intimate and may help members feel more comfortable sharing and asking questions. However, larger groups often break into smaller groups for discussions, and this ensures that all members have a chance to share. It is important to find a group and a meeting format that is most suitable for you.
Contact Long Island Interventions Today
A drug or alcohol addiction can have significant and negative effects on the addict as well as family members. Support groups like AA, Al-Anon and NA put you in touch with others who are going through or who have gone through similar challenges and experiences. Meetings for these groups are available throughout Suffolk County at varying times and locations. At Long Island Interventions, our primary goal is to help each person achieve and maintain a healthier lifestyle. As part of your drug or alcohol rehab and recovery, support group meetings can play an important and even critical role. To get more details about the support groups and treatment options that may be right for you, contact Long Island Interventions today.