Whether you are struggling with an addiction to alcohol, prescription drugs or illegal substances, you may feel frustrated by your efforts to break your addiction thus far or to maintain the sobriety that you worked hard to achieve. In addition to your physical dependency on the substance and potentially strong cravings, there may be psychological factors to consider. Often, addicts experience greater success with breaking an addiction through the completion of a rehab and recovery program. However, even after successfully completing such a program, challenges that could lead to a possible relapse remain. Across Nassau County, there are several support groups available that can put you in touch with peers who have stood in your shoes previously or who are experiencing similar struggles right now. These groups include Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon and Narcotics Anonymous.

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The Road to Recovery

Recovering from an addiction involves more than simply getting clean. Maintaining sobriety could require you to make significant changes to your lifestyle, set personal boundaries in relationships, find a new job and even create distance in relationships with friends and family. Because so many aspects of a recovering addict’s life may need to change, the process can be difficult and riddled with unfortunate opportunities for relapse. Finding support from people who have successfully overcome similar challenges could be an essential part of your path to maintain sobriety. Support groups like AA, Al-Anon and Narcotics Anonymous put you in touch with these individuals. By sharing stories and establishing new relationships in group meetings, recovering addicts can get a different level of support that may not be available through friends and family members.

Alcoholics Anonymous Nassau County

Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA, is a 12-step program that encourages members to take one day at a time. By concentrating on not having a drink right now rather than in the future, members are empowered to take control of their actions through the power of a higher entity. While this is a faith-based group, it is non-denominational. More than that, the 12 steps provide structure for recovery and sobriety that focus on building a meaningful and happy life. Many newcomers to an AA group are concerned about exposing their alcoholism to others, and they find security in the fact that AA meetings are private and maintain the anonymity of members.

Anyone who is challenged by alcoholism can join Alcoholics Anonymous. Group sizes may be as small as a couple of people or much larger. While there is some variation in the structure of AA meetings, most start with an open discussion on a topic selected by the group’s leader. A few of the many topics that could be discussed include making amends, dealing with anger, achieving freedom and more. These topics usually stem from those covered in the AA book, which is often referred to as The Big Book. This discussion is usually followed by one or several members sharing their stories or experiences in front of the full group. These members are usually selected before the meeting so that they can properly prepare to speak. Some meetings, however, may have a question-and-answer structure, which allows newcomers to AA to learn from seasoned members. At other meetings, a specific step in the process may be reviewed extensively, and this may be accompanied by selected readings from the AA book.

In addition, new members may be connected with a sponsor, who is a supportive member who can mentor the alcoholic through the 12 steps. Millions of alcoholics have experienced great success from AA since it was established in 1935. Frequent attendance at these faith-based meetings is recommended. Many AA members attend meetings daily. However, attendance is not mandatory.

Al-Anon Nassau County

Alcoholism affects the addict as well as those who are close to the addict, such as family and friends. While AA is a support group for alcoholics, Al-Anon is a program specifically for an addict’s loved ones. This group, which was established in 1951, is intended for the loved ones of people who have and have not admitted that they have a drinking problem. Like AA, Al-Anon meetings are anonymous and do not have a mandatory attendance requirement. It also has a 12-step structure.

The purpose of Al-Anon meetings is not to help people stop an addict’s unhealthy behavior. Instead, it is to provide comfort to those who are impacted by another person’s alcoholism. The meetings often also delve into giving the addict encouragement and support. However, only the alcoholic can decide to seek treatment and stop drinking. At the meetings, members may share their experiences and frustrations with other members. By receiving support and understanding through Al-Anon meetings, members may be better able to manage the stress and emotions that the loved one’s alcoholism stirs up. There is no requirement for the loved one to be in AA, but some evidence suggests that the alcoholic may be more successful when the family member is in Al-Anon and the alcoholic attends AA meetings.

While Al-Anon is a spiritual fellowship that focuses on finding strength from a greater power, the members are free to determine what that power is for them individually. Al-Anon meetings typically have up to 25 attendees, and members are never required to speak and share. Most meetings start with an opening reading. Larger meetings will then break into smaller and more intimate groups so that everyone has a chance to speak and be heard. Topics may cover support, loyalty, enablement, caretaking, pity and more. These topics are related to the members rather than to their alcoholic loved one.

Narcotics Anonymous Nassau County

Narcotics Anonymous is a support group that is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. Established in 1953, NA maintains the privacy of its members, who may be recovering from a substance abuse disorder with any number of substances. Members are those who are at different stages of their recovery journey, and some are people who have maintained sobriety for an extended period of time and wish to help others. NA provides a nonjudgmental, inviting environment.

Like AA meetings, Narcotics Anonymous meetings usually have a discussion format or a speaker format. Discussions allow individuals to share personal stories with the group. Sharing is done one at a time, and comments are only allowed after meetings or during breaks. Speaker meetings have one or several pre-selected members who speak in detail for most of the meetings. Commentary is usually held for breaks and after the meetings as well. It is important to note that there may be multiple NA meetings throughout the area. While it is essential to find a meeting time that is convenient for you, the level of support and the overall experience can vary from group to group as well.

Narcotics Anonymous is a faith-based group that follows the same 12 steps used in AA meetings. New members are typically matched with an NA sponsor. As is true with AA sponsors, Narcotics Anonymous sponsors offer personalized support with the program’s 12 steps.

Get Support for Addiction Recovery

Long Island Interventions focuses on supporting drug addicts and alcoholics through their recovery and helping them to maintain sobriety going forward. For many addicts, the process begins with getting clean. Detoxification and rehab programs are available in Nassau County to help you navigate through this journey. Support groups like AA, Al-Anon and NA offer community, structure and insight to individuals during rehab and throughout recovery. Regardless of where you are on your path to sobriety, contact Long Island Interventions to learn more about the treatment programs and support groups available.

Published on: 2022-12-14
Updated on: 2024-04-10