What Role Do Addiction Recovery Groups Play in the Journey to Sobriety and Long-Term Recovery?

Addiction can be a difficult and overwhelming struggle for many individuals. It not only affects the person suffering from it, but also their loved ones and overall quality of life. However, recovery is possible and there are various methods and support systems that can help individuals overcome their addiction and maintain long-term sobriety. One such support system is addiction recovery groups, which play a crucial role in the journey towards sobriety and long-term recovery. These groups provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to share their experiences, learn from others, and receive guidance and encouragement from peers who are also on the path to recovery. In this essay, we will explore the important role that addiction recovery groups play in the journey to sobriety and long-term recovery.

Addiction recovery groups are voluntary associations of people who share a common desire to overcome drug addiction. Different groups use different methods, ranging from completely secular to explicitly spiritual. One survey of members found active involvement in any addiction recovery group correlates with higher chances of maintaining sobriety. The survey found group participation increased when the individual members beliefs matched the those of their primary support group (often people will be members of multiple addiction recovery groups). Analysis of the survey results found a significant positive correlation between the religiosity of members and their participation in twelve-step addiction recovery groups and SMART Recovery, although the correlation factor was three times smaller for SMART Recovery than for the twelve-step addiction recovery groups. Religiosity was inversely related to participation in Secular Organizations for Sobriety.

A survey of a cross-sectional sample of clinicians working in outpatient facilities (selected from the SAMHSA On-line Treatment Facility Locator) found that clinicians only referring clients to twelve-step groups for treatment were more likely than those referring their clients to twelve-step groups and “twelve-step alternatives” to believe less strongly in the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral and Psychodynamic-oriented Therapy, and were likely to be unfamiliar with twelve-step alternatives. A logistic regression of clinician’s knowledge and awareness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy effectiveness and preference for the twelve-step model was correlated with referring exclusively to twelve-step groups.


The following is a list of addiction recovery groups dealing with substances other than food.

Twelve-step addiction recovery groups

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
  • Cocaine Anonymous (CA)
  • Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA)
  • Marijuana Anonymous (MA)
  • Nicotine Anonymous (NicA)
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
  • Pills Anonymous (PA)
  • Reentry Anonymous (RA)

Non-twelve-step addiction recovery group options

  • LifeRing Secular Recovery (LSR)
  • Moderation Management (MM)
  • Narconon (Church of Scientology)
  • Pagans In Recovery (PIR)
  • Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS)
  • SMART Recovery
  • Women For Sobriety (WFS)
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