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The Importance of Community in Recovery: How IOP Can Help

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Clinically Reviewed by:
Lindsey Rae Ackerman, LMFT

Written by:
Alex Salman, MPH on February 23, 2024

It is often said that the opposite of addiction is connection. Especially in early recovery, a supportive community is essential for maintaining and finding joy in sobriety, avoiding feelings of isolation, rediscovering self and connecting with others who understand what you’re experiencing. Treatment programs, like intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), can help in a number of ways:

Community & Early Recovery

Struggling with mental health or substance abuse can be extremely isolating. In turn, isolation and loneliness often play a role in keeping a person stuck in unhealthy cycles. In order to achieve recovery, it’s important to open up, share feelings and ask for help. Intensive outpatient programs provide a safe, trusted community of people who can help you face new feelings, challenges and encourage self-discovery.

Community is an integral component of achieving recovery and studies have shown that a strong support system leads to lower relapse rates. A community of support helps build a practice of sharing and fosters the understanding that you do not have to face challenges alone.

Group Therapy

In outpatient recovery programs, clients participate in several modalities of therapy including group therapy. Group therapy consists of one or more therapists that lead a guided discussion. Group therapy not only boosts feelings of inclusion, support and connection, but also helps people learn how others overcome obstacles and share feelings in a safe environment.

Group therapy can also help promote accountability and motivation. In a group setting, individuals listen and can relate to peers who are facing similar challenges in a safe space. Group therapy is a great reminder that you are not alone in this journey. Not to mention, a supportive group can help hold you accountable to your recovery goals and your progress.

Alumni Programs and Ongoing Support

The end of a treatment program is just the beginning of a lifelong recovery journey. When individuals adjust back to the real world, they may find themselves questioning their ability to maintain their recovery. It is extremely helpful to have a community to lean on and turn to for real-time advice and insight. Alumni programming can help smooth the transition between IOP and the real world. Plus, as you build a healthy lifestyle, you can share these habits and hobbies with your recovery community who can in turn celebrate your successes and help you overcome obstacles.

At Clear Behavioral Health, our clients are immediately connected with a thriving community of people at all stages of their recovery journey. If you are struggling with mental health or substance abuse, reach out to learn more about our detox facility and residential rehab as well as our dual diagnosis outpatient programs for ongoing support. Building connections and joining a community that supports your recovery journey is one of the many keys to success and long-term sobriety.

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