friends and family

Building a Support Team in Recovery

Nearly 20 million people are currently in recovery from addiction to alcohol and drugs in the United States. Many people will relapse while in recovery due to the nature and cycle of addictive behavior. A support team can be a critical component of recovery and provide the building blocks for a future free of drug and alcohol abuse.

What is Recovery

Recovery is not simple. The equation of stop using drugs, go to treatment and come out the other side healed and ready to move on does not work. Many people will relapse at least once in recovery, yet others do not. The complexity of addiction is such that recovery is just another step in the process which lasts a lifetime. Treatment professionals believe many aspects of recovery exist with numerous pathways to get there as no single solution works for every person. 12-step groups may work for some people and are quite common yet other individuals are good at sobriety maintenance with minimal support from 12-step groups. Recovery is a process of change as well as improved health, wellness and quality of life. The more support a person has in recovery, the better foundation it sets to guard against the hold of addiction.

Sustaining Recovery

People need to create structures to support recovery efforts when stressors and triggers come along. The following can be helpful in this regard:

  • Having friends to call who can offer support and encouragement
  • Developing a circle of friends who are sober and clean
  • Living in and around people, places and things which help a person stay focused on sobriety and recovery
  • Connecting with loved ones who support recovery

New connections are necessary to staying clean and sober in recovery. This will reduce temptation to fall back into old habits. Included in this can be:

  • Finding new friends who are clean and sober
  • Changing locations
  • Paying attention to spiritual development
  • Incorporating meditation or prayer into one’s recovery lifestyle

Building Blocks

Building blocks will create a solid foundation upon which to create an individualized recovery plan and approach to sober living. The following pathways can be helpful:

  • Engaging family to provide emotional support and stability. Some family members may need to be involved in treatment to create the healthiest environment possible
  • An individual must develop and maintain a strong personal connection to at least one therapist or counselor
  • Various treatment protocols may be necessary including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or other therapeutic therapies
  • Personal motivation is key. A person must want to be (and remain) in recovery.
  • Many types of outside support may be required including from an employer to support sustained recovery efforts

Recovery services are very important as part of any recovery plan. Building a support network takes time, energy and intentional decisions to surround oneself with positive and affirming people who believe the power of recovery is possible and achievable.


The Villa provides resources to help individuals recover from addiction. If you need help, call us to find out how we can support your journey.