What Are the Benefits of Online Support Groups?

An essential part of completing rehab treatment and staying in recovery is aftercare. Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous form a big part of aftercare programs, where the individual in recovery is encouraged to attend these groups. Support groups are of immense benefit to an individual who is transitioning from treatment to recovery.

Why online support groups? Maybe the individual doesn’t have a support group close to where they live. Or perhaps they are not comfortable attending one in person. But they still need the help and support. Online recovery support groups offer reasonable and accessible means to get support at any hour, and from the comfort of their own home.

Benefits of Online Support Groups

There are a lot of benefits to support groups in general. Individuals feel less isolated as they learn to cope with day to day routine. Support groups also highlight aspects of recovery that might not have been addressed during treatment, including returning to life after treatment or dealing with the physical side effects that may linger. Support groups are also a great place for the individual to get advice or gain some skills that have worked for others who have been part of the group longer. Plus, these groups often have access to resources that the individual might be looking for or might need, such as ongoing medical or recovery options. So what are some of the main benefits of online support groups?

  • Accessibility
  • Anonymity
  • Free
  • Direct or passive involvement
  • Stress reduction
  • Empowerment
  • Clarity

Apart from the above, there are also added benefits to being part of an online support group. Around the clock accessibility is a big plus, and due to the group being online, the individual is able broaden their support network to people in other countries, across different time zones, so that no matter what the time is, there is an outlet or source of support available.

While in person support groups are anonymous, online support groups are really anonymous, and the individual doesn’t have to look at anyone else and might find it easier to reveal their struggles and discuss their recovery in an online format.

Online recovery support groups are free (other than any costs associated with internet use), making them an accessible tool used in conjunction with regular counseling sessions.

While in face-to-face groups, there is an anticipation of direct involvement; online groups do not require or assume involvement. In fact, a large number of people who access online support groups, do so to read relevant postings, a passive, but helpful form of involvement.

What to look for in an Online Support Group

Not all online recovery support groups are the same, and the individual should review a few before selecting the one they join. A good idea is to ask a treatment professional or their doctor or counselor to recommend one. Those with experience are likely to recommend a group that not only appears active, but that has a dedicated moderator.

Finally, it is important to remember that while online groups can be helpful, the individual must also focus on building relationships in real life, especially outside of treatment.

Staying in recovery is daunting, but you don’t have to face it alone. The Villa has numerous resources to help you. Call us to find out how we can support your goals.