Addiction Recovery Resources: Support Groups


Substance abuse is a fact of life in America. Seven out of 10 drug addicts work at least part-time, so it’s a fact of life in the workplace, too. That means human resources departments have to be prepared with addiction recovery resources if they have an employee in recovery.

Even if you are prepared to recognize the signs and symptoms of alcoholism and drug addiction, even if you are affiliated with an employee assistance plan (EAP) to deal with addiction and recovery – including encouraging afflicted workers to come forward by protecting their jobs while they go to rehab – substance abuse is usually more than a one-and-done occurrence. Most addiction professionals believe there is no total cure, just constant vigilance. One of the most valuable addiction recovery resources is the peer support group meeting.

Peer Support Addiction Recovery Resources

Peer support groups or addiction recovery groups meetings are meetings of current and former addicts, usually organized by and around people who have abused the same substance. They meet regularly to reinforce their resolve to remain sober by discussing their temptations and other life problems, failures, and successes. The routine of the meetings postrehab make them among the most important and effective addiction recovery resources.

The largest, most famous, and longest established of the addiction recovery groups is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which describes itself as “an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem.” Founded in 1935, the organization is “open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.” It established the 12-step structure of many other addiction and recovery support groups.

Non 12 Step Addiction Recovery Resources

Not all addiction recovery groups follow a 12-step or even a religious or spiritual model. Some of these drug addiction resources find the structure of 12 steps oppressive, the mentions of God/higher powers offensive or unhelpful, or just prefer a more scientific behavioral therapy approach.

Some of the many non-12 step addiction recovery groups include:

  • Secular Organizations for Sobriety (also known as SOS, S.O.S., Save Our Selves, or Save OurSelves). Founded by James Christopher, an alcoholic who was uncomfortable with AA’s emphasis on religion. It now serves alcoholics, drug addicts, and compulsive eaters.
  • LifeRing Secular Recovery. A spin-off or splinter group from SOS, LifeRing offers online, chat room, and e-mail addiction resources options as well as face-to-face meetings.
  • Moderation Management. Reducing alcohol consumption, not necessarily total abstinence, is the goal of this group.
  • SMART Recovery. Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) is a scientifically oriented support group, using secular addiction recovery resources based on the psychological principles of motivational interviewing and cognitive behavior therapy.
  • Women For Sobriety. A female-only group that emphasizes abstaining through 13 positive affirmations, one of which encourages people to “take charge of my life and my disease.”
  • Celebrate Recovery. A more overtly Christian alternative to 12-step programs, covering many different behaviors and addictions, not just drugs and alcohol.

Get Help Ending Addiction in your Workplace!

The 12 Steps as Addiction Recovery Resources

The Twelve Steps are 12 quasi-spiritual actions (several refer to God, though sometimes “higher power” or “power greater than ourselves” is substituted, and non-believers are not turned away), designed to improve the addicts so they will not continue their substance abuse.

The steps are intended to be “worked” in order and to completion before moving on to further steps. Most involve admitting addiction, accepting, surrendering to and asking for help from “God as we understood him,” making amends to “all persons we had harmed” and helping other addicts. Members who have been sober a long time also often serve as mentors or “sponsors” to newer members.

Some other 12-step addiction recovery groups include:

  • Narcotics Anonymous. The second largest of the 12-step addiction recovery groups, and the most inclusive since it doesn’t confine itself to one type of narcotic.

Take Advantage of All of Your Addiction Recovery Resources

Retaining highly skilled and expensively trained employees in today’s competitive job market is a boon for employees and employers alike. It saves money as well as careers. But many people believe that substance abuse can’t be cured, only controlled, and among your best addiction recovery resources are peer support groups.

While it might not be feasible to have a support group meet in your workplace, you can encourage and accommodate your employees’ participation in one. There are many options, face-to-face and online, for every substance abuse problem.

HR Addiction Resources can help human resources professionals develop their own rehab treatment policies and find them resources for employee recovery. For more information, please visit, e-mail or call (888) 553-6357.