The most influential advice that someone might listen to is that of one of their peers. Since childhood, people always tend to listen to their peers rather than their teachers or parents. The same works in addiction recovery. A peer support system that is developed through addiction treatment, Halfway House residency, or 12-Step meetings is the most important support that a recovering addict can have.
Peers vs. Therapists
Those recovering in an addiction treatment program have constant peer support. By living with different people experiencing the same thing, the peer support means even more. Someone recovering in an inpatient addiction treatment program that might be having trouble staying sober will usually take the advice of one of their peers rather than from a therapist. Additionally, the possibility that a peer could call out a resident on their bad behavior is motivation not to do the bad behavior. Again, since childhood, people do not want to be embarrassed in front of their peers so the peer support of being called out on bad behavior helps to motivate residents to stay sober. On the other hand, it is not just negative behavior that peer support has an influence on, but also to support positive behaviors as well.
Recovering addicts do listen to their therapists most of the time but the real talking and support comes from the peer support of their roommate or the peer support from those recovering in the same addiction treatment program. Recovering addicts tend to trust a peer who is closest to them. Those in recovery see their peers as people who honestly do know exactly what is going on. This relationship makes a recovering person’s peers their best choice when they need someone to talk to.
Positive Peer Support
Also, positive peer support is a big help in staying sober past living in a sober environment. Always having positive peer support is motivation to stay sober. While recovering in an addiction treatment program, the friends that recovering addicts make can create a positive peer support system that they will need when they are no longer living in the structured, sober environment of an addiction treatment program. Making friends who share the same goal of staying sober and staying away from the things that may cause a relapse is important to long-term sobriety. When a recovering addict leaves an addiction treatment program and goes back to the friends they had during their addiction, they will be tempted back into addiction and it will make staying sober harder. Surrounding the recovering addict with people, who want to do the right thing by staying sober, will help the recovering addict to do the right thing too.
Peer support is essential to staying sober. Peer support can provide the necessary push to keep someone sober and actively staying sober. Encouragement from a positive peer support system can help recovering addicts to the right thing for their sobriety for a long time.