The ongoing path of recovery can be unpredictable, long, and filled with questions and concerns. While addiction affects every person differently, one thing that has been continually proven is that all recovering addicts need a support system. The people that make up a recovering addicts intimate circle need to be firmly familiar with the struggles of addiction and post-treatment life. While mental health and peer support networks are part of most recovery plans, having a specific mentor can be an essential step toward regaining a healthy life.
Finding a Mentor
Treatment and recovery centers provide all types of programs including outpatient treatment, which is important in combating chemical dependency.
Mentors are trusted, dependable figures who are familiar with addiction and recovery. As support specialists, they are sometimes recovering addicts themselves or mental health professionals. Sometimes they are a combination of both.
Physicians, recovery centers, and treatment programs offer recovering addicts the tools and services they need to succeed. A mentor partnership is a program with high rates of success and longevity.
Reasons to Have a Mentor
- Role model for an addiction-free life. Mentors serve as role models for how to live a substance and drug-free life. They exemplify how to manage time, function in social settings, and most importantly, how to deal with problems in a healthy manner, free from addiction.
- Support. Numerous studies show that a strong support system is crucial on the road to recovery. Mentors provide careful assistance in numerous ways, like in helping sever ties with previous unhealthy influences, enablers, or other dangerous figures that contributed to addiction. Mentors help the recovering addict connect with others going through similar struggles. Through this, they create a sense of community for the recovering addict, minimizing the potential for relapse or the development of additional mental health illnesses, like depression or anxiety. Mentors also serve as consistent and compassionate listeners for mentees. This can play a huge role in the recovery of a former addict. Having someone to talk to that can relate to similar feelings and experiences can bring relief and understanding.
- Help in establishing routine and structure. Mentors help recovering addicts establish a full and practical routine once they are done with treatment. A routine is vital in recovery. Mentors might encourage specific timelines for the day, complete with work, outdoor excursions, group meetings, therapy, and one-on-one conversations. They teach mentees productive skills that might have been lost from addiction like technology training, communication skills, resume creation, and networking opportunities.
- Encouragement. Mentors act as agents of change by encouraging mentees to try new activities. They boost confidence through quality mentoring, coaching, and frequent encouragement. When certain addicts have lost everything (ex: money, family, work) to their addiction, mentors’ encouragement is the first important step towards instilling self-esteem and courage. The role of a mentor is vital in life post treatment. Mentors remind recovering addicts of their achievement in treatment as they push them towards lasting and healthy recovery.
- Guidance. Mentors provide guidance on how to deal with obstacles from the past like broken relationships and missed opportunities, while serving as a source of optimism for the future. Mentors provide effective methods for success through the creation of positive feedback, schedules, supportive networks, a safe environment, and a listening and trusted ear.
- Learning with is possible. Through their own lives, mentors represent what is possible. The acquisition of meaningful work, the chance to help others, and the opportunity to contribute back to society are all attainable through freedom from addiction. Mentors represent these possibilities in all facets of their lives. They are living, breathing embodiments for recovering addicts of what is possible.
- Accountability. Mentors provide healthy peer pressure to provide structure to stay on the road to recovery. Through healthy peer pressure and persistent presence, recovering addicts are forced to be accountable for their own recovery and future.
- Higher chance of lasting sobriety. Mentors one-on-one counseling can help navigate triggers. Examples of triggers might include running into people from the past, unmanageable conflicts, or unexpected stressors. They provide access and availability in the event of a crisis or a potential relapse. By having a mentor available, addicts have a higher chance of achieving lasting sobriety.
- Help with learning how to function in a new way. Mentors can help recovering addicts learn how to rebuild their lives. They teach mentees skills or trades that might have been lost through addiction like educational tutoring or job searching help. A mentor is a necessary support system during the scary prospect of starting life without the crutch of drugs or alcohol.
Who Does Addiction Touch?
Through health and financial burdens, drug and alcohol addiction impacts workplace environments. According to The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, employees suffer from addiction, injuries, absenteeism, decline in morale, low productivity, and a decline in company culture all occur in varying degrees.
Drug and alcohol addiction also touch families, friends, and loved ones, who witness the perils of addiction first hand. When personal relationships are hurt, damaged, or destroyed, additional mental health issues rise. The increase in conflicts, depression, anxiety, and abuse rise when there is an addict in the family.
But recovery can also have a positive and lasting impact on those it affects. And a mentor can not only help addicts find peace and happiness, but it can provide solace for loved ones as well.
Support for Lasting Recovery
Combating addiction through proven methods like therapy, treatment centers, strong social support, and mentorship can help guarantee that recovering addicts succeed. Hopelessness and despair is a frequently cited feeling while undergoing treatment. Some even convince themselves that recovery is too difficult and that drug or alcohol abuse will be a constant in their lives. But that is not true.
Mentors serve as supportive, visible, and dependable role models during the challenging recovery process. With the support of a mentor, transitioning towards addiction-free life is more than possible.