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The Benefits of Peer Support Groups

Whether through personal experience or through media, many people are aware of peer support groups. They may appear a certain way in pop culture, but peer support groups have had tremendously positive impacts on many people’s lives. Primarily utilized during the recovery or detoxification process, peer support groups offer a variety of benefits that most would never have considered. Utilized in most first world healthcare systems, peer support groups are likely to skyrocket in popularity in coming years. By learning more about the benefits of peer support groups, we hope to provide another method of treatment by which a healthy, happy, drug- and alcohol-free life can be achieved.

What Is a Peer Support Group?

A peer support group is a group of individuals gathering to share and heal together. Often led by a single member of the group like a licensed therapist, sessions typically last around an hour. 

Peer support groups often consist of various members speaking and sharing their thoughts and experiences with those who can relate. By sharing their experiences and connecting with like-minded individuals, peer support groups aim to provide relief via connection and relationship-building. Those who feel alone, unheard, or hopeless can find solace in a good peer support group.

Who Should Use Peer Support Groups?

Peer support groups can be highly beneficial, particularly to those struggling with dependency. This said, people from all walks of life can benefit from peer support groups. Those seeking emotional support or who want to feel heard also tend to benefit from these groups. The continued use of peer support groups is a testament to their beneficial properties. Be it in the realm of drug- and alcohol-related abuse, domestic abuse, or an array of addiction therapies, peer support groups continue to be adopted by people dedicated to healing.

What are the Benefits of Peer Support Groups During Recovery?

Recovery is the time during which the benefits of peer support groups shine most brightly. For decades, recovery groups have used peer support groups to maximize both the efficiency and effectiveness of recovery. Despite their rising popularity, the process remains the same. By sharing personal stories and individual experiences, people find they feel freer and less ashamed about their past behaviors. Similarly, by listening to others’ stories, one is able to feel connected, build relationships, and set a solid foundation for the recovery to come. Many people enjoy utilizing peer support groups during the recovery process, as they provide a venue by which a person can share their experiences.

Studies suggest the psychological benefits of peer support groups and peer-assisted therapy can be tremendous. One study analyzed the cortisol levels of those who went through therapeutic recovery with peer support groups versus those who attended therapeutic recovery without a peer support group. The results were staggering: In terms of cortisol production (the stress hormone), those who attended therapy with peer support groups experienced significantly lower levels of cortisol production than those who did not have a peer support group. 

This means those who seek peer support groups during recovery tend to have an easier time coping with the stress of recovery than those who do not. Overall, the scientific community generally agrees that peer support groups can be hugely beneficial during the recovery and rehabilitation process.

How To Find a Peer Support Group Near You

After learning of the benefits of peer support groups, you may be interested in finding one. Locating the proper system of support can be a key during the recovery process. By surrounding yourself with those who have your best interests at heart, you give yourself a higher likelihood of successful recovery. The appropriate system of support can make all the difference. It can even be the defining factor between a successful recovery and continued suffering.

Solo withdrawal is never recommended, as it can be highly dangerous. In addition, solo withdrawal statistically leads to relapse and continued substance abuse more than other withdrawal methods. The appropriate peer support group can make all the difference when undergoing recovery.

Find A Peer Support Group in Knoxville, Tennessee

Here at Tennessee Valley Recovery, we are waiting to help you during your personal recovery journey. Located in Knoxville, TN, we provide a tranquil environment free of the stressors that can trigger relapse. Our knowledgeable and compassionate staff of professionals will give you the tools necessary to overcome addiction. With multiple pathways to recovery, overcoming dependency at our facility is easier than ever before. There has never been a better time to reclaim your freedom. Contact our admissions page today, and take the first steps in your recovery journey.