I am an individual with 14 years in recovery, as well as 10 +years working in the addiction/recovery field. The last 2 + years have been in a harm reduction/ methadone treatment program. As part of my recovery I have maintained close engagement with the 12 step community. I see many benefits of these fellowships, allowing people to interact with those who have gone through similar life experiences, and are now on a new life journey. It is a community where people understand, and relate to each other, hopefully without judgment. Working the 12 steps allows people the opportunity to grow in their awareness of the internal housekeeping that is vital to long term recovery. The importance of personal honesty, focusing on self accountability, as well as helping others is also vital to not just long term sobriety, but an overall sense of self, and life satisfaction. These communities also allow people to connect to create new, healthy relationships as a foundation for their recovery.
Having worked in numerous areas of professional recovery communities, (IOP, residential treatment, and MMT) I continue to grow in my appreciation of the harm reduction modality of treatment and get to see many clients rebound from their addiction to live happy, healthy, engaged lives. What I know is that there is no “one right path” to recovery, and what fits for one individual may not fit for another, however with that, I see it as extremely important that people stay connected to some sort of recovery support community to afford them the greatest possibility for long term recovery and happiness.