For many people, addiction is a chronic disease—a long-lasting illness—that requires ongoing treatment and management. Long-term disease management for addiction can include medications and/or therapies to help individuals suppress symptoms, prevent other diseases or co-occurring conditions and prevent relapse. Those with addiction may also benefit from a broad range of support services to help with legal, educational, employment, housing, parenting and child-care challenges.
Participation in peer support or mutual support programs can allow individuals a substance problemto seek and provide social, emotional and informational support within a group of others seeking to manage their disease. Popular peer or mutual support or self-help groups include:
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
- Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
- Secular Organizations for Sobriety
- SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training)
- Women for Sobriety
Peer or mutual support is not treatment, but participation in these programs can increase the chances of effective disease management.
It can be difficult to know which treatment options are most effective. Download our guide to help determine which available treatment providers are most likely to offer quality services that match individual treatment needs.
- CASAColumbia. (2012). Addiction medicine: Closing the gap between science and practice.