Addiction recovery is a process that can be greatly strengthened with the help of community support. Recovery support can be found in many ways. One event in Sauk County, Wisconsin illustrates how a recovery community organization can support addiction recovery in a powerful way.
The community organized an event called the July Jubilee to celebrate addiction recovery.
Local news outlets explain that various non-profits and other groups in the community host the event as a way to bring people together. The event includes sharing, music, food and celebrations. Framing support for addiction recovery as a party is one way to help people in the community both acknowledge and affirm people who have worked hard to overcome substance use issues.
The July Jubilee includes a number of activities to appeal to all ages, including raffles, food vendors, games and art sales. The proceeds from the event go toward addiction recovery support. Sauk County is just one of many communities in the country who recognize the value of local support for addiction recovery.
While support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous have long been a part of traditional addiction recovery, leaders are finding inventive and unconventional ways to provide additional support for addiction. Events like the July Jubilee allow communities and neighbors to create public awareness, education and inspire involvement in drug and alcohol addiction prevention work.
Importance of Community in Recovery
Drug and alcohol rehabilitation often includes elements of social engagement through group support or sharing. Social dynamics influence many elements of long term addiction recovery. A study published in a Substance Abuse journal indicates that a supportive network of family and friends directly impacts a participant’s success three months after entering a treatment facility.
The same study reports that 31% of people who entered treatment for drug abuse had lived with someone who used drugs. For someone to succeed in drug addiction recovery, they need not only to be removed initially from a drug-positive culture, but they also need to find a culture that supports them in sobriety.
An element of many drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs is sober living homes or recovery aftercare. These offer social support for relapse prevention. Studies have provided evidence that participating in halfway houses or other aftercare programs not only decreases relapse but improves the likelihood of psychiatric wellness and decreases the chance of future arrests by 80%.
Communities for recovery provide support for people at every stage of addiction recovery. The importance of a culture that recognizes the challenges of addiction can be transformational in many ways, which include:
- Destigmatizing addiction can lead more people to seek treatment
- People in treatment won’t feel the need to hide, which could increase their network of support
- Publicly acknowledging addiction without fear of reprisal can help with relapse prevention as more people are included in supporting sobriety
Events like the July Jubilee send a powerful message of acceptance and support for people who may need or are in addiction recovery.
The Need for Addiction Awareness
Addiction awareness is an important part of education and prevention. There are many ways in which communities can engage with drug and alcohol addiction prevention.
- Accidental drug overdoses can be treated by regular citizens who are equipped with naloxone to perform potentially life-saving measures
- Vulnerable children and youth can benefit from public service messages, often given by law enforcement officials and other community leaders
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides ideas for hosting community events
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse provides news, nationwide events and online resources
- Local chapters of organizations like Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) are present in many communities across the country and use volunteers
If you or someone you know is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to understand that these and a number of other resources are available for recovery. If you believe your loved one is in need of treatment, contact The Recovery Village to learn about treatment options.
Allen, Brad. “Free and sober event a chance for citizens, people recovering from drug addiction to connect as one community.” Baraboo News Republic, July 18, 2019. Accessed August 14, 2019.
Drug Abuse Resistance Education. “Where is D.A.R.E.?” N.D. Accessed August 14, 2019.
Kelly, Sharon M. et al. “The relationship of social support to treatment entry and engagement: The Community Assessment Inventory.” Substance Abuse, January 2010. Accessed August 14, 2019.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “News and Events.” N.D. Accessed August 14, 2019.
Polcin, Douglas L. et al. “What Did We Learn from Our Study on Sober Living Houses and Where Do We Go from Here?” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, December 2010. Accessed August 14, 2019.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Community Events.” Updated April 23, 2018. Accessed August 14, 2019.