There is plenty of evidence to suggest that 12-step groups have tremendous value for people in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Unfortunately, some of these groups may take a harsh stance on a member’s use of certain medications, which can be a challenge in early recovery. What if you are recovering from opioid addiction and are receiving prescriptions under the care of a physician? A new twelve-step group may be just the answer.
What is MARA?
MARA stands for “Medication-Assisted Recovery Anonymous.” This is a twelve-step program that was designed and modeled similarly to others such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The main difference is that a majority of the members are undergoing medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which means that they are taking prescribed drugs such as buprenorphine or methadone.
Why is There a Need for MARA?
Successfully staying away from drugs generally requires that the addict create a strong support network. Many do this by fully participating in a twelve-step fellowship. The problem is that both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are programs based on total abstinence from mind and mood-altering substances.
When a person who is participating in MAT attends a traditional program and honestly states their status, they may receive pushback from members. This is unfortunate, but it is a reality in a world where other members of these programs are also undergoing their own struggles to stay away from drugs and any potential triggers. While this is not everyone’s experience, it has happened enough that some decided it was time for a change.
For many, MAT has been a life-saving therapy, and it would be a shame to also deny this group the opportunity to be part of a supportive twelve-step group. A recovering addict in Philadelphia started the MARA twelve-step program, which she hopes will quickly expand to other cities in the nation with a growing need.
Finding the Support Group That Best Meets Your Needs
There are as many different kinds of support groups as there are conditions and ailments. There are hundreds of variations on the original – Alcoholics Anonymous – so the idea is that there should be something to fit the needs of just about anyone with an issue that they would like to resolve.
Likewise, there are different groups within each fellowship, meaning that you may not like the Monday night “Attitude Adjustment” meeting but could adore the format and people that you meet at the Saturday morning “Back to Basics” meeting. If this sounds intimidating, it is, but it is also something that every member of these groups has experienced before and understands deeply.
The fact is that, if you cannot stop drinking or using drugs, there is help available. Even better, going to an addiction treatment center will usually give you an introduction to these support groups so that you are comfortable with them by the time you leave. If you would like to learn more about your addiction treatment options, including what these groups can offer, contact The Recovery Village now. We are standing by and ready to help.