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Heroin Recovery

Written by Opiates | Published on December 17, 2018 | Updated on July 13th, 2020,

One of the key elements to heroin recovery is participating in a support group. When surrounded by peers who are in recovery, you gain confidence in your own recovery. Through hearing the stories of your peers and working closely with sponsors and mentors, you become empowered to make healthy changes that support sobriety.

While many are familiar with 12-step groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA), there are other similar support groups which may provide the tools and support you need to stay clean. The following article will outline the choices you have in finding a heroin recovery group that suits your specific and unique needs.

12-Step Support Groups

By far the most common and widely-utilized sober support group system are 12-step programs. Examples of these programs include Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). In 12-step groups, it is believed that the root of addiction is moral and spiritual in nature. For addicts to findmeaningful recovery, they must surrender to a power greater than themselves known as a “Higher Power”. The only way in which the addict can repair their relationships with themselves, others and have a deeper connection with their “higher power” is through regular meetings and working the 12 Steps outlined in the program with a sponsor.

12-Step programs are a common feature in many heroin recovery programs and are used in thousands of treatment facilities nationwide. While these programs have helped countless numbers of addicts find lasting sobriety, the spiritual and moral nature associated with these programs can turn people away. It is important to note that 12-Step programs started in the the 1930’s. During this period of history, little or no studies done regarding the complex roots of addiction.

While these groups have adopted the thought that a higher power doesn’t have to be God or other deity, there are those in recovery who may choose to seek another program. Fortunately, there are other options that heroin addicts have at their disposal to get the support needed to get and stay sober.

SMART Recovery

Another option in heroin recovery is a program called SMART Recovery. Created in the mid 1990’s, SMART Recovery is a non-profit organization that believes that change occurs from within the individual and not on a higher power. The way people can change addictive behaviors is through the four main principles of the SMART Recovery Program which are as follows:

  1. Building and Maintaining Motivation
  2. Coping with Urges and Cravings
  3. Manage Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors
  4. Using tools to help achieve balance

In SMART Recovery meetings, participants are strongly encouraged to communicate with each other. This stands in stark contrast to 12-step meetings where participants speak one at a time and crosstalk and debate are not allowed. Additionally, people can attend meetings online as well as in traditional meeting groups.

Life Process Program

Developed by Dr. Stanton Peele, the Life Process program was created in reaction to traditional 12-step programs like AA and NA. What makes the Life Process Program unique in the fact that it is only available online. The core philosophy of the Life Process Program is that people have the power to change addictive behaviors without the help of support groups, sponsors, or a “Higher Power”. The Life Process Program is similar to SMART Recovery in the fact it is based on four principles:

  1. Values and purpose
  2. Motivation
  3. The building of life-skills and rewards
  4. The repairing, restoring and building of relationships and community

Initially, the Life Process Program was developed specifically for high-end luxury treatment centers. Currently, this program is readily available as an online course where people can receive real-time coaching either by telephone or online. The main goals of this programare the building of healthy life skills which promotes positive self-esteem and purpose.

Women in Sobriety

For women who need support in heroin recovery, Women in Sobriety is a self-help group that is designed for their unique recovery needs. Formed in the mid 1970’s, the group operates on a unique set of principles called the Thirteen Acceptance Agreements. These are like 12-Step groups such as NA and focus on empowerment as well as emotional and spiritual growth. A unique feature within this group is the fact that groups are designed to be small with 6 to 10 members. These small groups help foster a sense of security as well as a deeper sense of community.


Another options that can be pursued in heroin recovery is a group called LifeRing. LifeRing is made up of recovering addicts from all walks of life who provide support each other by meeting face-to-face and discussing their struggles and successes in battling their addictions. What makes LifeRing unique is that it recognizes that addicts have two distinct sides to their personality.

In LifeRing philosophy, there is conflict between the two sides; the part that longs to be sober (Sober Self) and the part that still struggles with urges to use (Addict Self). During meetings and peer interaction, the focus is on empowering a member’s “Sober Self” and encourages not only personal growth but also personal empowerment.

What Type of Support Group is Right for Me?

Finding the right heroin recovery group is crucial in sustaining long-term recovery. The support you receive in these groups go a long way in building healthy coping skills and confidence. While these groups are invaluable, trying to find the right group can be challenging.

To find the right group, it is necessary to explore and take the time to find the group that fits your personality. You may find the perfect heroin recovery group right away, or it may take you some time and effort. No matter how long it takes, don’t give up! Your recovery is top priority, and you need to explore all means necessary to safeguard what you have worked so hard to maintain.

If you need help finding the right heroin recovery group, contact us toll-free today. Take charge of your recovery and your life today.