Oftentimes, addicts turned to substance abuse in the first place because they felt (or legitimately were) neglected, or lacked a sense of connection to those around them. Teens and young adults who are left out, made fun of, bullied, or picked last during routine activities like gym class are those who will seek out or stumble upon the school or local drug dealer. From here on out, the young adult becomes an adult, and the problem follows them right into their career, married life, becoming a parent, or even owning a small business. As their lack of connection to others continues to worsen, they may stray from their partners, or simply alienate themselves and withhold emotions, thoughts, and feelings from the most important people in their lives.
To create a sense of community for an addict is to give them an entire new world they have never been exposed to before. There is nothing more important in life than the connections we make with others; having a tribe of people you can count on to be there when things are both good and bad is imperative for good mental health. If something great happens, for example, and you have no one to share the great news with, the sense of greatness just doesn’t feel as good as it would if the person had a group of people to spread the news with. Likewise, when something devastating occurs, the need to share, vent, and have a shoulder to lean on is imperative to keeping spirits up — and to keep from turning to drugs and/or alcohol as the “friends” a person is missing.
The Value of Community During Recovery
During recovery at Luminance, an enormous amount of the program is community focused. From two to three or sometimes more group therapy sessions a day to eating most meals together, and engaging in several types of therapy together, with the exception of the critical one-on-one sessions with counselors that each person in recovery at Luminance attends, nearly all else is done in groups. Community, and a sense of belonging are deeply imperative to any quality recovery program. From walks on the beach, playing music together, and riding horses together in equine therapy, those in recovery at Luminance will learn what it feels like to be part of a community.
Once those in recovery learn the feeling of community, and understand how important it is to their sense of wellbeing, they begin to create community upon returning home from Luminance. As they begin their journey reconnecting with loved ones, old school mates, and even people at work who make great candidates to be friends outside the workspace, the recovering addict can create their own circle of valued people who become the community they can count on. Creating community is part of the holistic method for recovery, and is therefore at the center of our program at Luminance.