The Difference That Community Makes in Treatment

recovery community

Table of Contents

It is usually apparent to anyone working in recovery that effective treatment for alcoholism and addiction should include some community elements. Even though this community model is typically obvious, its importance and the lasting positive effects it can have may be understated or even unconsidered. The difference and the contribution that community makes to lasting recovery should be regarded very highly indeed.

At Jaywalker Lodge, we have a thriving recovery community built right into our treatment program. Jaywalker Lodge’s alumni often become so ingrained in this recovery network that they stay close after treatment officially ends to remain engaged and involved with this wonderful community. Alumni are also integrated into our weekly activities in the Jaywalker Lodge program. They frequently come together with our current members for family-style dinners, recovery meetings, and incredible service opportunities. These are really special because the current and former Jaywalkers come together to serve both the larger recovery community and their local Colorado communities. Doing acts of service as a community is an experience unlike anything else, and the positive effects have near-endless ripples for everybody involved on all sides.

We believe wholeheartedly in the meaning and power of community here at Jaywalker Lodge. We live it every day and we constantly see how much this ready-made recovery community impacts the men who come to us. While we are unique in this community regard, we believe there are many good reasons to engage with the community aspect of recovery treatment.

Why Is Community So Important?

The 12-Step program is the foundation of Jaywalker Lodge and it’s the beating heart of what we do here. The 12-Steps are widely regarded as an incredibly effective treatment for alcoholism and addiction, if not the most successful solution. We believe this to be true as well. When it comes to recovery, we lead with the 12-Steps first and foremost. Of course, we have a wider holistic approach that focuses on group and individualized therapy, physical health and fitness, life preparedness, and whole-person healing. We also emphasize community, including here at Jaywalker Lodge, the larger body of people in recovery, and the world around us.

The 12-Step program directly informs this emphasis on community. Quite literally, becoming part of a functioning community is a major part of the recovery process. There is the reliance upon other people in recovery to help work through the 12-Steps, there is frequent attendance and participation in 12-Step meetings, and there is the heavy focus on service to others. This reciprocal engagement of allowing oneself to accept help while fitting oneself to be of maximum service to others is an integral step in the recovery process. While directly working towards freedom from alcoholism and addiction, this community participation on multiple levels also helps the individual begin to live a fuller, more meaningful life. This in turn makes recovery even more rewarding.

At its core, community is vital to recovery. No one can recover alone. The 12-Steps must be taken with another person. Meetings must include other people. We can’t be of service without there being someone else to receive our help. In fact, it is this practice at building healthy relationships, being intimate and honest with others, and diving into the give-and-take reciprocity that makes the world go round that prepares newly recovered individuals to begin rebuilding their lives. This is the foundational skillset upon which a new life in recovery is built.

How Does Community Impact Recovery?

It would be simpler to talk about the ways that community does not impact recovery, because that list is blank. To start, community can directly impact the longevity of quality of life in recovery. This in turn impacts the longevity of recovery itself. If quality of life is always growing and improving, it increases the chances that each man will remain perpetually motivated to participate in his own recovery. Recovery provides the training ground and the perfect practice arena for all the new skills learned throughout the 12-Steps. It helps us set the new tone for relationships, self-conduct, and living in general, and it gives us a safe place to learn and grow in these areas.

At the same time, the community gives us the necessary tools to continue working the 12-Step program of recovery. We need a sponsor to guide us through the 12-Steps. We need people to attend meetings with, share experiences with, and get feedback from. We need people to help, and we will surely need people to help us. Our Jaywalker Lodge community makes us more effective at participating in the larger human community outside of the walls of recovery.

All of this amounts to a more secure and stable experience with recovery and treatment. By having a vibrant, living network of people successful with their own recovery around them, each man is more likely to be not only equipped for success, but inspired and uplifted to succeed. Seeing the results of recovery and treatment all around them, having healthy habits and skills to practice, and incorporating the program of recovery into a fun, full, and purposeful life provides an incredible boost in the likelihood that they will remain engaged with their own recovery for the long term.

Too often, alcoholism and addiction lead to isolation and disconnection for the sufferer. Driven by their disease, they lose touch with their community and loved ones, falter at maintaining relationships, and life begins to revolve solely around feeding the disease. Thankfully, there is a solution. Engaging in the 12-Step program of recovery often spells the end of loneliness and isolation for those who undertake it. We cannot recover alone, nor would we want to once we begin the journey. At Jaywalker Lodge, we have a thriving recovery community built right into our program. Our alumni join us for dinners, meetings, activities, and most importantly, service events. This is where our Jaywalker recovery community comes together to serve the larger community around us. This beautiful experience is born out of our shared recovery, and it is an experience that must be had to know how truly good it feels. We’re here to help you begin your recovery at Jaywalker Lodge. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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