Who Makes the Most Effective Supports in Recovery?

February 23, 2023

Written By: Buena Vista Recovery

Supports in recovery play an integral role throughout every stage of addiction treatment, whether an individual is just taking their first step into a dedicated medical detox program or is continuing to balance their continued sobriety and their personal life in outpatient care. However, not all supports will be able to offer the same level of care throughout the recovery process. 

Identifying the people and traits that can best support each individual’s recovery journey is essential. Working with family members, friends, peers, and professionals alike is all crucial for identifying the most effective supports in recovery that can both continue to support sobriety and make the necessary changes to uphold the needed strategies and accountability for continued sobriety. 

The Need for Effective Supports in Recovery

For many, overcoming the use of drugs or alcohol and its effects is an incredibly isolating experience. It is common for individuals to feel either misunderstood or ostracized by communities and loved ones due to addiction. However, challenging addiction alone can be even more challenging. Breaking through these feelings of isolation and creating a network of supportive and understanding people is a crucial part of the recovery process. 

Effective supports provide a feeling of understanding throughout the recovery process. Others are educated and active people supporting an individual with their sober efforts by helping to set sober goals, develop new skills, enact coping strategies and escape plans, develop relapse prevention strategies, and help keep an individual accountable for their actions. These important people – whether they are family members, friends, or peers – are instrumental in continuing to help each individual reach their sober goals while maintaining the most effective and pertinent therapeutic practices. 

Identifying Effective Supports in Recovery

Effectively identifying those that can best support an individual in recovery can ensure that these relationships can be as supportive as possible, not only helping to empower those in recovery to reach their sober milestones but also helping prevent relapse along the way. Effective supports take many forms, and identifying those that can best support an individual through their own sober journey is crucial. There are a number of traits that can help those in recovery identify the best supports for their personal sober journey. 

Prioritizes Communication and Active Listening

Effective supports are able to not only listen to an individual throughout their journey but actively engage with the challenges and struggles that those in recovery face on a regular basis. Regular communication efforts between an individual and supports in recovery, such as scheduled meetings, daily calls or texts, and any other strategies, are necessary. Supports that not only listen to an individual but also provide their own active input and support are essential and can further communication skills while creating an open atmosphere of support and honesty. 


Addiction recovery is an ongoing process, and supports that are available at consistent times are incredibly valuable. For many, this means that friends, family, or supports are open to being able to regularly meet with an individual or be available for phone calls or other needs at various times throughout the day. While boundaries should still be employed for supports to ensure that they are not overtaxing themselves in their efforts, being regularly available to support is necessary. 

However, this also means that effective supports are as emotionally available as they are physically available. Listening to an individual in recovery also means being emotionally cognizant to internalize and sympathize with an individual, and not just being physically present. 

Empowers Exploration of New Outlets

Recovery is not something that is traditionally “completed” but is rather a lifelong journey. Continuing to explore new outlets, hobbies, and therapeutic opportunities is all part of ensuring that each individual’s recovery strategies remain effective for overcoming urges and cravings and managing a person’s mental health. Supports that not only encourage an individual to continue revising their strategies but actively empower those in recovery to pursue personal outlets and interests can be exceptionally beneficial. 

Providing transportation or helping to find new communities and outlets, or even engaging in these activities alongside an individual, can all be transformative and powerful supportive behaviors. Trying new activities, sports, or engaging in classes or other interests alongside those in recovery can be instrumental in continuing to refine each individual’s recovery efforts while deconstructing unnecessary barriers that may prevent an individual from pursuing these outlets.

Fosters Accountability

Those in recovery are still accountable for their actions throughout the recovery process. Effective supports are not always tasked with just making an individual feel better but rather ensuring that an individual is constantly adhering to their own sober goals and ambitions. This means that supports may have to hold others accountable for their actions, even if it may be upsetting or feel initially antagonistic for those in recovery. 

It can be difficult for those in recovery to address their stresses and consequences directly, but effective supports are still tasked with identifying potentially self-destructive behaviors and practices that may not align with an individual’s sober goals and help those in recovery address and amend the situation. 

Embracing effective supports in recovery can wholly change your sobriety. We at Buena Vista Recovery believe in the healing power of supports and individuals working together. From detox and residential treatment to ongoing outpatient support, we curate an atmosphere of understanding and healing to help you connect with those who are prepared to best support your recovery journey. Coupled with our belief and dedication to familial education and involvement, we are ready to help you create a comprehensive and effective support network. Not only can we help you develop the necessary grounding skills and navigate the challenges of recovery, but develop key relationships along the way. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us, call (480) 741-9414 or complete a contact form.