Thoughts on support programs such as Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, Refuge Recovery, SMART Recovery, NA, AA, etc.?



Just wondering what types of support programs people have experience with, what you like and dislike about them, and how they’ve helped you and your loved one in recovery?

I’ve been in Al-Anon for almost three years. It’s been a huge part of my recovery process, especially in finding community and developing faith in something greater than myself. My going to meetings regularly has also helped my husband - the topics of recovery, self-care, and spirituality have become a part of our everyday conversation. I especially like the idea of “Take what serves you and leave the rest,” reminding me that I don’t have to agree with what everyone says or believes in every meeting. I can make the program fit my own needs and beliefs.


I think there’s a ton of value in these programs for sure. I went to a few Refuge Recovery meetings a few years ago and loved them. As someone without a substance abuse problem, NA doesn’t resonate a lot with me but I still go with my partner because I want to be supportive and many of the stories I hear do give me hope. But I just feel very out of place. Al-anon has been a good experience. Refuge Recovery is centered more about recovery from any issue and while most people do have a substance or behavioral issue, I got a lot of value out of it as a practice of mindfulness and recovery from the effects of someone else’s abuse.

The idea of “take what you need and leave the rest” has been crucial and I completely agree that there are tons of skills that are hugely valuable like self-care, connection, rigorous honesty, etc. I think they’re a really great tool in an overall recovery journey.


I’ve been going to Al-Anon for myself and I hang out here too because my partner really liked smart recovery’s approach and I think it resonates with it. I like my Al-Anon weekly meeting; it has helped over time, since it has taught me how to talk about what’s going on at home with others. I also like how its slowly made me more spiritual. I also go to therapy for the deep work of becoming “co-dependent no more” and to learn skills about how to parent my kids through this mess.


That’s awesome you go to NA with your partner. I know a woman in Al-Anon who also attends NA meetings with her husband - she says it does help give perspective to the situation by hearing stories of those suffering from addiction. Thanks for sharing!