Summary of Self-Empowering Support Groups
In this section, we have discussed the social support approach to addictions recovery. We identified two primary types of social support groups. These are self-empowering support groups, and support groups that rely on a "higher power." The later groups are usually termed 12-step support groups. Self-empowering support groups attribute power to people's abilities to overcome their own problems and difficulties. This includes addiction. In contrast, 12-step models suggest individuals are powerless over their addictions. Instead, a power "greater than oneself" (often referred to as God) is believed to be the power that "restores" people's "sanity." Although 12-step groups are indeed a type of social support group, their basic premise is one that relies upon a spiritual belief. Therefore, we address this type of social support group in the next section on Spiritual Approaches to Addiction Recovery.