Refuge Recovery Support Groups

Refuge Recovery is a practice, a process, a set of tools, a treatment, and a way to healing addiction and the suffering made by addiction.  The primary motivation and guiding philosophy for the Refuge Recovery program are the teachings of Siddhartha (Sid) Gautama, a man who lived in India 25 hundred years ago.

Sid was a radical psychologist and a spiritual revolutionary.  Through his works and practices, he explained why human beings encounter and cause so much suffering.  He pointed to the root cause of suffering as “uncontrollable thirst or repetitive craving.”  This “thirst” tends to occur concerning pleasure.  This is the very thirst of the alcoholic, the same craving as the addict, and the same attachment as the codependent.

Eventually, Sid came to learn and experience a way of living that ceased all forms of suffering.  He did this through a practice and process that embodied meditation, wise actions, and compassion.  After freeing himself from the suffering induced by craving, he spent the rest of his life educating others on how to live a life of well-being and freedom, a life free from suffering.

Sid became recognized as the Buddha, and his teachings became known as Buddhism.  The Refuge Recovery program has adapted the core teachings of the Buddha as a therapy of addiction.

The Buddhist System

Refuge Recovery Four Truths

 Refuge Recovery follows the traditional Buddhist system of the Four Noble Truths, which start with four actions.

  • 1st Truth:  Addiction Creates Suffering;  We take stock of all the suffering we have experienced and caused as addicts.
  • 2nd Truth:  The Cause of Addiction Is Repetitive Craving;  We investigate the causes and conditions that lead to addiction and begin the process of letting go.
  • 3rd Truth:  Recovery is possible;  We come to understand that recovery is possible and take refuge in the path leading to addiction’s end.
  • 4th Truth:  The path to recovery is available;  We engage in the Eightfold Path that leads to healing.

Refuge Recovery Eightfold Path

The program engages in the process of the Eightfold Path that guides recovery.

  1. Understanding
  2. Intentions
  3. Speech/community
  4. Actions
  5. Livelihood/service
  6. Effort
  7. Mindfulness
  8. Concentration
Support groups like Refuge Recovery provide individuals with a new lifestyle, new supportive peers, accountability, support, and composition.  Attending meetings regularly is the best way to reach success in the first year of recovery.
Support groups provide individuals with a new lifestyle, new supportive peers, accountability, support, and composition.  Attending meetings regularly is the best way to reach success in the first year of recovery.

Meditation Is The Refuge Recovery Cornerstone

Refuge Recovery develops wisdom by practicing formal mindfulness meditation.

This guides to seeing clearly and treating the root causes and conditions that lead to the difficulty of addiction.  Members practice present-time awareness in all aspects of their lives and take refuge in the present.

Refuge Recovery Meditations Include: 

  • Mindfulness Meditations
  • Heart Practice Meditations
  • Forgiveness Meditations

Benefits Of Joining Support Groups

Groups encourage, and it is a powerful force that drives us all to do better in life.  For instance, someone new who enters the group might be inspired and likewise motivated to stay healthy if they hear the accounts of others– not just the well-off parts, but also the complicated parts – and how those difficulties led to corrections.  The knowledge of this might inspire a person to live stronger in recovery, understanding that someone in the support group depends on them as well.

Support groups like Refuge Recovery, are intended for those who need extra help after rehab to adhere to their goals and sustain their sobriety with the help of people in the same position.
Support groups are people who regularly come together at meetings or gatherings to equip each other with support over a shared experience or trauma.  Support groups are intended for those who need extra help after rehab to adhere to their goals and sustain their sobriety with the help of people in the same position.

Support groups work.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration determined that an average of five million people attends a self-help support group each year in the U.S.  Of that number, approximately 50 percent refrained from using drugs or alcohol in the 30 days before their interview.  [1]

These days, several online resources can help you find a support group for you or your friend or family member.  Many of these websites, blogs, bulletin boards, or social networks are generally used by people in recovery who share their stories, hoping that other people who need help will feel encouraged to get in touch and start attending group sessions.

These meetings are supplemental to their treatment and are very successful when attended constantly.

How Helpful Are Support Groups Like Refuge Recovery?

Support groups and their efficiency have been studied widely, and the results speak for themselves.

Relapse rates for substance use disorders (40 to 60 percent) are comparable to those for chronic diseases, such as diabetes (20 to 50 percent), hypertension (50 to 70 percent), and asthma (50 to 70 percent).  [2]  But individuals who take advantage of aftercare services experience lower relapse rates than people who do not participate in aftercare programs such as support groups.

There are many reasons why support groups are essential to individuals in recovery;  human beings have a fundamental need to belong and fulfill a role within a group, and support groups can help scratch that itch.  Moreover, individuals in support groups may expand coping skills they would not have discovered anywhere else.  Possibly there is no one more qualified to impart these coping skills than like-minded individuals encountering the same challenges as themselves.

The individual who first benefits from the expertise and advice of older group members may come to fill this role themselves in due time;  playing both the part of the mentor and that of the mentee can be fulfilling and challenging.

We Level Up New Jersey Support Group Programs

Regardless of the substance at hand:  the purpose of support groups is to empower recovering addicts or alcoholics to be introspective and to take responsibility for their actions.  In doing so, individuals can learn to identify the source of their substance abuse, triggers, and ultimately, find lasting support in moving past it.

At We Level Up New Jersey, we firmly believe that the best chances of addiction recovery are when clients are given the right tools.  But that is still only half of the battle;  making those resources accessible and convenient plays a significant role in the likelihood of proper Recovery.

As such, we are pleased to offer our treatment programs (individual counseling, group therapy, and 12-step program meetings that work as a support group like Refuge Recovery) at the same facility.  This means less headache and hassle for our clients, who can spend more time focusing on getting better.

The ultimate goal of a support program, like Refuge Recovery, is to achieve complete abstinence.
The ultimate goal of a support program is to achieve complete abstinence.  This is no small undertaking, so it’s unrealistic to expect a 100% success rate.  Like any other kind of addiction treatment, whether a rehab facility or program “works” or not comes down to whether it’s the right fit for the individual.

Finding the way back from the depths of addiction can seem daunting and intimidating for you or your loved one, but it doesn’t need to be.  Not only are there other people who have firsthand knowledge of what that feels like, but these people are also willing to share their lessons.

Here at We Level Up New Jersey, we know that recovery is a process, not simply an event.  So contact us today to learn more about how support groups can augment your recovery process.

Sources:

Refuge Recovery Meetings – https://www.refugerecovery.org/

[1] Self-Help Groups and Recovery – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

[2] EARLY INTERVENTION, TREATMENT, AND MANAGEMENT OF SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS – National Center for Biotechnology Information