When it comes to continued care after addiction treatment, support groups are the best way to help counteract the feelings of loneliness that often occur on the road to recovery. Support groups also create a community of people committed to each other’s health and wellness. Connecting with others who can relate to similar struggles increases the odds of long-term treatment success and future abstinence rates.

Different support groups exist for individual needs. Some of the support group options available in Georgia include the following:

  • The Seven Challenges: adolescent addiction support
  • ASAM Level 1: meets American Society of Addiction Medicine Level-1 standards
  • SMART Recovery: non-profit with a focus on abstinence
  • AA and NA: The well-known 12-Step groups, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous
  • Celebrate Recovery: a Christian recovery group

Choosing the right support group can mean the difference between relapse and a new life free from the control of drugs or alcohol. The following information can help you find the best fit for your unique situation.

Georgia map

The Seven Challenges

The Seven Challenges is an evidence-based program designed to help adolescents between the ages of 14 and 19 struggling with drug addiction. The group encourages adolescents to take responsibility and ownership of their lives and futures. The program works with young people to help them make a commitment to changing their lifestyles and remaining drug-free. The program is available through a variety of addiction counseling facilities as well as through Georgia’s Youth Development Campuses throughout the state.1

ASAM Level 1 Groups

ASAM Level I classes are designed based on the American Society of Addiction Medicine criteria for treatment. Classes provide those struggling with addiction a supportive and instructive environment where they develop insights into the causes of their addictive and abusive behaviors. According to the American Alternative Court Services, some of these issues can include emotional regulation, diagnosable affective disorders, or other socio-cultural, environmental and genetic factors.2

There are several groups meeting the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Level 1 standards in the state of Georgia. ASAM includes five separate levels of care with level one being outpatient recovery services. These clinicians are certified to help facilitate support groups for recovering addicts focusing on a defined and standard set of procedures, medical protocol, and policies. Several of these groups meet throughout Georgia, and many fulfill court-ordered mandates.3

SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery meetings are open to the public, unless otherwise specified, and offered at no cost. SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training, and these recovery groups offer peer support for those seeking to control their addictions and maintain abstinence. SMART Recovery is an alternative to AA or other 12-Step programs and a national non-profit program that also offers a free online discussion tool. There are several different groups meeting in Georgia, some for students, some for women only, and other open groups.4

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous, commonly known as AA, is a well-known organization with the purpose of supporting men and women who wish to maintain sobriety. AA is a non-profit organization open to everyone. It focuses on the 12-Step model, which includes a group of principals designed to help a person live a more fulfilling and sober life. Those struggling with alcohol are encouraged to share their stories; they are paired up with a sponsor who acts as a sympathetic ear and is available to them at all times.5 Narcotics Anonymous is another branch of the program designed to help those recovering from drug abuse.6

Celebrate Recovery

For a church-based and biblical approach, Celebrate Recovery is a viable option. Celebrate Recovery is faith-based and designed to help break bad habits and overcome hurt in a church setting. A specific curriculum is used, and groups are typically small and gender-specific. Groups are formed based on specific needs, and childcare is available where children are also taught about the recovery process. Celebrate Recovery programs are offered in many churches throughout Georgia.7

Comprehensive Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Support groups are an important part of the process of recovery, but they cannot take the place of appropriate drug treatment. The best drug treatment programs begin with medically-supervised detox and follow with diagnosis and treatment in an addiction facility. If you’re ready to step away from alcohol and drug abuse, we can help here at Black Bear Lodge. Call us now to talk with one of our admissions coordinators about available treatment options.


1 “Substance Use Treatment Services.” Department of Juvenile Justice, Georgia.gov. Accessed Apr. 25, 2018.

2 “ASAM Level I Classes near Atlanta, Decatur, Marietta GA.” Court-Approved Treatment Programs & Evaluations, Apr. 25, 2018.

3 “Georgia Addiction Support Groups – Addiction Group Therapy Georgia – Addiction Counseling Groups Georgia.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, Apr. 25, 2018.

4 “Meetings in Your Area.” SMART Recovery Local Meetings, Apr. 25, 2018.

5 “Alcoholics Anonymous in Georgia | AA Meetings and Events in Georgia.” Area 16; Alcoholics Anonymous in Georgia, Apr. 2018, www.aageorgia.org/.

6Georgia Regional Service Committee of Narcotics Anonymous.” Georgia Regional Service Committee of Narcotics Anonymous, Apr. 2018.

7 “Celebrate Recovery Home Page.” Celebrate Recovery Homepage, Celebrate Recovery, 5 Apr. 2018.