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Many people experiencing substance use disorder (SUD) benefit from attending support group meetings. Multiple types of self-help meetings exist for addiction recovery, each with its own principles and philosophy. Refuge Recovery is a popular support group, offering meetings all around the world. As stated in the “About” tab on the official Refuge Recovery website, “Refuge Recovery is a practice, a process, a set of tools, a treatment, and a path to healing addiction and the suffering caused by addiction.” West Coast Recovery Centers offers multiple groups for individuals recovering from substance abuse, including Refuge Recovery support meetings. 

What Are Refuge Recovery Support Meetings?

According to the previously mentioned “About” tab, “The Refuge Recovery program has adapted the core teachings of the Buddha as a treatment of addiction.” Anyone can benefit from Refuge Recovery meetings, regardless of personal beliefs. The principles of Refuge Recovery focus on identifying the cause of cravings and finding healthy ways to manage them while practicing mindfulness. Although Buddhist beliefs inspired the Refuge Recovery path to sobriety, people attending meetings are not required to be Buddhists. Acceptance and tolerance help people from all beliefs and cultures unite to create a supportive community. Meetings offer a space for fellowship where people uplift and empower one another through the journey of recovery. 

What to Expect During a Meeting

Every meeting is different, and how it is conducted depends on the needs and preferences of the people attending. However, during support meetings, people can expect to do the following: 

  • Share their thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and experiences 
  • Actively listen to others and provide constructive feedback or emotional support 
  • Learn new ways to identify and manage the source of cravings and addictive behaviors 
  • Meditate among a group of peers

Meetings may vary in format depending on various factors. However, general support meetings include a brief introduction to the Refuge Recovery philosophy, an overview of the “four noble truths” and “Eightfold Path,” followed by 20 to 30 minutes of meditation. The meditation is meant to increase self-awareness, mindfulness, and relaxation. Additionally, brief discussion and question-and-answer sessions may occur during initial meetings or to help new clients transition into an already-established group. 

How Do Refuge Recovery Support Meetings Help People Heal?

Meditation and mindfulness are popular alternative holistic therapies used in addiction recovery treatment. Clients often respond better to traditional treatments like psychotherapy and prescription medications if they supplement them with complementary therapies and support services. The Buddhist approach to addiction recovery focuses on multiple essential values and principles meant to increase meditative awareness. 

Refuge Recovery meetings help people through the “Eightfold Path” to enlightenment and healing, including: 

#1. Understanding 

#2. Intentions 

#3. Speech/Community

#4. Actions 

#5. Livelihood/Service 

#6. Effort 

#7. Mindfulness 

#8. Concentration 

Buddhist teachings use the “Eightfold Path” to guide people through accepting their circumstances and adopting healthier values to support positive mental health. People who benefit most from Refuge Recovery have a strong desire to gain deeper insights and increase self-awareness.

The Four Truths of Refuge Recovery

Refuge Recovery philosophy revolves around the following four principles, called “truths”. These truths are as follows:

#1. Addiction creates suffering: People are encouraged to identify and accept the suffering caused to themselves and others by their addictive behaviors.

#2. The cause of addiction is repetitive craving: People are guided through the process of identifying and managing the underlying causes of cravings.

#3. Recovery is possible: People are encouraged to go through the journey of recovery with the knowledge that a full recovery is possible for everyone.

#4. The path to recovery is available: Anyone can take advantage of the “Eightfold Path” to enlightenment and addiction recovery.

Moreover, clients use the fourth truth to recognize the need for the “Eightfold Path.”

Refuge Recovery Support Meetings at West Coast Recovery Centers

West Coast Recovery Centers offers clients access to support groups, including Refuge Recovery and 12-Step meetings. Clinicians use the community reinforcement approach to help clients heal. According to Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, “Historically, peer support has been shown to be a key component of many existing addiction treatment and recovery approaches such as the community reinforcement approach, therapeutic communities, and 12-step programs; the community reinforcement approach has demonstrated the importance of valued social roles in maintaining abstinence, which is the foundation of the peer support relationship.” 

Clients can choose which type of support group feels most comfortable to them based on their cultural, religious, spiritual, and personal preferences. No one is required to take part in Refuge Recovery meetings. However, anyone can benefit from them regardless of individual beliefs. 

Personalized Care Plans Improve Treatment Outcomes

Client-directed care may improve the outcome of treatment for some people. According to Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, “[E]vidence suggests that people want more opportunities to be involved in the substance use disorder treatment planning process.” Personalized treatment programs at West Coast Recovery Centers make it easy for clients to participate in therapeutic modalities they find most helpful. The clinical team collaborates closely with clients to determine if they would benefit from Refuge Recovery and other support meetings offered at the facility. 

Individuals recovering from substance abuse benefit from engaging with peers in community or group activities. In addition, many people have an easier time managing the symptoms and side effects of substance use disorder during early recovery if they practice mindfulness, meditation, and other alternative approaches to stress management. Clinicians at West Coast Recovery Centers use Refuge Recovery to bring these different supportive practices together into one group. Clients benefit from the welcoming atmosphere and accepting community at Refuge Recovery meetings. Each meeting allows clients to practice mindfulness, meditation, and other valuable techniques. To learn more about our treatment programs and support group options, call our office today at (760) 492-6509.