Human being is a social creature. Although we don’t probably like this proposition but all human beings need each other. During recovery process drug users have most probably lost their friends and old companions had drug using in common. In the case of no replacement of new social networks, there is tendency to previous groups and this returning can have negative effects on recovery process. Thus creating a strong social support system can be an inseparable part of the process of addiction treatment and help to strengthen long-term recovery as social facilitators by social workers. On the other hand an addict who has been in recovery process needs to evaluate his situation and the social workers role can be helpful as specialists undertake the clients’ management. Evaluation of social networks quality and quantity, and the social supports received from their surroundings can have a useful role concerning assessment of this process. Here are propounded eight questions that responding to them can help this process:
1. Do the social networks and groups help you to feel being valuable?
2. Do you feel being respected and praised by the other members?
3. Do you have a sense of belonging and affiliation in the network you are a member of it?
4. Do the social group members have feeling responsibility relative to each other?
5. When group is going to make decision, are all members asked and involved in the decision-making process?
6. Do the social groups’ members help each other? After helping each other do they feel comfort, welfare and closeness?
7. Do the social networks and groups give you different chances for creativity and fun activities?
8. Do you feel self confidence and assurance when you need to be helped by your friends and teammate?
If responses are positive, it means the strength and stability of networks and groups and negative responses mean weakness in networking that you need making and forming new relationships, of course it needs to spend the time and the different training.
Finally it must be said that the social support and networks including cases help the treatment process on the field of addiction like Shame, secrecy and isolation. When a recovered addict is settled in his favorite social network, gradually he shares his feels with the members like shame and insecurity concluded by addiction. In deed the structure of these self revelations are often important for successful recovery. According to the social workers and other professionals’ viewpoint in these groups, in some conditions it is possible the recovered addict shares his experiences with a professional psychotherapist in a safer environment and a higher level of secrecy.
Master of Social Work, University of Allameh Tabatabai
Articles relevant to the third media campaign of Iranian social workers