Find a Support Group Meeting Near You

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Research studies have found that participating in a support group along with other medical and professional alcohol and drug treatment programs improves outcomes. Participating in a support group aids in recovery by changing social networks, developing recovery coping skills, enhancing motivation, reducing depression, and increasing psychological well-being.

Who Should Join a Support Group?

If you or a family member is dealing with an addiction or mental health disorder, a support group may be the ideal place to feel less isolated and to learn from others with similar problems and shared experiences. Often, you're not required to talk in a support group—you can share as little or as much as you'd like—so you'll be able to observe the group before deciding if it's the right one for you. It's important for you to be comfortable with the group so you can eventually open up and get to know your peers.

What Does It Take to Join a Support Group?

For most support groups, all that is required to join is a desire to begin recovery. Most people join a support group by simply walking in the door of a meeting near them. No invitation is required and there are no dues or fees. For members, there is often a voluntary collection.

That said, there are "open" meetings for members and non-members as well as "closed" to members and prospective members only. Depending on the type of meeting, you might come across some of the following codes that indicate a more exclusive support group or additional services offered:

  • (ASL) American Sign Language
  • (BS) Book Study
  • (CF) Child-friendly
  • (D) Discussion
  • (G) Gay/Lesbian
  • (M) Men only
  • (P) Participation
  • (SS) Step Study
  • (W) Women only
  • (WA) Wheel Chair Access

Finding a Meeting

Your primary care physician or mental health professional is often the best place to start when finding a local support group. You can also search for a local meeting via the websites of the various support groups. Some organizations also have apps you can use to find meetings. You can still find a meeting in the old-school way by looking up a phone number in the white pages of the local telephone book. 

Some databases are detailed and allow you to see which meetings are for newcomers or are wheelchair accessible, non-smoking, or LGBT-friendly, among other characteristics. Other pages are less detailed and may only have phone numbers or listings for you to contact the meeting organizers.

Here is a list of official mutual support group websites and their meeting listings. If you cannot locate a face-to-face (in-person) meeting near you, there are many online meetings available.

Alcohol, Drug, Prescription Medication Abuse

These include 12-step groups and those with other philosophies, as noted:

  • Alcoholics AnonymousSearch for the telephone numbers of AA Central Offices and Intergroups by zip code or state. The site does not give you locations of local meetings, but the Intergroup local sites have that information. You can find meetings around the world, which can be very useful when traveling.
  • Chemical Dependent AnonymousFind a CD meeting by searching by state. They are a 12-step program supporting "abstinence from all mood-changing and mind-altering chemicals, including street-type drugs, alcohol and unnecessary medication."
  • Cocaine Anonymous: 12-step program for cocaine, alcohol, and other mind-altering substances.
  • Crystal Meth AnonymousSearch for CMA meetings by zip code and distance. They are a 12-step program.
  • Dual Recovery Anonymous12-step program for those who have a psychiatric disorder and a substance abuse problem.
  • Life Ring Secular RecoverySearch for a Life Ring meeting for drug or alcohol recovery by location or join an online meeting. The Life Ring philosophy differs from the 12-step programs in that it does not require you to rely on a higher power but believes in supporting your ability to strengthen your sober self and weaken your addict self.
  • Marijuana AnonymousSearch a list of in-person and online meetings by location. They have apps for iOS, Android, and Windows that can be used to search for meetings. It is a 12-step program.
  • Moderation ManagementSee a list and map of meetings around the world or join in telephone meetings. Moderation Management supports responsible drinking rather than a philosophy of total abstinence.
  • Narcotics AnonymousSearch the meeting database by location. You can also download an NA Meeting Search app for iOS or Android.
  • Pills AnonymousMeetings list for PA around the world. They are a 12-step program.
  • SMART RecoverySearch the SMART recovery meeting database by country or state. SMART is not a 12-step program, but a self-help addiction recovery program for substance abuse and alcohol abuse.

Sex Addiction, Disordered Relationships, and Abuse

  • Love Addicts Anonymous12-step program for those who have "distorted thoughts, feelings, and behavior when it comes to love, fantasies, and relationships."
  • Sexaholics Anonymous: 12-step program for those who want to "stop lusting and become sexually sober."
  • Sex & Love Addicts AnonymousFind a meeting by searching by state or province. They are a 12-step program for those with "an addictive compulsion to engage in or avoid sex, love, or emotional attachment."
  • Sexual Compulsives Anonymous: A list of International SCA meetings in-person and online. They are a 12-step program.
  • Sexual Recovery Anonymous12-step group for those who desire to stop compulsive sexual behavior.
  • Survivors of Incest Anonymous: 12-step program for those who are over age 18 who were sexually abused as a child.

Food and Nicotine Problem Behavior

Emotional and Mental Health Recovery

Financial and Acquisition Problem Behavior

  • Debtors Anonymous12-step program for compulsive debtors.
  • Gamblers Anonymous: A group to support recovery from problem gambling and are guided by 12-step principles.
  • Spenders Anonymous12-step program for those who want to recover from compulsive spending and taking on debt.
  • Workaholics AnonymousWA meetings include phone meetings, online meetings, or in-person meetings in the United States or Internationally. They are a 12-step program for those who are compulsive about work.

For Families and Codependents

These meetings are for those who have relatives and friends with addictions and problem behaviors. In addition to these groups, there are often links to family recovery groups for specific addictions or behaviors on the sites for the programs dedicated to them.

  • Adult Children of AlcoholicsFind an ACA meeting by location search. They also have online meetings and phone meetings.
  • Alanon and AlateenSearch for an Al-Anon Family Group meeting by location in the United States and Canada. You can also use their site to find online meetings, international meetings, or phone meetings.
  • Codependents Anonymous12-step program for recovery from unhealthy relationships.
  • Families AnonymousGet a PDF file of FA meetings by state. This is a 12-step program for those who have a family member with an addiction or problem behavior.
  • Nar-Anon: 12-step group for friends and families of people with substance use disorders.
  • Recovering Couples Anonymous12-step group for couples who want to restore and maintain their relationship in recovery.

A Word From Verywell

Remember that support groups are what you make of them. If you are willing to be open and honest and a good listener who supports fellow members, you will get a lot out of your group, including hope and motivation for a healthier you.

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