Finding Support Groups: AA, NA, SMART Recovery

People talk in a support group.

Millions of people struggle with substance use disorders and mental illness each year. Unfortunately, many people suffer in silence with their condition. Support groups offer a safe space for individuals struggling with addiction (or another condition) to find support and people who can hold them accountable along their recovery journey. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of finding support groups, different types of support groups, and more.


At Outpatient LA, we offer premier outpatient treatment in Los Angeles to help individuals safely overcome addiction and lead healthier, happier lives. We understand how isolating drug addiction can be. That’s why our caring staff of addiction specialists are here to help you break free of addiction once and for all. With a range of treatment programs, we offer several treatment options to support you on your road to recovery.


If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, help is available! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you take back your life. 

What Are Support Groups?

Before diving into what different types of support groups are, it’s first critical to understand what support groups are and why they can be so beneficial in the recovery process. Support groups are a safe space where individuals share experiences to gain a sense of support and accountability to overcome whatever they may be going through in their lives.


There are several benefits of attending support groups, which include:

  • Being surrounded by people who can relate to what you’re going through
  • Opening up in a safe space what you are struggling with
  • Seeking advice and guidance with struggles you’re going through
  • Keeping you accountable to achieve a certain “goal” (i.e. maintain sobriety)
  • Build a community of friends who will support you in this new season of life


Finding support groups that align with your recovery needs can be especially helpful as you transition into your everyday life from addiction treatment. This is because support groups provide that additional support system to keep you accountable and maintain your sobriety long-term. 

Different Types of Support Groups

Although support groups can be extremely beneficial to help you maintain your sobriety, it’s important you prioritize attending a support group that fits your needs. This is because there are different types of support groups which inevitably offer variability. Below are 3 popular types of support groups.

What is AA (Alcoholics Anonymous)?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a 12-step support group program specifically for individuals recovering from alcoholic abuse and addiction. During AA meetings, the goal is to help alcoholics overcome their alcohol addiction and maintain long-term sobriety. Here, you’ll not only face your drinking problem, but you’ll gain a sense of community with other alcoholics striving to achieve sobriety. 

What is NA (Narcotics Anonymous)?

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is another popular 12-step support group program; however, unlike AA which is specifically for alcoholics, NA is more open to any individuals struggling with drug addiction (including alcohol addiction). Like AA, you’ll not only gain a sense of community and accountability to help overcome your addiction and maintain your sobriety, but you’ll also be able to feel less alone in your pursuit of beating addiction. 

What is SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training)?

SMART Recovery is another type of support group that helps recovering addicts overcome their addiction once and for all. Unlike AA and NA which use a 12-step process, SMART is not a 12-step program, but rather a process of shifting members’ mindsets from negative to positive so they can resist urges to abuse drugs, thus lowering your risk of relapsing. 

Ready to Start Your Road to Recovery 

Finding support groups right for your unique recovery needs is important. As you can see, there are several different types of support groups available; however, they are not all the same. It’s critical you research support groups near you so you can find the best support group that most aligns with your recovery needs.

At Outpatient Los Angeles, we offer premier outpatient addiction treatment in LA to help as many patients as possible achieve life-long sobriety. Using an individualized approach, we’re here to help guide you along your recovery journey so you can lead a happier, healthier life.

Contact us today to learn how you can break free of your addiction once and for all.