Recovery from addiction is an ongoing process. Once you have completed a treatment program, that doesn’t mean the work is over. You must find ways to continue implementing what you have learned to sustain healthier routines, keep a positive attitude, and reduce risk of relapse. One activity that many people in recovery find beneficial is volunteering.
Volunteering keeps you active and gives you something to look forward to. Boredom and isolation are common triggers for relapse, but by volunteering you are getting out into the community and keeping yourself busy. It can also challenge your mind and help you to focus on things other than substance use.
Choosing an organization or activity that you are passionate about also helps you to find a greater sense of purpose. Your time is spent making a difference, whether it’s serving meals, sorting donations, taking care of animals, or promoting environmental awareness. Pick an activity or organization that you are proud to stand behind.
You’re making a difference in others’ lives by volunteering. Think about how many people have helped you throughout your life; now it’s your turn to give back and help others. You never know how much your efforts may change someone’s life.
While you’re volunteering you’ll also be learning new things and building connections with others. This can help you to develop job skills and life skills. Networking can get your foot in the door for potential job opportunities. Volunteering can help you to feel more confident about your ability to hold yourself accountable, be on time, complete tasks, and hold down a job. It can be very empowering to see that you’re making a difference and doing something positive with your life.
Above It All can help you get on the road to recovery through treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. You’ll learn valuable strategies for recovery and relapse prevention that you can use for the rest of your life. It can be the first step in turning your life around for the better.
- Addiction Professional, Volunteering: A Cornerstone of Recovery. August 2013, Accessed April 5, 2016.
- Safety Net Recovery, The Benefits of Community Service During Addiction Recovery. August 2016, Accessed April 1, 2016.
- Oceanfront Recovery, What Are the Benefits of Volunteering in Recovery? Accessed April 16, 2016.
- The Treehouse, 12 Ways to be Active in Your Community. Accessed April 4, 2016.
- Eudaimonia Homes, How to Volunteer in Addiction Recovery. Accessed April 7, 2016.