Addiction recovery can be an unstable experience if you are not careful about how you spend your time. Having too much free time on hand can lead you back to some dangerous people and places which may undermine the work that you have done in recovery. A valuable option that can help boost your recovery program is to spend your time volunteering.
What are the Benefits of Volunteering in Recovery?
When you decided to get help for your substance abuse issues, you probably were not feeling mentally and physically at the top of your game. While getting rid of addictive substances is an excellent first step, recovery involves ongoing efforts to change old attitudes and actions. Helping others is one of the best ways to get outside of yourself and focus on performing positive acts, no matter how big or small.
A United Health Group study found that 76 percent of people who volunteered over the past year reported that their actions made them feel healthier, and 94 percent say that volunteering improved their mood. Volunteering not only delivers a sense of well-being and purpose to the person doing the work, but it is also an excellent way to build connections with others. If there is one essential thing that you learn about addiction recovery, it is that it does not work well in isolation.
Some Opportunities to Volunteer in Your Community
One of the first ways that you can offer up your services in a recovery setting is to volunteer within a 12-step fellowship. Studies show that those who help others within these fellowships maintain long-term sobriety. Members of 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous are all unpaid volunteers, so there is always a need for someone to step forward with a willingness to make coffee, set up and clean up after meetings, and give people rides when needed. There are even business roles that need filling such as treasurer, secretary, and service on various committees.
If you want to volunteer outside the fellowship, there are likely many opportunities in your community. Some that you may want to consider include:
- Help the homeless. Volunteer at a shelter or soup kitchen or with a local organization that benefits one of these places.
- Build homes. Are you handy? If so, you can register with an organization like Habitat for Humanity to help build homes for less fortunate families in your community.
- Help animals. If you are an animal lover, donate your time to a rescue organization or local pet shelter.
- One-on-one help. You may have some special skills that you can donate to people in need in your community as a tutor, mentor, or in a local senior care facility.
Get Started on Your Addiction Recovery Path Now
While volunteering is a non-traditional way to boost your recovery program, it is not the only way. If you or any of your loved ones are struggling with substance abuse of any form, The Recovery Village can help in several ways. Our comprehensive addiction treatment programs are tailored to each individual's needs, and we ensure that clients receive the tools they need to create a happy and successful life in recovery once they leave. Contact us now to find out how you can begin living a life free from the bonds of drugs and alcohol.