If you’ve made progress in recovery to the point you’re looking to help others in the same situation you were once in, congratulations are in order. You’ve made it to a major milestone in sobriety and haven’t let your past with substance addiction take your sense of empathy.
Many people who are in recovery feel inclined to give back time and energy to the people around them. This work can have a lasting impact, and it can further bolster your own recovery, too. If you’re looking to give back after recovery from drug or alcohol abuse, here are some ways to get involved.
Volunteer in your local community
Sharing your time and energy with your local community is a great way to get involved, meet new people, have eye-opening experiences and find meaning in your recovery journey. Here are some common ways to participate in service.
- Collect school supplies
- Do a can drive
- Clean up the side of a highway
- Plant a community garden
- Recycle unwanted clothes
- Volunteer serving food at a soup kitchen
- Spend time with people in hospitals and nursing homes
- Volunteer at an animal shelter
- Volunteer to be a crossing guard at a school
- Help elderly people in your neighborhood with lawn care or home improvement projects
- Offer to babysit for community events
- Donate blood
- Give free lessons in something you know well
- Coach a kids sports team
- Teach older adults internet skills
- Help people register to vote
- Clean up a run-down playground
- Host a car-wash or other fundraiser
- Bake cookies for a bake sale
- Volunteer at a food pantry
- Deliver food to homebound people
These are just a few items on a potentially endless list of ways to help others and give back to the local community.
Make financial contributions to issues you care about
One of the perks of being sober is that you’ll be much more in control of your finances. You can choose where to spend your money and have the mental capacity to make smart choices. With the right money management, you may even find that you want to give to causes that you’re passionate about.
If you’re looking to give back after recovery and you find that you’re too busy to volunteer but still want to contribute to bettering society, making monetary donations can help fund charities that are close to your heart. Online giving platforms make these options easy and convenient.
Give your time to friends, family and neighbors
One of the most meaningful ways to give back after recovery is to be generous with your time for those closest to you. Whether you take your grandmother grocery shopping weekly or help your parents with their landscaping, your efforts will shine when you give back to the people you love.
Often, those who have overcome addiction feel that giving back to their families helps them to atone for past behavior and demonstrate their sincere apology. If you feel like your addiction has damaged relationships or that your family deserves thanks for sticking through the hard parts of addiction and recovery, giving back to them can be an emotionally rewarding experience for all involved.
Help those with addictions
Individuals in recovery often seek opportunities to help those who were in their same shoes. If you’re eager to invest yourself in helping others overcome drug and alcohol abuse, here’s how to help.
- Make sure your sobriety is solid. If you think spending time around others with addictions could trigger a relapse, you’ll need more time before you can engage in this type of volunteer work. Be wary of certain settings, social groups or even conversations that could spark an urge to use.
- Keep your distance. For someone in active recovery, keep some distance between your volunteer work and your own experiences with recovery. For example, visiting an old rehab unit to give a talk on sobriety could resurface old cravings without you realizing.
- Find a passion within the field of addiction recovery. There are several routes to take if you’re looking for ways to serve those with addictions. You could volunteer at a women’s shelter, in a correctional facility, for AA groups, for family programs and so on.
- Consider going back to school or using a degree you have. Rehab programs often seek employees with a past experience of addiction so they can better relate to clients and give motivation through the witness of their recovery. You may need a degree or certificate before beginning this type of work, but it can give you knowledge to match your personal experience.
Giving back to the community can be a blessing to yourself and to all those around you. It can help you find fulfillment, learn from others and grow as an individual.
Get help for addiction
If you’re eager to move into the future but are still struggling with an addiction, you’ll want to know about Bluff Augusta. Medically supervised detox, residential treatment and family services, you’ll find everything you need to get you through withdrawal and the early weeks and months of recovery. Call now to learn more.