Most recovery programs and twelve step groups incorporate aspects of service for the people trying to quit addictions. Service simply means helping out others or contributing something to a group through volunteer work. The emphasis on service in recovery is related to the sort of behavior and self-centered thinking that can occur as a result of addiction.
Not only is service good for sobriety, it makes the individual feel good and provides them numerous benefits to their mental health. People with addictions become focused on themselves and fulfilling their own needs which can make them feel isolated. Helping other people can allow the addict to feel they are a part of something bigger and they play an important role in their community.
People involved in twelve step groups often perform their hours of service by helping out with meetings, bringing coffee or food, setting up or other miscellaneous tasks. They can also do volunteer work in the community such as helping out at a homeless shelter or other local opportunities. These kinds of activities help foster a sense of being connected and having something to give to others.
Service in addiction recovery can help people in recovery rebuild their sense of responsibility and boost their self-esteem. They will be able to focus on more positive emotions when they give their time to others instead of focusing on themselves and their own problems. Volunteering can be life-changing and can become a permanent part of a person’s routine.
Many treatment programs offer opportunities for their patients to volunteer and twelve step programs will also help place you with a form of service. Your time spent in service not only helps you stay sober, it can also help you build new relationships and discover new passions that can last for the rest of your life.