Giving Back – A Key To Addiction Recovery

Contributor: Article Contributed by Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC for Addiction Hope

Battling an addiction can be an isolating journey. When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the brain is wired to function under the control of the substance of choice. From the outside, it would appear that a person is driven by their addiction and consumed by thoughts of their next fix, how to obtain the drug, ways to get high, etc.

Under the numbing effects of addiction, it may seem as though a person has lost interest in anything but their habits and behaviors, which can drive them away from the most important aspects of their lives, such as family and friendships, careers, financial obligations and more.

Gaining Perspective on What Matters in Live

With an addiction at the center of your life and focal point, it is easy to lose perspective on what truly matters in life. As you heal and recover from addiction, you will likely regain a meaningful standpoint in life that allows you to flourish once more.

A key to this process is giving back to others, as this will encourage you to move beyond the destructiveness of your lifestyle and to the needs of others. Being able to contribute to and attend to others is something that is often lost in the throes of addiction, largely in part to the control of the addiction.

Taking small steps to giving back to others helps reprioritize life from an addiction.

Meaningful Ways to Give Back

What are small but meaningful ways that you can give back to others? Some suggestions might include the following:

  • Become involved in the lives of your family members again. This might include watching a child participate in a sport, helping with a project around the house, or participating in family time.
  • Volunteer at a local church or community organization, such as a food bank or soup kitchen. This will help give you opportunities to serve in a tangible way that reaches out to others with immediate needs.
  • If appropriate, become a mentor to other individuals who are struggling with substance abuse. Sharing your journey and experiences can help encourage them in their own recovery.

Piece by piece, you can reclaim your life from addiction. By finding small but significant ways to reach out and give to others, you will reinforce what truly matters in your life and give a lasting foundation to your recovery from addiction.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What are ways that you can give back to your family and community as part of your recovery from addiction?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on February 12th, 2015
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