Community outreach is so important when it comes to fighting addiction. Addiction is a problem that affects over 100 million people each year in the US alone when factoring the addicted and their loved ones.
Everyone wants to help their loved ones break free, but few have the clout to do it like addicts themselves. In the following article, we explore the benefits of being of service in sobriety.
1. Community Outreach Connects You to Opportunities
One of the great community outreach benefits of helping others in your sobriety is that you will find growth opportunities, sometimes when you least expect it. Addiction is no respecter of persons, with alcohol, Xanax, opiates, smoking, and various substance abuse issues affecting people from all socioeconomic classes.
Stepping up to help others puts you in the orbit of people who can enrich your life personally, privately, and even professionally. Also, being able to represent to your community the good you are trying to do can place you in the orbit of external resources who are willing to support your efforts in whatever ways they can.
2. Being of Service Keeps Your Eyes on the Goal
Submitting to community service, particularly service that helps others struggling with addiction, is a good way of cementing your own efforts. You are constantly reminded of the hills that you have to climb.
There is no danger of getting overconfident or judgmental when you can empathize with what someone else is going through with their addiction. You might not want your addiction to always hang over your head. By helping in your sobriety, it never will because you’ll be the one in control.
3. Supporting One Supports Many
When you’re helping people, you often don’t realize the ripple effects of others. Each addict is a brother, a son, a sister, a daughter, a father, a wife, a husband, cousin, uncle, or aunt. They’re a friend to someone, someone who matters in the lives of other human beings.
Your decision to help struggling addicts means that you’re giving those people a chance to one day get their loved ones back. You could even be the difference between life and death. It’s that important.
4. And Leads to Life Skills You Otherwise Would Not Have Received
Long-term sobriety will inevitably put you in a different place than the one you were in when you were going through the valley. You’ll be more responsible with your bills, your spare time, how you deal with temptation.
That newfound control over your life will help you to better be in charge of your destiny. It could even lead to improved career opportunities, as you won’t have the obstacle of the addiction conquering your every move.
5. Community Outreach Improves Your Own Relationships
Substance abuse disorder has a stunting effect on relationships. It can make it incredibly difficult (though not impossible) to turn around those relationships.
When you start to get the better of your addiction, your loved ones will feel safer around you. They’ll enjoy reconnecting with the person you are.
Helping others with their substance abuse disorders keeps you focused on defeating addiction. That will continually have positive effects between you and your loved ones.
6. Helps You Find Purpose
Addiction is a false solution to emptiness. It can make you think it’s doing good when you’ve indulged in it, but the reality is that it forces you further away from your purpose. Fighting against addiction can help you reconnect with that purpose, whether it’s continuing to help other addicts or reconnecting to a forgotten passion.
How to Tell If You Are Ready
Deciding to help others can be a big decision when you still feel your own imperfections, and that’s okay. You’re perfectly capable of struggling with your challenges while helping others with theirs. Here’s how you know you are in a position to be someone else’s strength.
You Are Confident Enough to Open Up
Helping others means being honest about your own experiences. It means being able to admit that you have a problem that’ll probably never leave you.
No one really ever gets rid of their addictions. They learn how to manage and avoid them. If you can tell people, “This is me, and this is my struggle,” then you are in a position to make a positive impact in their lives.
You Can Speak to Their Experience
Here’s a secret most recovering addicts don’t realize when they’re still living in their imperfections. They’re actually in a better position to help because they can speak to other people’s experiences. Helping others in your sobriety will have a bigger impact because you speak the same language that addicts do. You can cut through the excuses they make to stay in their addictions.
They know what the pull of addiction feels like, the days when you feel on top of the world versus the ones when you would do anything for that next drink or smoke or vice. Addicts seeking recovery will not be so quick to dismiss the words of someone who has walked where they’re walking and may still be doing so. That’s part of what makes group therapy so effective!
You Can Provide Tactics That Have Helped Control Your Addiction
What works for one person may not work for another, but you’ll be able to impress the effectiveness of your own experiences on them once you have their ear. And probably the toughest part of helping another person is just getting them to listen.
Make sure you’re prepared once you’ve made a connection. If meditation and prayer helped you, share that. Be careful not to be judgmental, though.
You can lose someone if you start proselytizing a specific religious belief to them. Find where your values connect and stay that course.
Community Outreach Is Great for Personal Improvement
Community outreach is about getting the community involved for the good of others. The more awareness you’re able to bring to the struggles of others (and your own), the more you will feel the support reciprocated by the rest of your friends and neighbors.
Do you feel that you’re in the position to enrich the lives of others struggling with an addiction? Perhaps you could use some help yourself? Anaheim’s Lift Off Recovery is here to help you find a new start. Contact us today to build toward a better life.