If you have recently completed drug rehab in Dallas or an addiction treatment program in the Dallas area — either at The Right Step or another drug rehab facility — now would be a great time to volunteer in the community as part of your recovery. Why volunteer?
Volunteering Keeps You Sober & Keeps You Connected to Others
Research shows that people in recovery who help others are more likely to stay abstinent than those who don’t. A data review study from Case Western Reserve University looked at alcoholism treatment outcomes for people in recovery over a 10-year period. They found that regular attendance at 12-step meetings helped many people maintain their sobriety, but the people who also volunteered to help others did better in recovery. Throughout its long history, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has encouraged AA members to get involved in helping and supporting others in recovery — not only to be of service, but also because it helps a recovering alcoholic commit more deeply to their own sobriety. While staying active in 12-step groups and sponsoring others in their sobriety is important, it can be equally rewarding and beneficial to volunteer your time to help others outside the recovery community.
9 Ways Volunteering Can Help You and Others in Recovery
Volunteering and getting involved in helping others can help you:
- Avoid isolation and stay actively connected to others in meaningful ways
- Find more purpose in your life by feeling valued and needed
- Stay focused on a recovery-oriented lifestyle
- Rebuild your life as an active, invested member of the local community
- Improve your mental outlook by focusing on others instead of on yourself
- Meet interesting people and make new friends
- Learn new career and social skills
- Improve your self-esteem and build your self-confidence (They say the best way to build self-esteem is to do esteem-able acts.)
- Better your community — any aspect of it
Now that your life has been changed by the help you received in battling addiction, why not “pay it forward” and return the favor by volunteering a few hours of your time? In the Dallas area there are many organizations and people that could benefit from your time, assistance and support.
Ideas for Volunteering in and Around Dallas
Help others in recovery through 12-step groups or alternative sober support groups. Alumni support groups at your treatment facility will likely welcome your assistance, and 12-step meetings, SMART Recovery or other sober support groups in the Dallas community are a great place to start your volunteer service work. You might start by asking your meeting organizers if you can help set up for the meetings, make coffee for the group or stay late to clean up. As you progress through your recovery after completing drug rehab in Dallas and attain more sober time under your belt, you could also ask about serving on a committee, training to be a host or facilitator, sponsoring others in the group or becoming a recovery coach for newcomers. Volunteer for a nonprofit addiction treatment program. The Council on Recovery has a Dallas office with a variety of volunteer opportunities to fit your schedule, skills and interests. They welcome anyone who wants to help make a difference in the lives of those affected by addiction. In the Dallas area, people can volunteer to help with the community coalitions ALOUD (Alliance on Underage Drinking), DADPP (Dallas Area Drug Prevention Partnership), or TNT (Tobacco-free North Texas). If those aren’t a good fit, the Council also needs volunteers with various skills, including computers and technology, research and data analysis, administrative tasks, event planning and preparation, community outreach and more. To volunteer, you may have to submit to a background check and/or drug screening and sign a statement of confidentiality. Regardless of your background, there are chances you have skills and experience that are needed at a charity organization or community endeavor in the Dallas area. If you need help finding a volunteer opportunity in your area, the Volunteers of America (VOA) organization has an office in Dallas and can help you find a place where you can be of service.
Sources and Helpful Links
https://www.aadallas.org/wordpress/meetings/ https://www.aadallas.org/non_cms/meetings.php?bSearch=1 https://www.smartrecovery.org/local/ http://www.smartrecovery.org/host-training/index.htm https://www.smartrecovery.org/local/meetings/?search_keywords=&search_location=Dallas%2C+Texas&search_categories%5B%5D=&use_search_radius=on&search_radius=50&search_lat=0&search_lng=0&search_region=&search_context=92# https://www.councilonrecovery.org/volunteer-at-the-council/ http://dallascouncil.org/get-invested/ https://www.voa.org/offices/volunteers-of-america-of-texas