Volunteering is a powerful way to aid you on the path to recovery from an addiction. Following a treatment program, it’s as natural to feel invigorated and ready to jump back in and reclaim your life and live a healthy lifestyle as it is to be confused about your next steps. Getting back into a normal routine can be equally as exhilarating as it is daunting. This is why it is important to have a purpose, and to contribute in some valuable way to society. One of the best ways to do this is through volunteer work. Volunteering can bring many different benefits, and you’ll find yourself growing and receiving much more.

Get Yourself Back Into A Work Regimen

After treatment, jumping back into the workforce isn’t always the easiest bridge to cross. You may find yourself between a rock and a hard place trying to explain gaps in your resume to prospective employers. This is where volunteering can really help. The benefits are three-fold: you can aid those in need (whether it’s helping those less fortunate in soup kitchens or at animal shelters), you’ll feel better about yourself and your contribution to society, and you can rebuild your work regimen by getting into the habit or working as a team, taking command, and committing yourself to a schedule. Lastly, it can be helpful in applying to jobs and demonstrating your work ethic and growth. For example, if you’ve been volunteering consistently, it’s possible to have the program coordinator provide a letter of recommendation on your behalf.

Surround Yourself With Positive People

When you’re volunteering, you’re likely to encounter a wide spectrum of people with different backgrounds and interests, all joining together for a common cause. This is the type of positive environment that can push you forward, and the type of people you’ll enjoy being around. This gives you the opportunity to build a new social network and welcome new people into your life who support you. By being surrounded by like-minded people, you also increase the chances of making new friends who can also lead you to new opportunities.

Try volunteering for a program you feel passionate about. If you love playing basketball, volunteer to help coach a summer children’s league. If you’re passionate about nature, join an organization that plants trees in the neighborhood. Your options are limitless.

Give Yourself A Sense of Purpose

It’s not uncommon for you to have feelings of guilt or shame following a drug treatment program, even when you’re on a positive path to addiction recovery. Although you work on these feelings in rehab and treatment programs, they can tend to linger on once you’ve gone home. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to give back and be a little selfless. There is scientific proof that helping others triggers chemicals in the brain that allow you to feel a stronger connection to humanity and self. When you give yourself a sense of purpose, you are less likely to relapse.