How You Can Put Your Past Addiction to Use to Help Others

How You Can Put Your Past Addiction to Use to Help Others

Approximately 22.3 million people in the United States live in recovery after battling addiction. Studies show that 3 out of 4 addicts eventually find healing and live fulfilling lives.

Are you recovering from addiction? Have you gone through a considerable transformation from active addiction? Do you want to know how you can help others going through the same?

We have the answer for you. Keep reading to learn the different ways that you, as a recovering addict, can help your fellow addicts.

Recovering From Addiction and Living in Recovery

Anyone who has hit rock bottom seeks recovery. Recovery means accepting your addiction, realizing your powerlessness, and taking steps to free yourself from substance dependence.

An addict could do this through sheer willpower if they’re one of the lucky few. Otherwise, it’s through seeking treatment and building a network of support. Unfortunately, without a support network, it becomes too easy for the recovering addict to relapse into old habits.

Treatment could be in the form of:

  • Rehabilitation centers (if covered by health insurance)
  • Accessing free resources like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
  • Free or reduced-cost therapy

Take time to find the right treatment plan for you. Recovery is not a one-size-fits-all so finding the right therapist is crucial.

The Importance of a Support Network

Knowing you’re not alone in your struggles can help motivate someone to keep pushing on, even when they feel there is no point. By building a solid support network of people who understand, you have people you can lean on in times of struggle.

Having other recovering addicts in your network can help you identify when things are slipping for you. This can be especially helpful because, as addicts, dishonesty can be hard to let go of. Having peers dealing with the same struggles can recognize signs of an impending relapse and step in to assist before it’s too late.

How You Can Help Fellow Addicts

Many people who find recovery find great purpose in helping other addicts find freedom. There are several ways you can achieve this.

Join a 12-Step Program

12-Step programs like AA have been going since 1935. This led to partner programs like Narcotics Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous adopting the same 12 steps for their disease. This is the most fundamental way one addict can best help another, as it costs nothing but your time and dedication.

Becoming a part of a fellowship means sharing your experience, strength, and hope with others seeking recovery. Recovery is not always pretty, so sharing your battles and losses helps other addicts push through their hardships, knowing they are not alone.

Take Up Service

Once you have joined a fellowship and are sharing at 12-step meetings, you should consider taking up a service position. These positions are unpaid but are invaluable to the recovering addict or alcoholic. Service positions include, but are not limited to:

  • Chairperson (they lead the meeting)
  • Secretary (organizes the meetings and service members)
  • Treasurer (handles donations and tithes)
  • Literature (handles the buying and selling of group literature or keyrings/tokens)
  • GSR (participates in service committee meetings and handles voting, etc.)
  • Coffee/Tea Support (manages the coffee/tea stand, biscuits, etc.)

Each of these positions directly assists other addicts in recovery and is an essential part of the successful running of the fellowship. These positions are also global and are happening everywhere, where there are 12-step programs.

Start Counseling Other Addicts

As an addict in recovery, you may find a lot of fulfillment and purpose in counseling others through the same things you went through. Understanding what they are going through will allow you to have empathy that another counselor who hasn’t been through addiction may not have.

Some treatment centers will take recovered addicts who have been through their treatment program as counselors. However, some treatment facilities will require you to have undergone training either in the form of an addiction studies certificate or an addiction studies degree.

How to Get an Addiction Studies Certificate

If you’ve made up your mind that you want to give back, you will want to know how to get an addiction studies certificate. Several institutions offer alcohol and drug counseling certificates.

When looking for a place to learn addiction studies, you want to find somewhere accredited. This means you know the standard of the training you are receiving, as they must match specific requirements set by the accreditation board.

The skills you will learn during an Alcohol, and Drug Counseling Certificate are:

  • Excellent communication skills as you converse with your clients and their families
  • A greater understanding of counseling group facilitation
  • The ability to impart knowledge about coping methods and techniques
  • How to maintain and manage private medical records under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
  • A deeper understanding of what it means to have a strong support network in therapy
  • Several valuable counseling skills and techniques

Once you graduate, you can pursue several career paths. For example, you have the possibility of seeking the following positions:

  • Addictions Counselor Assistant
  • Recovery CoachAlcohol and Drug Counselor Technician
  • Residential Advisor/Assistant
  • Human Services Program Specialist
  • Outreach Specialist
  • Case Manager
  • Prevention Specialist

Course time may vary, but typically you should be able to complete your certificate course within 50 weeks or over 905 hours; however, like at any institution, this depends entirely on your focus and dedication.

Make a Difference in Someone’s Recovery

Realizing that life has become unmanageable is often what plants the seed of addiction recovery, and when you hit rock bottom, recovery is the only way out. However, if you’ve battled the disease of addiction and have managed to find a stable life in recovery, you can be well-equipped to help another.

If you’re recovering from addiction and looking for an accredited alcohol and drug counseling course, look no further. We have both Alcohol and Drug Counseling Studies certificate and several addiction-related degrees. Contact us to begin your course today.

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