volunteering-the-way-to-help-yourself
Bad Experiences Medication Procedure Voluntary Activities

Volunteering – the Way to Help Yourself Through Helping Another Addict

2019-01-08

Once I had the Naltrexone implant and did the hard mental work on myself, I never relapsed again. I’m not guaranteeing that this will be the outcome for everyone who gets the implant, but that’s how well it worked for me.

After getting the implant, finishing rehab, and months of therapy and meetings, I finally was stable enough to finish college and start my own business. I had thought about going back to school for something in the medical field, or counseling, so I could help others who struggled with addiction the way I did. But I had already come so close to graduating with my business and marketing degree and decided that my work did not have to be defined by my former addiction.

I still wanted to give back to the community that had helped me through the darkest period of my life. I started volunteering at one of the rehab centers I had been a patient at, the one where the doctor had suggested I try the implant. I spoke to new patients about my experience there and answered questions they had about the implant. I also volunteered at Narcotics Anonymous meetings, sharing my story with groups, and serving as a sponsor to help keep recovering individuals accountable for their sobriety.

Volunteering, combined with my private business, was so fulfilling. I was happy about what I was doing, between using my degree in a field I loved and was good at, and volunteering to serve other addicts who were in the same position I’d been in not too long ago. I have even started using my business to serve some of the rehab facilities. I work on marketing for them and help make it easier to find meetings and counseling for those who need it. I was so busy and content, and there was just no room for drugs in my life anymore. I can say today that I am entirely off any medication, besides a prescription antidepressant to help with my serotonin levels, and have no cravings, mental or physical, for heroin. Ever.

Sometimes I look back on that period of my life and can’t believe that was me. I wish it had never happened, but then I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in now to help others who are fighting addiction. It’s a hard fight, but you can win. Encouraging others and providing support helps me maintain my sobriety as well. I see patients who are detoxing, or in the early stages of recovery, or still in the throes of addiction, and think about how I never want to be that way again.

If you are in recovery and want a way to stay active in the community, I highly recommend working as a volunteer. There are a lot of different ways to help out, but attending meetings and serving as a sponsor is a great way to maintain your sobriety while helping someone else.