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30 Aug Recovering Addicts Helping Other Addicts


When an addict surfaces from the ravages of his disease and finds his life is miraculously beginning to take a healthy shape, it’s natural to want to help others to overcome their addictions as well. Many times, this desire takes the form of participating in some way in addiction recovery programs. More than half of those employed at addiction treatment centers have struggled with substance abuse in their past, driving an entire workforce through compassion and understanding. If you have overcome an addiction and are looking for a way to give back, here are some things you should know.

Qualifying Experience

The only qualifications you need to help others who are struggling with addiction are compassion, understanding, and a little experience with the disease. Having been through these struggles yourself, and having gained the upper hand on the disease gives you valuable insights into how to overcome and manage addiction. Having a successful recovery automatically makes you a valid resource in the recovery of others, so don’t be afraid to get out there and start making a difference.

Building Trust

In order for an addict to work through his recovery process, he has to be completely honest with himself, with God, and with another person about everything he has done, thought, and felt at the hands of addiction. Honesty is necessary in order to receive the proper treatment, but it can be difficult for an addict to discuss behaviors he or she probably feels ashamed and embarrassed about. If an addict is aware his counselor has been through similar experiences, he may feel more able to share the details of his addiction without worrying about being judged.

Finding Inspiration

Treatment center staff who have successfully been through recovery are a great inspiration to addicts who are still in the early stages of recovery. Seeing others who have dealt with similar obstacles, who have overcome them, and who are now helping others is very encouraging. It helps those in treatment to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It also shows current addicts that their struggles can one day help someone else.

Getting Started

Overcoming addiction can be a good starting point for those who want to help others. While professional therapists need to be licensed, there are many ways you can contribute as you work your way into your desired career in addiction treatment. Becoming a sponsor is often the first step for those who want to help others in recovery. You don’t need any formal education to do this, all you need is understanding and an ability to support another addict in a healthy way. Becoming a group leader for a 12-step group or for another kind of support group is something you can often do without a degree as well, and is a great way to help others overcome addiction.

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