The Role of Service in Recovery
One of the key principles of recovery is to be of service to others. Why? The principle originated in Alcoholics Anonymous, which is a recovery program built on the foundation of one alcoholic helping another alcoholic. The 12th Step of AA essentially boils down to living a principled life and helping others. Of course, the first 11 Steps are designed to transform an individual into the type of person who can, and wants to be, of service to others. The 12-Steps guide an individual, step-by-step, through actions that help them grow into more loving, selfless, happy individuals free from the bondage of addiction.
Many individuals who struggle with drug or alcohol dependence become very isolated and consumed by their addictions. They often come into recovery weighted down by resentment, anger, fear, self-loathing and shame. Service to others can be one tool to help combat these negative emotions. Being of service helps individuals get outside of themselves and put their energy toward positive purposes. In doing so, individuals gain a sense of meaning, develop self-esteem, build self-confidence and feel good about themselves. At Guardian IOP, we teach out clients to engage in service to others.