There is more to recovery than just going to meetings and working with a sponsor. Two important facets of the program, but the work does not end there. Anyone who goes to meetings regularly and asks, “Is this all there is?” will be happy to know that there’s more. One only need to look at the meaning of the symbol for Alcoholics Anonymous to gain some insight.

The Sobriety Circle & Triangle Symbol can be found affixed to meeting house and car bumpers. If you are actively working a program of recovery, then you have seen it more times than can be counted. The seemingly ubiquitous insignia is chock full of meaning worth noting on a regular basis. The symbol is comprised of an equilateral triangle inside of a circle. The three sides of the triangle represent unity service recovery corresponding to the three facets of the disease. Physical, mental and spiritual. The circle surrounding the triangle stands for the world—wholeness or oneness.

Everyone’s ability to recover from addiction is wholly dependent on fellowship and service. A group of people with a potentially fatal disease with the like-minded goal of recovery—fellowship. Helping each other achieve their individual goal by helping others to do the same. Recovery in action is the service work, volunteering at meetings and extending a hand to newcomers are some examples of service. An individual’s ability to maintain long-term recovery rests on their connection to the fellowship.

Service Strengthens Your Recovery

One’s behaviors inside the meeting house are just as salient as what happens outside the rooms. Your recovery doesn’t just depend on going through the motions: step work, meetings and sponsorship. The life you lead and the things you do which aren’t required can make all the difference. Service outside of your home group can exponentially strengthen your program. So, if you are new, you may be wondering what that looks like?

For starters, if you have the time, then consider volunteering at community centers or homeless shelters. Places where people still in the throes of addiction might frequent. You may be able to assist people just by listening. If they ask for feedback, then you can suggest that they consider looking into a program of recovery. To be clear, you are not there to preach the good word of the fellowship. Rather, you are there to do good work for your recovery. If you help someone find a seat in a room of recovery, great. But, we are not recruiters.

This September there are events being held across the country in honor of National Recovery Month. Beyond celebrating the courageous men and women in recovery, the goal is to help encourage others to give recovery a chance. At such events, you may encounter individuals who are contemplating recovery. You might be able to provide insight to them that tips the scales in favor of embracing recovery. For information on events in your area, please click here.

It is important to remember that service work does not need to be geared toward helping alcoholics and addicts, solely. Helping anyone is an act of selflessness. We all have a long history of selfish, self-serving behavior. Doing a kindness to others is testament to how far you’ve come, and helps you to discover where you’d like to go.

Addiction Treatment Centers Need Volunteers, Too

If you have managed to accrue some time in recovery, you may consider volunteering at certain treatment centers. The opioid addiction epidemic has many Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) treatment centers stretched thin. There is a good chance that they need volunteers in your area. Your experience might make you a prime candidate to help others find what you’ve found in recovery.

At Guardian IOP we would like to honor all the brave men and women who work programs of daily spiritual maintenance. Those who are committed to not drinking or drugging, no matter what. Your achievement should never be discounted or minimized.

If you or a loved one are still battling the demons of addiction, please contact us to discuss options for recovery. We can help you learn how to live a life in addiction recovery.


Reviewed for accuracy by:

Anna earned her Masters of Social Work at Barry University in Miami, FL in 2017 and completed her internship in co-occurring disorders. Anna has a Bachelors of Art in Religious Studies from Naropa University and is a certified yoga and meditation instructor. Anna has received specialized training in somatic counseling with an emphasis on body-centered psychotherapy.