There are several things beyond just group meetings and psychotherapy that are effective at helping with addictions within drug or alcohol treatment programs. Many treatment centers are incorporating various forms of volunteer work and community services programs into their treatment plans. These activities allow individuals in treatment to interact with one another and get them involved in the community.
According to a new study, volunteer work and community service may also help support relapse prevention efforts. Volunteer work and community service helps substance abusers focus on something outside of them and put their energy towards a greater good. In a recent study, researchers found that 40 percent of alcoholics who provided emotional support to individuals with a similar addiction stayed sober for a longer period of time than those who did not. Many experts in the addiction field now believe that helping others should be a regular component of relapse prevention programs, and that this strategy may help more recovering alcoholics and drug users learn to remain substance-free. At Passages Malibu, we allow our clients to do volunteer work as a part of their individualized treatment program.