Imagine if you had gone out, with very little money, and traveled into a foreign country. You learned the language and the lay of the land and came out a well-traveled person. Would it be so surprising when you were asked for travel advice? The same applies to addiction and treatment. The greater majority of addiction counselors who are working in addiction centers have a long history with addiction, and their journey has given them an experience that often isn’t easy to teach.
Addicts who enter counseling also have a unique insight into how much they can or cannot help a person. Unlike a non-addict counselor who, in their early years of working, may have a high degree of hope for everyone, an addiction counselor with a history of addiction can result in reserved hope.
Working in Addiction Centers and Helping the Community
A lot of recovering addicts understand that they have extensive amends to make for their past behavior. It could be homelessness, using resources from food centers, or using the public transit system. The thing here is that people in recovery are often far more aware of the resources they’ve used over the years, and 12-step programs encourage them to repay the community.
Helping the community is often a goal of people in recovery as they can work in addiction treatment centers and then have an impact on two or ten or thirty other people who can also do good. Even if they don’t succeed with every case, they know that they’re creating positive change.
Additionally, through formal training and education, many recovering addicts begin to realize the strain that addiction puts on the community as a whole.
Deep Understanding of Recovery and an Addict’s Needs
What are the common beliefs about addiction from people who’ve never experienced it first hand? As a recovering addict or someone considering going into a treatment center, you’ve probably heard a slew of things from non-addicted people.
Imagine how many times you had heard or saw the look in someone’s eyes that communicated that they believed addiction was a choice. Addiction isn’t a choice and as much as you might choose to try something new, but on a core level, the brain chemistry changes that make it less and less likely that you would ever put the pipe or needle down.
People in recovery with years of sobriety behind them don’t forget those feelings. Unfortunately, you live with the ongoing addiction daily in the weeks, months, years, and decades of sobriety. They know and understand better than inexperienced counselors that addiction can happen to anyone. It can happen at any time, and that elements such as mental illness and depression can play a role in addiction.
Getting Involved in Ongoing Rehabilitation for Themselves and Others
One of the many reasons why people get more involved in treatment and counseling is because they know it’s another level of accountability. They know that as a counselor, relapse is not an option; it’s not just years of sobriety at risk, but also a career.
When you involve in the ongoing rehabilitation of others, it ensures that the focus never leaves your sobriety either. Although you’ll likely experience people using your substance every day, it’s not the same as having the stresses of some other job mount up and then defaulting to your substance of choice.
The “Cult” of AA and It’s Lifelong Impact
AA, NA, and all other “Anonymous” 12-step programs that pull off of the AA’s Big Book build up the importance of involvement. Now, in their defense, these programs exist in order to create communal support.
From the outside, 12-step programs seem like a cult. Everyone only talks about how much you have to work the program, but they also encourage their members to stay very active. That’s why it works, so it’s hard to explain to those on the outside. The full effect is that when your sole focus is on staying sober and helping others stay sober, you will assuredly have a better opportunity to remain sober.
What Rehab Carolinas Can Do
At Rehab Carolinas, we help you to look beyond your recovery. If you’re hoping to get into counseling, nursing, or working in addiction centers, then starting your treatment is vital. Not only will you be able to bring in unique insight once you’re sober, but you can help people who stray off the path of sobriety return to a happy and healthful lifestyle.
Contact Rehab Carolinas in Charlotte, NC, to get local support. Start your path to a sober lifestyle and learn how you can help others do the same for years to come.