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Giving Back After Alcohol Addiction

By: Carol Morriscey

Peer Mentor in group therapy for alcohol addiction at an alcohol rehab.Finding Meaning in Your Addiction and Recovery

Beginning a new life after recovery from alcohol addiction is an exciting new challenge. One of the best ways to begin your life after rehab is to find something to do which gives you meaning and purpose. There are many opportunities to harness the strength which allowed you to overcome your addiction, allowing you to make an impact on your environment and the people around you. One such way to give back to the community, and contribute what you have learned throughout your journey, is to become a peer mentor for those currently going through alcohol addiction treatment. Peer Mentoring and Peer Support Workers have become a pivotal part of a successful addiction treatment program.

Benefits of a Peer Support Worker in Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Whatever the situation in life may be, it is almost always made easier when there is someone there to support you who has been through the process before. This is the fundamental principle underlying peer support in addiction recovery. A Peer Mentor is someone who has gone through addiction recovery themselves and trades roles to become a part of the clinical team in an alcohol rehab, helping others reach their goals of sobriety. Peer support workers are able to offer a listening ear, in a way that other addiction professionals are not able. Peer Mentors have a unparalleled depth of understanding, allowing them to relate to the patients in a unique and empathetic manner. This one-on-one support and nuanced understanding create an environment where patients are able to openly and comfortably share their experiences with alcohol addiction, allowing for a holistic recovery. Furthermore, having someone to look up to who has successfully overcome their addiction provides a pinnacle of hope for those currently going through alcohol addiction treatment.

Helping Current and Former Alcohol Rehab Attendees

Peer Mentoring is not only beneficial for those currently in alcohol rehab. The reciprocal relationship formed through peer mentoring can be equally as therapeutic for the mentor. A trust is developed and meaningful relationships can be formed. Indeed, when helping someone else, one’s own problems can be put in perspective, thereby diminishing their negative effect. Furthermore, by sharing the lessons learned through their own recovery, Peer Mentors are able to find a sense of meaning and purpose in the struggles they have faced. Finally, by remaining immersed in the recovery culture of alcohol rehab, the mentor is able to stay committed to their own recovery. As with every step in alcohol addiction treatment and recovery, supportive relationships are crucial to the patient’s success. The relationship formed with Peer Mentors is a unique and non-judgemental one, which allows for sustained sobriety for both former and current patients in alcohol rehabs.

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