Being Older in Sober Living

I am what one could call a chronic relapser.  I first started trying to get sober in 2003 back in Canton Ohio.  I’ve made about every mistake one can make on my path to sobriety.  In the beginning, I knew that I wanted to stop drinking and using drugs but I wasn’t ready to put the work into it.  In Ohio, most of the people in AA were way older than me. I was around 23 at the time and these people were easily over 40. There wasn’t a lot of people my age trying to get sober and I felt like maybe I was too young to stop drinking.  I separated myself from them and had a hard time relating. I was focusing on the differences rather than the similarities. Drugs and alcohol were tearing my life apart but I also felt like there was a lot of “good times” that I was missing out on.  My drinking progressed to pills and then eventually heroin. To make matters worse I had a 4 -year- old daughter that I wasn’t showing up for and I couldn’t hold down a job. This would start a 14- year cycle of sobriety, treatment and relapse repeatedly.  The worst times of my life were still to come. It’s hard to put into words just how worthless I felt being addicted to drugs. I hated what I was doing to myself, my family and my friends. I wanted to stop and just live a normal life but I couldn’t and the years were starting to slowly slip away.    

      There were times that I put together some spotty sobriety and was sober continuously sober from 2011-2014.  I was working in treatment in west Hollywood and thought that I had finally had this thing beat. I was wrong and relapsed again.  This time I stayed out for a few years I ended up losing everything. My job, my car and my apartment. Most of all I was losing the support of my family.  After years of having their hopes raised and then crushed again they were starting to lose hope that I would ever get this thing. I couldn’t blame them.

    I came into The Last House sober living in July of 2017 and I was in bad shape.  I walked in with a little bag which had 2 pairs of jeans, one sock and two T-shirts.  That’s all I had left. I didn’t even really want to get sober again but I knew that I couldn’t keep living the way that I was.  I knew my life wouldn’t last long and if it did it would be a sad, lonely and painful one. The first thing I noticed was how much younger everyone was than me.  When I got back I had this feeling that life had passed me by. My friends all had jobs, careers and families and I was in sober living again trying to put my life together.  Here I was pushing 40 years old and i felt out of place. When I first started to try, and get sober in 2003 I felt too young. Now, these years had passed and I was feeling too old!!  I realized quickly that this was my disease and it was trying to do anything it could to separate me from these guys so I could build a case to go get loaded again. Good thing I didn’t stay in that mind set for very long!   Being at The Last House, I had plenty of opportunities to share my experience and all the mistakes that I have made in hopes that maybe these guys would hear something and in turn, not make the same ones. This state of mind helped me get out of myself and my head and turn things around.  Being one of the oldest guys in the house I became both an example of what can happen if you don’t get sober for a long time and someone for people to turn to for advice or guidance. I finally had something to offer! Something real and valuable. For the first time in a long time I felt useful.

     I am grateful for the experience that I’ve had this time around and with this house and the guys here.  I have built a lot of solid, long lasting relationships with them and I know that they have my back just like they know I have theirs.  There is never a perfect age to get sober. For some reason, I just couldn’t do it when I was younger. I’m not sure why. All I know is that it didn’t happen.  It is happening now and all those experiences were necessary for me to be where I am. I have learned over the last year how to connect with people and find common ground no matter how old they are. There is a bond that forms when one is around people who have a common past and common goals for the future, a brotherhood, and I have found that here.  

-Mike J.

A New Experience in LA

Scott Ames

I’m originally from Des Moines, IA which is the largest city in Iowa at roughly 200,000 people. This is where I grew up and when through high school and partially through college as well. I had tried getting sober back home multiple times whether it was to get my family off my back, to have a place to stay, or because the law required that I go to treatment to satisfy charges I had received. I went to several meetings across Des Moines, but I never felt like it was for me. I also was only doing it for a reason other than for myself. I went to jail time and time again, but as soon as I was given freedom, I was right back where I started even though I would swear off completely while behind bars. My family wouldn’t allow me to stay at their house anymore, so instead, I would find somewhere else to stay temporarily or sometimes I would even sleep at work. Even though my life was falling apart both externally and internally, I continued down this dreadful path. One day, my parents called to say they would give my one last chance and send me to a place in Los Angeles. I had been to California before to try to get sober but I eventually manipulated my way back to Iowa by buying a plane ticket home and doing it all behind my parents back. I told them I was coming home for a visit but instead packed up everything, thinking I would never return. Getting sober in Los Angeles is a lot different than Iowa. The meetings in Iowa were full of grumpy old timers who only complained about their crummy lives. I think that partially turned me off to the rooms. In LA, the rooms of AA are full of a much younger crowd and there are a wide variety of meetings to go to. When I landed at LAX, I was mainly excited to have a roof over my head and some food to eat. I had honestly accepted that I had caused so much wreckage in my life, that I wouldn’t be able to turn it around. The sober living that I arrived at was The Last House. The name of it was actually fitting considering my parents told me this was my last chance. Although the structure of the house was a little intimidating at first, I realized that what was asked of me day to day wasn’t very hard at all. The most challenging part at my stay, was going through the steps and figuring out how to live a healthy, manageable, internally happy life. I had ups and downs, trials and errors, but I found that’s what life really is. Fear had riddled my life to this point, and anytime I was faced with an obstacle or hardship, I would run. Facing my troubles head on is something I learned not only in the steps, but also at the house hearing feedback from my peers. The Last House is heavily based around unity and camaradery. From revamping my shot on the basketball court to taking trips to Mammoth mountain, I found gratification in things that used to bring me joy. The house also made me feel like I wasn’t the only one who was trying to put my life back together. Another crucial characteristic at the house was that people actually cared. I had been to many outpatients and other sober livings where how they communicated with me felt so fake and in-genuine. Throughout my stay, I learned how to balance everyday life, recovery and work. Once I completed the program, I was offered a job working at the house which I gladly accepted. This allowed me to not only give back, but also to witness significant change in others. One of the biggest gifts of the program was getting my family back. For so many years, I created so much havoc in their lives. Being able to make amends to them and be a part of their lives once again brought me peace of mind. I’m now present when we get together during the holidays and I’m a brother and a son. Today, I am financially self-supporting, I have hobbies that bring me joy, and I have a group of friends who are trudging the same road as I am.



Learning to Love the Man You Are (Again)

Learning to Love the Man You Are (Again)

Men need love too, believe it or not.

It’s something we don’t often think about, what with focusing on our responsibilities, trying to provide for others, and being as macho as we possibly can be, 24/7. You can’t really blame us, after all. We grew up hearing things like “crying is for girls,” and “real men don’t feel pain.” Being called a “mama’s boy” wasn’t a compliment from anyone (except maybe Mom), and not playing sports may or may not have gotten us roughed up by the middle school/ high school/ college jocks.

This concept of men needing no one, no sympathy, and no love has been ingrained in our DNA for almost as long as time itself.

There’s a line, however, and, particularly in recovery, it’s important that we remember that line more than anything. Aside from the machismo that is our manhood, there’s a side of us that also needs help. It needs reassurance. It needs affirmation. Through treatment for addiction, we learn the methods and strategies to address deep-seeded issues that may have caused us to abuse substances. We also learn strategies for self-care, how to make amends with those that we’ve hurt, and how to move from our past and into our future. But there are things that, before graduating from treatment and diving headfirst into the real world, we need more of.

Sober living communities like the one we foster at The Last House focus on helping men build the intangible qualities they need to excel in life after treatment by changing up the rhetoric. We provide help that keeps men’s spirits high and doesn’t crush their independence. We provide an environment that spells out the definitive difference between relying on others for help, and collaborating with others for strength. Most importantly, we teach men that they are amazing in and of themselves, and that each and every single one of them has unique talents that can and will make a difference in his community.

We are by no means a soft, easy option for men after treatment. As The Big Book states, “Love and tolerance is our code”– but we implement that code through rules, accountability, and unity. The way we see it, sometimes it takes getting our hands dirty in order to strike gold. Sober living isn’t a cakewalk, and it can be tough to adapt to doing things a new way, in a new environment, with new people. However, by forging through, our men find peace, direction, unity– and a whole new way to love themselves.

How can I learn to love the man I am?

Love is a central component of recovery. It’s mentioned almost sixty times in The Big Book, and for good reason. Love is one of the only emotions that can keep us going even when everything else tells us to stop. It’s the reason our spouses put up with us, why we’d do anything for our kids, and why we’d go to hell and back for our family members. However, when addicted, we often act in a way that’s anything but loving, and in treatment we take the steps to make up for those actions. These actions certainly weren’t our fault, but telling ourselves that and believing it enough to not just forgive ourselves, but to love ourselves again can be difficult to accomplish. Yet if we never learn to love ourselves again– for flaws and all– we can’t say with confidence that we’re ready to move on into a world that can be anything but loving. In sober living, we learn to love ourselves for the people we are, the qualities we have, and the meaningful contributions we will make. We learn to love our mistakes, because they are what allow us to improve ourselves. We learn to love correction, mentoring, discipline, and brotherhood.

At The Last House, we accomplish this by providing an ideal balance of structure and freedom for the men that live with us. We encourage our men to push their boundaries, but provide the resources they need to do so with confidence and charisma. We champion growth, because when we can see growth as men, we tend to love the men we’ve grown into. Our men are taught to do everything they do with a purpose, and to never doubt their ability to do it. We also foster an environment of brotherhood and accountability, so each man knows he has the next to count on.

Learning to love the man you are doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your machismo, confidence, or independence. In fact, by learning to love the man you are, all of the qualities that make you uniquely you are enhanced. Escaping from addiction’s death grip and getting the treatment you needed to beat your illness for good was an invaluable step in your recovery process, but your recovery shouldn’t end there. Use the resources that sober living provides to prepare yourself for life after treatment. Through unity, brotherhood, and the right environment, you can learn to love the man you are, and become the man that you’ve always wanted to be.

The Last House is a premier men’s sober living facility in West Los Angeles. Our mentors and staff come from an array of backgrounds, but we all have one common goal: transforming men into the best versions of themselves they’ve ever been. To see how we can help you, call us today at 1-866-677-0090!

Treating Addiction with DBT

Treating Addiction with DBT

Treating Addiction with DBT

DBT is a form of therapy that helps individuals struggling with addiction and substance abuse develop skills that help them recover and move forward.

Short for Dialectical Behavior Therapy, DBT is a modality used to treat various mental illnesses and disorders. This form of therapy has been particularly useful when treating addiction and substance abuse.

Although it was originally intended to treat personality disorders and severe suicidal thoughts, DBT has expanded and can help just about anyone under intense stress.

Treatment centers and addiction mental health professionals are increasingly using DBT more because its core tenets possess the necessary skills to recover from addiction and substance abuse.

So how does it work?

The goal of DBT is ultimately to improve an individual’s quality of life by changing maladaptive behaviors, negative thoughts and beliefs. Often times those with poor emotional regulation struggle to change these things about themselves and are confronted with conflicting feelings about changing. DBT therapists work to help clients synthesize these conflicting feelings and identify their own strengths, the things that they do have control over and accept the world around them.

DBT is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy as it tries to change thoughts and distorted cognitions. Although these two modalities are similar, DBT has its own components and skills that set it apart. DBT professionals rely on helping clients through individual therapy, phone sessions, group therapy, skills training, and team consultation. Often times, clients will be given homework to work on in between sessions. There are five objectives that guide the therapist and client.

These include:

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

There are also skills developed within each objective. For example in objective one, mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation are emphasized. These skills are especially helpful and necessary when treating someone with addiction or substance abuse.

Some examples of Treating Addiction with DBT include:
Fostering relationships with individuals and groups that do not encourage drug or substance use.
Removing triggers such as, unhealthy relationships and actual drugs and substances or paraphernalia.
Building self esteem so that clients feel confident to remain sober after treatment.

DBT can be modified to specifically treat those struggling with addiction and substance abuse. Furthermore, individuals with addiction are often times diagnosed with personality disorders in which DBT was originally intended to treat. DBT is a strong therapy modality to use in many mental health settings and can be especially useful when treating addiction and substance.

The Addicted Brain

the addicted brain

The Addicted Brain

The brain of someone addicted to drugs and alcohol differs from someone who is not. We know that those who struggle or struggled with addiction are different physiologically than those who can control their substance use. But what are those differences and what do they look like in the brain?

There is a reason that some individuals can take substances and some cannot without becoming addicted immediately or shortly after. Some brains are just wired for addiction. Genetics plays a big role and those with other addicts in their families can pass along genes that make individuals respond differently to alcohol and drugs.

Scientists and addiction research specialists trace this phenomenon back to how the brain functions with Dopamine.

In a typical brain, dopamine is released during a pleasurable event, like having an orgasm. The brain quickly returns back to a normal equilibrium state once the event is over. However, in the brain of an addict, the dopamine sky rockets and doesn’t return back to an equilibrium. Instead it comes plunging down which puts individuals in all-time low. This is how the cycle of addiction can start. After an addicted individual comes down they feel that they must get that high again because anything is better than the low.

It’s important to note that a genetic predisposition to addiction doesn’t necessarily mean an individual is bound to have one. Addiction can be avoided by pure sobriety or partaking in such activities very minimally. Furthermore, some scientists believe that we are all hard wired for addiction if exposed enough to certain substances.

The Addicted Brain

Biological and genetic disposition is not the sole reason for addiction. It is also the attentional biases associated with the substance use. For example, perhaps when someone drinks it may be rewarding because of the social setting that it occurs in. This attentional bias can enhance the reward receptors even more than just the alcohol alone.

It is also important to note that the brain changes when it is undergoing addiction even if there was not predisposition prior to the addiction.

The following image compares a typical brain to an addicted brain:

brain of an addict

Get Well Jobs in Recovery

get well jobs

What are Get Well Jobs in Addiction Recovery?

Individuals in addiction recovery are usually advised to acquire get well jobs once they are ready to get back into the job force and society. But what does a wellness job even mean and what is the difference between a job and a wellness job?


Individuals in addiction and substance abuse treatment centers are removed from their daily stressors and put into a safe enwevironment where they can heal and learn skills that help them cope without the use of drugs and alcohol.


When someone in recovery is in the process of discharging and stepping back into society things can become overwhelming and shell shocking quickly. Jumping right back into a career or a demanding job can be detrimental to someone’s recovery and may lead to relapse. Addiction specialists and professionals advise that recovering individuals ease back into society by working a job that is not as taxing or rigid. These are get well jobs.


Get well jobs are jobs that don’t require too much of your emotional energy and are flexible enough to work with your recovery program. An example of a wellness job could be working at a coffee shop or a pizza parlor.

Finding a wellness job can be an exciting and positive experience because perhaps this may be the first time an individual has ever worked. However, this can also be difficult for some because often times recovering individuals are eager to support themselves again or get back to their previous career.


Let’s say someone was a CEO of a big company and took time to recover from an addiction at a treatment center. Going to work at a grocery store will most likely be a difficult thing to adjust to since they are not used to jobs like that and perhaps it does not financially support them.


Wellness jobs don’t necessarily mean that you have to work a minimum wage paying or part-time job but it does mean that recovering individuals need to work a job that will be supportive to their recovery.


Wellness jobs should possess the following traits:

  • Regular and reasonable work hours
  • Routine tasks and requirements
  • Proper working conditions
  • Clear expectations
  • Opportunity for growth
  • Flexibility


These traits can exist in a number of jobs. In the previous example of the CEO, that individual could perhaps come up with a way to integrate himself back into his job. Perhaps he could work part time rather than full time and hire an assistant to work side by side with him for extra support.


Addiction treatment centers and mental health professionals can help individuals find wellness jobs through job placement programs or by job counseling. Furthermore, job counseling or guidance can perhaps be found in an AA program and by networking and asking for advice from other people recovery.

Strange Addictions

exercise addiction

Strange addictions are more common than you think. When people think of addiction, they usually imagine drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, or even sex. However, addictions can occur to the most unexpected things like the ingestion of nail polish or air freshener. People can become addicted to behaviors or people or even objects.

Addiction to these strange things works similarly as addiction to drugs and alcohol. When individuals engage in their addictive behavior, such as eating cat food, they get a similar high from such acts like smoking cigarettes.

In reality anyone can become addicted to anything for many reasons. Some of the more common strange addictions include:


Plastic surgery

Chewing ice

Hair pulling


Social networking



Pica (eating non edible substances)

Wearing costumes all the time

A lot of these addictions sound strange because they are not typically heard of, however these strange addictions are more common than you think.

Causes for these strange addictions are similar to most causes of drug and alcohol addiction. For example, trauma, biology, genes, abuse, etc.  However, some people become addicted to things because of poor nutrition. For instance, some people become addicted to non-edible substances like chalk because they may have a severe mineral or vitamin deficiency.

There are many negative effects that can occur from these strange addictions. For example, eating non-edible things can have profound negative health consequences like gastrointestinal failure. An addiction to tanning could lead to cancer. Addictions to things like costumes or watching tv can be very detrimental to relationships. Furthermore, addictions in general interfere with all aspects of life.

If you know someone that is showing addictive behavior with anything. whether it seems strange or not, please encourage them to seek mental health support right away.  The Last House Sober Living can help with strange addictions!..  Contact Us Today!

strange addictions

Spontaneity In Sobriety

Spontaneity In Sobriety

The Fun And Adventure Of Spontaneity In Sobriety


To be spontaneous or not to be spontaneous? That is often a perplexing question for men in the early stages of sobriety because spontaneity can be a bit of an enigma. On the one hand, we are learning how to have fun again, fun which doesn’t include the self-destructive abuse of drugs and alcohol. For most men in recovery, the end of their addiction and/or alcoholism wasn’t fun anymore. Physically sick, mentally sick, and spiritually sick, their chemical dependency on mind-altering substances had wiped all the fun from our lives. Yet, our addicted minds tell us another story. Still hopeful for another stimulating dose of dopamine, the brain chemical messenger, called a neurotransmitter, which sends out all messages of pleasure, the addicted mind would have us believe that drugs and alcohol could still be fun. Moreover, our addicted mind would have us convinced that not only could drugs and alcohol be fun again, that drugs and alcohol are still the only kind of fun we’re capable of having. Thankfully, sobriety teaches us that just isn’t true. Thus, on the other hand, spontaneity is a necessary tool for recovery for unlearning addiction and relearning healthy fun.


Learning how to have fun again in a healthy way means having to have fun again in a healthy way. To anyone on the outside, having fun doesn’t sound like a forced activity. With a brain which has depleted its ability to produce fun-having chemicals, fun takes a little work. Overcoming the programming caused by addiction and reprogramming the brain is both a job and a journey. When healthy, holistic, spontaneous fun is involved, the job becomes much easier and the journey more enjoyable.


Spontaneity can be seen as a threat to sobriety because of its very nature in the definition. Words and phrases like “sudden inner impulse”, “inclination”, “without premeditation” fill various definitions of spontaneity. Impulsivity and inclinations without premeditation are symptoms of addiction and driving problems which perpetuate the cycle of addiction. Addiction quite literally shuts down the parts of the brain responsible for regulating impulsivity, calculating consequences, and weighing options. Confused on what is right or wrong, the addicted brain almost always chooses the wrong kind of impulsivity in favor of feeding addiction rather than the right kind of impulsivity which might rob an opportunity for intoxication. For precisely this reason, rewiring impulsivity is a critical necessity for a thriving life in recovery.


Spontaneity In Park City, The Last House Staff Adventures


Spontaneity is part of the natural flow of life and allows us to flourish in the possibilities of living in the present moment, free from the bondage of the past. Osho, the Indian mystic and philosophical leader said of spontaneity, “To be spontaneous means not to act out of the past, because out of the past is all cunningness, cleverness, calculation, arithmetic.” Living in fear of spontaneity in sobriety means giving all control to fear of an addicted past and all of the ways addiction was cunning, baffled us and rendered us powerless. In sobriety, as Osho describes, to be spontaneous is to live in a way which directly opposes these forces of the past. Matt Fidlow, The Last House Alumni and currently serving as the Admissions and Outreach Coordinator, couldn’t agree more. “Don’t let the past determine who you are,” Matt has developed as part of his sobriety philosophy, “Let the past determine who you become.”


While on a recent trip to the Wilderness Therapy Symposium in Park City Utah, Matt and The Last House Director of Admissions Chris Kirby found themselves in the middle of a rather spontaneous Saturday as the symposium slowed down. Bubbling fun ideas over with industry peers, our staff settled on fun activities at the Park City Mountain Resort including an Alpine Coaster and the Alpine Sled, two gravity-fed adventures.


Surrounded by the lush green beauty that is the ski-slope carved mountains of Park City in the summer, our team had a blast experiencing child-like wonder at the hands of sheer physics. On the Alpine Coaster, they were taken up a steep incline surrounded by Alpine Forest and peeking mountain views. Once at the top, the track curved, swerved, and cut downwards through throttling turns, stomach-lurching dips, and endless encompassing by greenery. Though Chris’s injury couldn’t allow him on the Alpine Sled, Matt took advantage of the opportunity. A chairlift up the mountainside offered stunning panoramic views of Park City Mountain Resort and the entirety of Park City, Deer Valley, and beyond. After dragging a “bobsled” down a beautiful winding forest path, Matt settled on the “Dynamite Express” track and went bolting down the twists and turns of the track. Along with their industry peers, Chris and Matt shared good laughs, took in the splendors of nature, listened to some killer live rock music, and engaged in good old spontaneous fun.


“Spending time in nature and having fun with people in the community of recovery is good for the soul,” Chris Kirby reflected. “So much of sobriety is about connection and there’s no better way to get connected than to have fun in the outdoors.”


Having fun within a community of like-minded, like-recovering, peers is part of what recovery is all about. Recovery should never be a punishment for addiction. Sobriety should never be lived like a sentencing because addiction is not a guilty conviction. In recovery, we have a second chance at life, an opportunity to discover what living is really all about, and a nothing less than miraculous gift of being able to live well and thrive well.


Offering men’s sober living in the Los Angeles area, The Last House strives to provide a safe, fun, program-oriented setting. Men in our program find their purpose and passion by progressing through their recovery in one of the world’s largest recovery communities supported by their peers and an experienced staff. For information on availability and our program, call us today: 1-866-677-0090.


Substance Abuse During Divorce

substance abuse during divorce

Substance Abuse during Divorce


Substance abuse during divorce is unfortunately a common and unhealthy way of coping with the devastation and stress that divorce can cause. Often times, substance abuse or addiction will push marriages to end. Some substance abuse and addiction is triggered just by the divorce alone.


Divorce is identified as one of the most stressful life events that someone can go through. If one of the spouses doesn’t have many coping skills to begin with, divorce can push them into a downward spiral of abusing drugs and alcohol. In fact, studies show that divorced individuals are more likely to drink alcohol than married couples. Many times individuals will turn to alcohol, porn or excessive partying to cope with the distress of divorce. Addiction and substance abuse is not just limited to drugs and alcohol. Individuals can also turn to things like food, nicotine, and sex.


Substance abuse and addiction doesn’t help or benefit anyone and can have immense negative consequences on the divorce process. In truth, substance abuse and addiction will most often worsen the impact of divorce, such as a loss in custody over children. Addiction and substance abuse can lead to more fights and will inhibit healthy communication. This can lead to additional legal consequences.


If you are in the process of getting in a divorce, it is important get support from your loved ones and from professionals. Lawyers can help individuals decide what is best for themselves and their family and can assist in making really difficult decisions surrounding custody, finances or communication.


It can be very intimidating and stressful to work through a divorce with someone who is addicted or abusing substances to cope. Being aware of when a spouse is under the influence is important so that an individual can set healthy boundaries. For example, if a spouse has been drinking it is best not to speak with them until they are in a clearer head space and sober.


Divorce and addiction can go hand in hand. Either one can come before the other and lead to the latter. Although it may mask the devastation, addiction and substance worsens the divorce process in the long run.  

Volunteer Working During Addiction Recovery

volunteer work during addiction recovery

Volunteer Work During Addiction Recovery

Helping and serving others through volunteer work is often times some of the most humbling and rewarding experiences in addiction recovery, let alone in life.

History shows that serving and caring for others is not only essential to living a fulfilled life but also what makes us human.

Some of the most influential figures made history by serving others.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” — Mahatma Gandhi

During addiction, individuals lose themselves in their substance use. When someone is suffering from addiction, care and consideration for others is put on the back burner and finding the next high becomes the main focus.

Addiction is a selfish disease by nature. Not only that, but often times, individuals struggling with addiction do the sheer opposite of serving others and do horrible things such as stealing and hurting others for the sake of their next high.

Incorporating volunteer work and serving others is an essential element in many addiction recovery settings. Volunteering during recovery helps addicts to step outside of themselves and reconnect with the world.

Volunteer work during addiction recovery has many benefits, not only to those being served but to those actually providing the care! When recovering addicts volunteer during recovery they are simultaneously improving their mental and physical health.

Health benefits include:

Improved lifespan- Addiction and substance abuse decreases longevity in life however volunteering and serving others can repair and improve some of the physical damage from addiction and substance abuse. Some research has shown that volunteering is just as effective, if not more, than exercising consistently.

Mental health- Finding a spiritual connection and a purpose in life is a critical part of addiction and substance abuse recovery. Serving others can give individuals a sense of purpose and a deeper connection. Additionally, happy hormones are released and stress is reduced when individuals feel they are contributing good to the world.

Enhanced social connections- Connection is the essence of volunteer work. Volunteering provides individuals an opportunity to meet many people, create and foster relationships, practice social skills and boost self confidence in social settings.

Volunteering during addiction recovery also sets an expectation for those recovering to be a positive example for others. This is especially important if recovering addicts are volunteering with other individuals recovering from addiction and substance abuse.

Individuals that volunteer during addiction recovery are also building resume and job skills in addition to spending time in a more constructive and productive way.

At Thrive, individuals in recovery are given opportunities to volunteer and serve others to reap all of these benefits.