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12-Step Meetings

Service and Your Recovery: Working the 12th Step

Recovery Centers of America

Authored by Recovery Centers of America

In active addiction, we often revolve around feeding the addiction by focusing on ourselves. As we enter our recovery journey, we must shift focus to helping others. Whether sober for ten days or ten years, aiding others on their own journey plays a huge part in ensuring success in recovery. Remember, Narcotics Anonymous says, “We can only keep what we have by giving it away.” But what counts as service in recovery?  

What Is Service?  

Service work allows us to put our gratitude for our recovery and those who support us throughout our journey into action by showing others the same level of support as they begin to discover a better way of life without drugs and alcohol.  

The service portion of your recovery means giving back and carrying the message of hope and the 12 steps to others. For those entering recovery for the first time, a good starting point could be to do any of the following: 

  • Join a local home group 
  • Volunteer to greet others as they arrive to the meeting 
  • Prepare coffee before each recovery meeting 

After getting more sobriety under your belt, service work such as chairing meetings, sponsoring others in the program, and accepting speaking commitments, can be great next steps. The most important thing to remember is that every 12-step fellowship is a “we” program, meaning we cannot do this alone. We need the love, support, and service from others to find freedom from our addictions. So, any act of service is a valiant effort—no commitment is too small.  

Why Should You Get into Service?  

Serving others has a twofold benefit. Your commitment not only helps them but aids your recovery, too. Assisting others boosts self-esteem and contributes to recovery. When stuck in negative thoughts related to addiction, helping another person struggling with a substance use disorder can be truly healing.  

Extending a helping hand in recovery brings personal satisfaction and builds accountability. Commitments in recovery are promises to yourself and others, ensuring accountability and support in your journey. 

The Alumni Association at Recovery Centers of America can help. There are plenty of opportunities to give back to your fellow alumni and patients in treatment. If you were ever in an inpatient facility, remember how difficult that time was. Now imagine how helpful it would have been if you could talk to, ask questions to, or listen to someone who was once in your shoes but is now recovering. These patients need to hear from you. They need to hear your successes, your obstacles, and how you were able to find hope.  

After checking out our service opportunities, connect with your local Alumni Coordinator, who will happily work with you to find an opportunity that works for you and the goals you have outlined in your recovery.  

Connect with RCA for More Information on Service in 12-Step Programs  

Participating in service is one of the most rewarding aspects of recovery. It allows you to give back, stay humble and accountable, and continue growing in your recovery. To learn more about how service fits into a 12-step program or to get involved with our Alumni Association, contact Recovery Centers of America online or call 1-800-RECOVERY today. 

Authored by

Recovery Centers of America

Recovery Centers of America



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