Utilizing Community Resources
For the person in recovery, community resources can be a gateway to supporting an addiction-free lifestyle. Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and other 12-step groups have already been mentioned but deserve mention again as they contribute so much to the lives of recovering addicts.
There are many other community resources that also promote a healthy, addiction-free life. The YMCA offers opportunities for exercise, classes to learn new skills, and social events to promote healthy socialization in the community. Many communities offer adult community education programs where a person can explore new interests and develop new skills. These classes may lead to a new career or may simply stimulate one's mind, simultaneously developing new friends.
Many churches, synagogues, and other religious institutions have programs supporting sobriety and recovery. They provide excellent opportunities for the recovering addict to heal and grow spiritually. Religious organizations also provide additional opportunities to meet other individuals who are more likely to be committed to a sober lifestyle.
In spite of vast educational and awareness efforts, there may still be those in communities who retain prejudices against recovering addicts. Some may hold on to fears relating addictions to crime and family pain. Don't let the prejudices and fears of others stand in the way of recovery! Be prepared, and in spite of these barriers, live an exemplary life devoted to recovery.
Additionally, most communities have various clubs and organizations devoted to particular interests. Examples include golf clubs, garden clubs, book clubs, bridge clubs, and dance clubs. While these community activities may not be specifically for supporting addiction recovery, they do promote the development of hobbies and interests that fit in with a healthy, addiction-free life.
Last, but not least, are community political organizations. These groups provide excellent opportunities for a recovering addict to contribute to building healthy communities for himself and others alike. Working to enact ordinances and laws affecting addiction recovery in one's community can boost a sense of self-worth and accomplishment.