Helping Others May Improve Recovering Addicts’ Relapse Prevention Efforts

By Staff Writer

Drug rehab programs that allow recovering alcoholics and drug users to interact with each other and get them involved in the community may support relapse prevention efforts, according to a new study from researchers at Case Western Reserve University.

Community service is at the heart of many drug rehab programs. Experts say that this helps substance abusers overcome egocentrism and selfishness, which often lies at the heart of an individual’s addiction problems. The findings of the new investigation support this method of treatment.

For the study, professors from the university reviewed the results of previously published research into different addiction treatment approaches. They found that 40 percent of alcoholics who provided emotional support to individuals with a similar addiction stayed sober for more than 12 months. Comparatively, only 22 percent of those who were not involved in the community during treatment remained clean.

The researchers said that their findings prove that helping others should be a regular component of relapse prevention programs. This strategy may help more recovering alcoholics and drug users learn to remain substance-free.