Christian Drug Rehab

Helping Others Helps us Stay Sober


A recent study known as the “Helping Others” study was the first of its kind in revealing empirical evidence that 12 step programs are effective in helping people achieve long-term sobriety. According to the study, the main factor that facilitated alcoholics in sustaining sobriety was the 12-step principal of service to others. Maria Pagano, an associate professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University who headed this study said, “Consequently, being interested in others keeps you more connected to your program and pulls you out of the vicious cycle of extreme self-preoccupation that is a posited root of addiction.”Eloquently put, Pagano is correct that many use self-preoccupation to fuel their addiction because they are constant victims who have an excuse to drink or use drugs. They invite drama and despair in order to sustain a reason to keep abusing alcohol. Helping others is the best way to stop one’s own self-preoccupation. The 12th step is rooted in the spiritual principle of “service to others” as it states, “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” In order to help other alcoholics achieve sobriety, those in recovery must freely give what was given to them and thus get out of their self-preoccupation. What was given to them can involve anything from one’s time, sponsorship and shared relative personal experience to giving rides to meetings and cleaning up after.

As Pagano stated, “The AAH findings suggest the importance of getting active in service, which can be in a committed 2-month AA service position or as simple as sharing one’s personal experience in recovery to another fellow sufferer.” These experiences can have a lasting impact on a person’s inner resolve to stay sober – particularly for the person helping others rather than the person being helped. There is something deeply spiritual that unfolds through helping others, where one can forget about themselves and their ‘self’ as a separate entity from others. They begin to see that there is a greater world beyond their inner world of problems, sorrow and worry. Honing in on the needs and sorrows of others magically helps a person feel better about themselves.

Particularly, it allows one to be in right relationship with God, because helping others is part of Gods will, which brings inner peace and confidence. A person’s serenity is measured by their spiritual condition or relationship with God – and when that is in balance, the chances of sobriety are greater because there is less inner turmoil or self-preoccupation that leads to drinking or using.

Service to others is one of the greatest spiritual principals of Christianity as well.  In Philippians 2:4, Paul says “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” and in Galatians 6:2 he says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  The various parallels between 12 step spiritual principals and those of Christianity are what make the Christian drug rehab program at Celebrate a New Life remarkable. Like the Helping Others study, we have also had great success rates with our clients being able to achieve long-term sobriety through embodying Christian principals, like services to others, in their recovery process.
If you or a loved one is faced with addiction and would like a chance at long-term sobriety, our Christian drug rehab can help.