Finding Purpose in Life
Why are some people susceptible to substance abuse? It is not an easy question to answer, because alcoholism and drug abuse are complicated issues. Genetics, upbringing, and environmental factors all might play a role in substance abuse. But did you know that people who lack real meaning in their lives may be more vulnerable to abusing drugs or alcohol? Finding purpose in life could be a reason why so many people turn to drugs or alcohol, and in the same breath, finding purpose in life could also be a deciding factor in one’s ability to remain sober after rehab.
For instance, one study examined people who participated in a 12-step program. Researchers in the study determined that people who lacked purpose in life were more likely to be dependent on alcohol and drugs and had a higher likelihood of mental health problems. The aim of the study was to develop better and more efficient methods to help patients in the 12-step program. One of the recommendations was to strengthen the spiritual aspect of the program.
The 12-step program, developed by Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930s, has a spiritual foundation, but it does not require that participants belong to a specific religion. Participants are not forced to pray to God but are encouraged to address a higher power.
Drug Addiction and Finding Purpose in Life
Finding purpose in life is not easy, people have studied this concept and even written books about it. Many self-help books focus on finding purpose in life as an answer to many problems. For some who struggle with finding purpose in life, turning to drugs and alcohol seems like the right thing to do. Many people say they use drugs or alcohol because they are bored, or unhappy with their lives. The answer is right in front of their faces and they can not see it. Finding purpose in life, a reason to wake up day in and day out and to be excited can keep many people away from drugs and alcohol.
Many abuse drugs and alcohol when they are in their teens and early adult hood. The correlation between young adult drug use and figuring out what they want to do with their lives should not be overlooked. Not knowing what direction your life is heading can be stressful and scary, many turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their thoughts and feelings. The drugs or drinks calm the nerves and for that moment everything is right with the world, or is it? When the substances wear off you are still left with your problems and confusion on life.
Finding purpose in life, whether it be joining a cause, changing to a meaningful career that helps others, or making money, can give someone the direction and determination needed to wake up every day ready to face the day and make an impact.
Finding Purpose in Life After Addiction Recovery
People struggling with mental health and addiction might benefit from finding purpose in life. When you are in recovery from an addiction, finding purpose in life may seem like a far-fetched idea. For many in early recovery their purpose is to not use drugs or alcohol just for today. But as you begin to gain clean time you will notice that there is more to life than just staying sober, something is still missing. Finding purpose in life will help those in early recovery transition to a life-long recovery. A purpose might be an activity, self-improvement goal, or a bucket list.
Recovering alcohol and drug dependents have a better chance of avoiding a relapse if they find a purpose. By doing something that is greater than themselves, they might forget their own problems by focusing on other people and things, including:
- Charitable Activities
- Environmental Protection
- Mental Health Awareness
- Children’s Organizations
- Feeding the Homeless
- Animal Rights Activist
- Reconnecting with a Hobby (Sports, Music, Art, Outdoor Recreation)
- Helping Others Find Sobriety
- Building Homes
- Starting a Non-Profit
- Working as a Social Worker
- Going Back to College
- Helping the Elderly
There are so many different angles one can take when finding a purpose in life, the important thing is to find your own niche. There are even questions you can ask to help you find purpose in life. Finding life’s purpose is not easy, but it is not something to get hung up on. Sometimes people realize their calling when they least expect it, or without trying. When we try to hard we tend to miss the things that are right in front of our faces.