PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- New research and a new treatment plan show that those recovering from substance abuse find meaning in life by helping others.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse says relapse rates among drug addicts or alcoholics are the same as the relapse rates for chronic medical illnesses. With that in mind, the Recovery Centers of America has unveiled a new program focused on inspiring hope and putting new energy into the lives of those in recovery.
"An individual finds it very difficult to deal with emotion," said Scott Weisenberger, Vice President of Clinical Services for RCA. "Because they're having a bad day, go get high or drunk, 'my wife yells at me, I'm gonna get drunk.' So the substance becomes the answer for any negative situation or emotion."
He says the new program is called PRISE, "Promoting Recovery through Intensive Support and Education.” He says part of it focuses on helping others.
"We joined with an adolescent treatment program in the Philadelphia area," Weisenberger said, "and once a week, we're gonna take them there and have an opportunity to say 'don't do what I did, do what I'm telling you to do.' So they're helping somebody and that's going to inspire good feelings."
And he adds, good feelings lead to more sobriety. Currently, national statistics show more than 20 million Americans suffer from substance abuse.