Say No to Drugs, Yes to Good Deeds

You may not need more proof that doing good deeds is good for your health. But you’re probably just as fascinated as me to learn more about it. The latest news: Kids with drug and alcohol addictions are more successful in their recovery when… wait for it… they help others.

So says a psychiatric team at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, which recently published results from its “Helping Others” study. The researchers investigated almost 200 teens in substance abuse treatment. They found that the kids who helped others as prescribed in 12-step programs had fewer cravings, and were more likely to have a good treatment outcome, compared to other teens in treatment.

After we all take a moment to weep over the drug-addicted kids, it’s worth noting that here, again, is an example of how serving others also serves ourselves. The 12-step programs aren’t for everyone. But acts of kindness never go out of fashion.

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