Perspective: Finding Purpose and Direction Through Service

by Scarlett C. (Munro 2000)

On Saturday, September 16, 2000, I crawled through the doors of 501 Detox. I had no idea that my life was about to drastically change. I was sick, tired and afraid.

A counsellor told me that if I did not go to treatment directly from detox, I would die. I knew he was right and so I entered Renascent’s 21-day residential program at the Graham Munro Centre.

I have been volunteering at detox centres since I was three months sober and it’s one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.

Going and speaking with detox clients gives me the feeling I’ve been waiting for my entire life. It gives me a sense of purpose and direction. I finally understand why I went through years of alcoholic hell: so that I could look the still suffering alcoholic/addict right in the eye and let them know that I have been there before and that it is possible to live a different way of life. I’m living proof that change is possible. I can say, “Here is how I have done it, one day at a time.”

Volunteering at detoxes also teaches me humility and reminds me to be grateful for what I have. I am reminded every time I walk through those doors of where I come from and why I need to continue to do the work of recovery. I can look around and see right in front of me what my alternative is if I ever decide it makes sense to have a drink “one more time”.

Detoxes are jumping off points – where people choose to live with alcohol/drugs or without them. Only someone who’s been there can reach detox clients.

Detox gave me the gift of entering Renascent. Renascent Alumni Services have given me the gift of giving back through service at detox centres. It has been through Renascent Alumni that I have had the opportunity to help host meetings in detox and to share first-hand the benefits of Renascent’s treatment program and how it created a strong foundation for my recovery.


About the Authors

Renascent Alumni
Members of Renascent's alumni community carry the message by sharing their experiences and perspectives on addiction and recovery. To contribute your alumni perspective, please email