It’s no secret that Angelina Jolie struggled with drug abuse for several years when she was in her early twenties, and information about her struggles aren’t difficult to find on the Internet and social media. Jolie, who just turned 40, is open about her drug-using past, freely admitting that she tried just about anything she could get her hands on, including cocaine, heroin, LSD, ecstasy and marijuana. Jolie says that for her, drug use and other dangerous, risky behaviors were connected to a deep depression that began in her teens.

Angelina Jolie and her life

Jolie also admits that she experimented with “cutting” to relieve feelings of emptiness and loss of connection. Cutting, which usually involves making small cuts to the arms and legs, is a form of self-harm that provides temporary relief and a sense of control over emotional pain. It is most common among young girls.

In an interview with 60 Minutes, Jolie talked about her drug use, which she blames on youth, immaturity, and self-absorption. Although she doesn’t go into extensive detail about those years, she told interviewers, “I didn’t die young, so I’m very lucky. I went through dark times and I survived.”

From Wild Child to Goodwill Ambassador

Jolie says she began to turn her life around when she was named Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR ) in 2001. The honor and responsibility associated with the position provided the motivation she needed to grow up and change her life. According to the UN Refugee Agency, Jolie has completed more than 40 missions to some of the world’s most remote regions to advocate for the protection of millions of displaced people.

Jolie continues to dedicate time, energy and money to the plight of people who have been displaced by conflict and has been active in disaster relief efforts, international law, healthcare, environmentalism, and education. She has won numerous awards, including a Citizen of the World Award and a Global Humanitarian Award.

Avoid Alcohol This Summer
Top 10 Tips to Avoid Alcohol This Summer

Summer might be one of the hardest times to avoid alcohol but this top 10 list of ways to keep yourself entertained can also help you stay sober!

More info

Helping Others Provides Motivation to Help Yourself: The Benefits of Volunteering

Although Jolie is an inspiration to people all over the world, it isn’t necessary to be wealthy, famous or beautiful to accomplish great things, and like Jolie, a commitment to help other people may help you in your own personal struggles. Often, helping other people shifts the focus from your own problems and reminds you of the good things in your life.

Volunteering is a great thing to do. Research has proven without a doubt that people who volunteer tend to be happier, and the more they volunteer, they happier they are.  Volunteering can be especially helpful after rehab and as you continue your recovery journey. Helping others can help alleviate depression, boost self-esteem and fend off restlessness and boredom.

How to Become a Volunteer and Change Your Life

Take time to think about causes that are important to you and the ways you would like to help. For example, you may like to work with animals, children or senior citizens, or you may be interested in environmental or political concerns. Consider if you prefer working in teams or on your own. Think about how much time you can reasonably commit and start small. Don’t make promises that you can’t keep.

Once you have determined a focus, call organizations in your area and ask how you can help. Be sure to ask plenty of questions to be sure the volunteer requirements are a good fit for your skills. If things don’t feel right, move on to something that works better. Volunteering should be a joyful, rewarding experience – not something that feels like a requirement or a duty.

Hawaii Island Recovery

At Hawaii Island Recovery, you have a strong support team and caring addiction specialists to help you through your recovery process.

Call them at (866) 491-8009 and their friendly staff will be happy to answer your questions about their therapies and how they can help you or your loved one achieve sobriety.