The best addiction treatment programs are those that encourage massive action up front and also instill the idea of long term holistic growth. This is an interesting combination of ideas and it is exactly what is needed for success in recovery. However, the time line for implementation is different and it does not make a lot of sense to throw too much information on to newly recovering addicts and alcoholics all at once. So therein lies the problem of treatment programs for addiction: how to teach people about the transition from early recovery to long term sobriety while they are in a short term treatment center.
Early recovery starts out with massive action. If the addict in question does not take massive action, they will not succeed in staying clean and sober and will relapse shortly after leaving treatment. Massive action includes things such as:
1) Going to 12 step meetings every single day, sometimes multiple times per day.
2) Complete immersion in a recovery program, to the point of dedicating almost all of your free time to recovery.
3) Making major life changes, such as living in long term treatment, leaving jobs or homes that have too many using addicts in them, etc.
4) Taking positive action in life, such as getting a new job, going back to school, etc.
People who try to get clean and sober often underestimate the amount of action that is required of them in order to achieve success with an addiction treatment program. Often times they will do the bare minimum and hit a few meetings and expect their life to change in a big way. This is not realistic and it takes a monumental effort that goes far beyond this.
Now after a treatment program instructs the addicts and alcoholics about how to take massive action and conquer early recovery, they must also instruct the addict on how to transition into long term sobriety. This is about balance and personal growth and working with others, and less about daily recovery rituals that defined early recovery.
Those who do not make this transition often burn out and relapse. They may start slipping, realize it, and simply try to do “more.” More meetings, more recovery stuff, etc. What they might really need is less. Balance. More living, less recovery. More holistic growth, less emphasis on daily meetings. That is what has worked for me in achieving this transition and it continues to work in my life today. Explore holistic and personal growth outside the boundaries of traditional recovery, and you will see a whole new world open up to you in your recovery.