There are a number of potential solutions for drug addiction and alcoholism.
The only way you can screw this up is if you think that only one of these ideas can help you. If something doesn’t work, then try something else. To do otherwise is to give up and succumb to a lifetime of addiction.
Persistence is key. If you keep trying to get clean and sober then eventually you will “stick and stay.” For some, it is a matter of finding the right tools for the job.
1) Residential treatment – this is the traditional 28 day program. Chances are very high that it is 12 step based. Not everyone who is clean and sober went to treatment, but a lot of people do get started in recovery this way. If you are seeking an impacting change in your life, you could do worse than checking into a place.
2) Counseling or therapy – in my opinion this is not a high impact option for getting clean and sober, but it has worked for some people. The reason it is not high-impact is because it does not really change the structure of your life or force you to make big changes. All of that is left up to you. If you are self motivated and do not have a lot of peer influences on your drug or alcohol use then this might be a good option. This recovery strategy will also appeal greatly to anyone with social anxiety (though the winning solution for some of them will be to face their fear directly and thus go in the other direction with things).
3) Long term treatment – this was my winning combination right here. I went to long term treatment for a period of 20 months and it saved my life and started me on a path of recovery. I do not think I would be clean and sober today without long term treatment. It sounds like a death sentence for the newcomer but it might be the only option that works.
Long term has huge potential to be effective in helping people stay sober because it involves the greatest amount of structural change. Living in long term is not a surface level kind of change….it is much deeper than that because you have set up a winning structure in your life with regular therapy, groups, meetings, and so on. It is not a foolproof strategy but if you really want to recover then long term gives you every advantage to do so.
4) 12 step meetings – some people find success for their recovery in the 12 step fellowship. Others might not. This is a very popular option though and it does work for some.
5) Medication – usually this is a supplemental strategy to help someone to recover. There are a number of different medications out there that can help with addiction and some people have definitely found success in recovery by using them. There is potential for some issues and problems with this strategy but on the whole this recovery strategy is probably going to increase in popularity as more and more medications are researched and developed in the coming years.
6) Creative recovery – living the creative theory of recovery is the most powerful long term strategy for recovery. It is purposeful living that goes beyond traditional recovery by seeking to create an awesome new life for yourself. A bit over-hyped there but it has been working for me for 8 plus years now, and I see the principals of it working for others too.
Something to consider if you are looking for a new way to live outside of the usual suggestions.