What is the ideal alcohol treatment program? What does it consist of, and how should it work?
These are the types of questions that I continuously explore on this website. I am discouraged with traditional recovery programs because the rate of success is so poor when you measure across the board. In fact, census data from 12 step programs shows that almost 80 percent of people who come to a meeting end up leaving by the end of the first year, never to return. To me, this is discouraging and it seems like we can devise a better program if we worked at it.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” That is the solution for me, and I have evolved my own personal program of recovery from alcoholism over the last 8 years in terms of how I work recovery. I do not go to meetings or deliberately work the steps. Instead, I follow an abstinence based program of holistic growth. My program is one of creation. I call it the creative theory of recovery.
I have nothing against 12 step programs other than the fact that they do not work for most people. In my own life, I choose to work a more holistic program rather than a spiritual one. This has produced good results for me and I think it could help other people as well.
If you observe people who are successful in recovery–whether they are working a 12 step program or not–you will see that they are actively creating a new life for themselves. They are doing things. They are taking action. This is creation. They are setting goals and achieving them. They are pursuing things that give them meaning and purpose in their lives. This is the key ingredient, the secret sauce that produces success and long term sobriety…regardless of what program you are working.
Any program for alcohol treatment is going to be only as good as the success stories it can produce. If you see people in a program who are enthusiastic and excited about life in recovery, then that is something that should draw you naturally to it. If this is a 12 step program, then that is great. Go for it. Find what gets you excited about life in sobriety and pursue it. If you can find your passion and purpose in 12 step meetings, then go to meetings every day and pour your heart into them. If you do not connect well in that situation then you must find other avenues. There are many paths to recovery.