What is the best method for overcoming alcoholism addiction? There are different programs out there, so which is the best one? What will give you the best chances at achieving long term sobriety?
All good questions. It is difficult to know how to approach the problem of alcoholism because there are different options available. For example, the most popular option, by far, is the 12 step program of AA. However, it is widely known that the success rate of AA is not very high, and even AA census data shows that almost 80 percent of those who attend their first meeting end up leaving AA for good within a year or less. So it is definitely not a solution for everyone, though it does work wonders for a small percentage of alcoholics.
Now there are other programs out there, such as religious based programs, and also therapy based programs. What is important to understand is that these various programs are not necessarily better than the others and that there is not magic formula in one of them or any of them that is able to keep people clean and sober.
Think about this for a moment. There are different programs and treatment methods out there for treating alcoholism. Do you really think that if one of them had a serious edge over the others, that you would not hear about it? That studies would not reveal this and point us closer to a solution? The fact is that none of the programs or treatments that we have devised to treat alcoholism have really done spectacularly well. None of the programs rise above the others as being superior or dominant. The 12 step program is the most popular and is widely used, but does it offer a superior rate of success over other treatment methods? No it does not.
So what is the answer? You have success stories here and there from recovering alcoholics both in and out of AA. Some are in alternative programs. What, then, is the secret to success?
The secret is massive action. If you take massive action within any recovery program you are going to do well. There is no secret sauce in one program over another. They are all abstinence based and that is all that is really required. The rest is just details and if you make a huge effort at following the program then you are going to do well in recovery. It is as simple as that and this is the secret to successfully treating alcoholism.
Most people deny these ideas because they think there is special magic in their particular program of recovery. They believe, for example, that the 12 steps have mystical properties, or that they give the recovering alcoholic special powers that go beyond the actual footwork that people put into changing their lives. The truth is that there is no magic, it is only hard work and common sense that can change your life.
There is nothing wrong with the 12 steps as a plan of recovery, and they can certainly work for you. But there is no magic in them either. Recognizing this is important so that you clearly understand the hard work that is necessary to recover.