What is the secret to overcoming drug alcohol addiction? Most people do not realize it, even after they have found success in this area. Some people get confused and they attribute their success to a particular program, such as a religious based recovery program, or perhaps Alcoholics Anonymous. They will reason “since I went to AA and stayed sober, that is the secret to success. AA works.” Or they might reason “Since I went to Teen Challenge (a religious based program) and stayed sober, that is the key to success. Religious conversion must be the answer.”
So people are biased towards the solution that worked for them. But if we back up for a minute, and really look at drug alcohol addiction solutions, we can easily see that there are plenty of success stories from different programs–completely different models of recovery. Some people find success in AA, others find success in religious programs, and still others find success using behavioral therapy and counseling.
Clearly, there is no “one size fits all solution.” And yet, there must be similarities between those who are successful in recovery programs. And the similarities are these:
* The winners in recovery are action oriented, especially in early recovery. The people who stay clean and sober take a ton of action. They take massive action. And they get results based on these massive changes. What else is early recovery but a huge amount of change in your life? They have a saying in traditional recovery: “If nothing changes, nothing changes.” Your goal in early recovery is to make a huge amount of change happen in a very short period of time. What do you have to change? Everything. Both external changes (such as where you hang out and who you hang around with) and internal changes (such as how you process feelings and how you deal with emotions) are required. It is a lot to deal with all at once.
* The winners in recovery put forth a huge effort. Think about this: the average person in recovery relapses in about a month or less. More than 75 percent of everyone entering recovery will relapse long before the first year is up. So what if you want better than average results? Duh! You have to put forth a better than average effort. And that means lots of hard work.
* The success stories in recovery programs help others to recover. If you are clean and sober, and you are not working with others in recovery in some fashion, then you are on thin ice. You have to give it away to keep it.