Treating alcoholism is one of the trickiest things that modern medicine has not yet come close to solving. The best thing we have going against the disease of alcoholism is the 12 step program that was designed and is left unchanged from several decades ago. This program works for very few people who try it, and in fact AA world services reports that almost a full 80 percent of those who come to their first AA meeting will leave and never return to AA at any point in their lives. This can hardly be called a resounding success when it comes to trying to help struggling alcoholics.
So what is the key to treating alcoholics? Is it about finding the perfect program? Is it a lack of motivation on the part of the individual? Do we have to find some secret program or recovery strategy that we have not yet uncovered?
Well, for starters, I would like to point out that the magic is not in the program itself. There are a variety of programs out there for treating addiction and alcoholism. You have the 12 step program for starters, but there are also religious programs and other smaller programs that have popped up. Some are behavioral, some are more psychological, and some focus heavily on the medical and physical aspect of treating addiction. There are people who have used religion to overcome alcoholism, but this is not necessarily the answer for everyone of course. Different programs seem to work for different people.
Clearly, the program that you use is irrelevant. The details are just that: details. The inner workings of a recovery program are not the secret sauce that keeps people clean and sober for ten years straight. No, that inner drive that maintains long term sobriety has to come from something else. How else could it be that people succeed in sobriety using different recovery programs? It is not the programs that keep people sober but the passion with which the person attacks their recovery. If the level of drive and passion and enthusiasm are not there, then it matters very little which recovery program you choose. You will not stay sober for long.
The best approach to treating alcoholism is not so much a program but a mindset. They even say this in AA: take what you need and leave the rest. Don’t just nod your head at that statement in agreement; actually do it. Leave the parts that don’t help you. Take a holistic approach and try to grow in many unique ways. Branch out and explore your recovery. This is how to treat alcoholism effectively.
Consider the fact that you can find success stories of sobriety from people who have taken vastly different paths in recovery. Really consider this idea, that they are not all doing the same thing in order to recover. So one of the big keys is in experimentation. You have to find what works for you and then apply it in your life with great enthusiasm.
Take massive action and you can recover, regardless of which program you choose to work.