Using a Drug Abuse Program to Change Your Whole Life

Using a Drug Abuse Program to Change Your Whole Life


What is the key to successful treatment?  Consider the fact that most people who achieve long term sobriety in recovery have:

* Accountability.  They have families, jobs, responsibilities, etc.

* Education.  They are good at learning new things, which is critical for recovery, in learning how to live a new way of life.

* Financial stability.  Not everyone who gets sobered up is rich, of course.  But those who have no money at all have the odds stacked against them.  It is so much easier to scrape up enough to just go get one more bottle than it is to hold your entire financial life together.

Given these ideas, it makes sense that the key to a drug abuse program is that the individual in question must take massive action in changing their life.  The real problem is that drug abuse affects us on so many different levels, in so many different ways, that to break free from an addiction takes a major life change.  It is not enough to walk away from the drug and hope that everything will be different.  Instead, we have to actively change our lives in positive and meaningful ways.

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How do we go about creating these changes?  There are a number of different programs out there that can guide you through this, such as Narcotics Anonymous, or any number of religious based programs.  There are also behavioral programs that seek to change your life on a behavioral level.  And there are cognitive programs that attempt to help you think through to a solution for your drug problem.

But for someone who is really caught up in drug abuse or addiction, we need substance abuse programs that really allow us to change our whole life.  We need a guide for affecting massive change in our lives.

Without a Defined Place in Life
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ignas Kukenys

Good recovery programs will lean towards positive action and holistic growth principles.  Why holistic growth?  Because this can serve as a guide for changing your life for the better in recovery.

First of all: what is holistic growth?  It is simply personal growth, applied to the whole person.  That could mean spiritual growth, emotional growth, physical fitness, and so on.  It is not limited to just one category.  So there are plenty of options.  Plenty of different paths to grow along.

Why holistic growth and not spiritual (as is pushed in traditional 12 step programs)?  Because spiritual growth is limited.  When you focus on it to the exclusion of other pursuits, you short change yourself in recovery.  A case in point: look at an AA meeting where everyone is chain smoking.  Guess what the leading killer of recovering alcoholics is?  Lung cancer.  Now I hate to pick on people like this, but holistic growth would address that issue.  The chain smokers in the 12 step meeting are clinging to the idea that “spiritual growth is their salvation.”  They can justify their smoking through spiritual superiority.  This is not healthy and it is not serving their recovery well.

Quitting smoking, getting fit, seeking emotional balance, and other avenues of growth will only help to strengthen a person’s recovery.  Don’t limit yourself to traditional views of change in recovery, as they are severely limiting when it comes to true holistic growth.


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