Which strategies are the most useful for drug abuse rehabilitation? Let’s take a look at some common strategies for those who are seeking to overcome drug abuse, addiction, and alcoholism, and see which ones really work the best:
* 12 step meetings – many people who attend treatment centers or rehabs will be introduced to the 12 step fellowships of AA and NA. These can be helpful for newcomers in recovery and many people in long term recovery will come to depend on them as well (not necessarily a good thing in all cases). By AA’s own measure, the rate at which people leave AA is alarmingly high, somewhere around 10 percent of all new members will stay for over a year, the rest leave and never return. Does this make it a worthless strategy? Certainly not. On one hand, it just means that many people do not want to use AA as their solution for recovery. For many people who stay in AA and NA, it becomes a big part of their life, and leads them to a solution that works for them.
I always advise newcomers to give the programs a chance, because there is so much widespread support available. If you are desperate to stay clean and sober, the people in these fellowships are almost always willing to help you in any way that they can. It is hard to beat that kind of welcoming support. With that said, such programs might become a hindrance in the long run, depending on how people react to them and possibly fall victim to complacency.
* Exercise – this is a darn powerful strategy for overcoming drug addiction or alcoholism that is often overlooked. The reason people overlook it is because they are inherently lazy. Those who exercise on a regular basis in recovery know what a positive impact that it has, though it is very difficult to put it into words. One piece of evidence though is the people who are passionate about exercise: they would not dream of going without in their recovery or in their life, because they just know how much it benefits them, and they feel the powerful effect that it has on their overall well being. The reward gets even greater if you replaced a bad habit with exercise being the good one, such as giving up smoking for jogging. Make a double change like that, and your life will never be the same again, and your recovery will be infinitely stronger as a result.
Do not underestimate the power of regular, vigorous exercise unless you have tried it for a long time and found it lacking. It takes a while for the benefits to fully kick in, but once you “get there” with getting into shape, you would never dream of going backwards. It really is awesome.
* Religion – this is a strategy that is almost always talked down towards in traditional recovery circles (read: AA meetings). But if religion or a church community helps you to find your path in recovery, then go with it! Why not? You have to experiment and use what works for you in your journey to sobriety.
* Counseling or therapy – again, experiment and use it if it works for you. If it does not work, then move on and test another strategy. Some people do not do well in groups, and they can talk with a therapist or counselor and get great benefit out of it. Highly self motivated people might do well with this type of recovery strategy.
Experiment in your recovery and find what helps you the most. Then, leave the other recovery strategies alone–whatever they may be–and feel no guilt about it.
Do what works for you.