What is the most important addiction information for people who are struggling to get over a drug or alcohol problem? What are the critical keys to success for people who want to change their life and get well?
Here are some of the key pieces of addiction treatment information that I have learned over the last 9 years:
* Rehab is not a magic cure – but it sure helps. Most people think of rehab the wrong way, and believe that it should basically “cure” a person from addiction. Or at least the perception is that if a person goes to rehab, then they should at least be able to stay clean and sober afterward without much problem. The reality is that the vast majority will relapse after leaving rehab within a year or less. Most do not stay clean. Period. So it is a real battle, even with rehab. And, most who do find long term sobriety ended up going to treatment several times before they really “got it.”
* Our intentions are meaningless. Action is the only measure of success. If you could just sit around and wish that things were different in order to get clean and sober and change your life, then there would be no need for recovery programs. The fact is that creating change in recovery and building a new life for yourself requires a ton of work. Lots and lots of hard work. This is true for everyone in recovery. There are no exceptions. If you want to turn your life around, then you have to put in a massive effort.
Want proof? Go ask a few people in recovery who have multiple years clean and sober. Ask them if recovery was the hardest thing they ever had to do. Ask them if they had to take massive action in order to stay clean in early recovery. Ask them if they had to work really, really hard in order to change their lives and overcome addiction. You will hear only “yes” to any of these questions, over and over again. You could ask a hundred people in recovery and they will all agree that these things are true. There are no exceptions. You must put in the work!
* You must grow beyond traditional recovery. All of the success stories in long term recovery have grown in new and holistic ways that go beyond the spiritual growth offered in traditional recovery. This means finding new ways to grow, new things to learn, and pushing yourself to be a better person in new and exciting ways. Holistic growth is key.