News flash for you: the idea of an “addiction cure” is a myth, but you can still recover from drug addiction and alcoholism.
Some rehabs try to claim that they can cure addictions. This is not realistic. Actually it is a bit worse than that. It is a flat out lie.
Take any true drug addict or alcoholic. Run them through this magical treatment that will supposedly cure them forever. Now give them some of their drug of choice, every day, for a month. Or, heck, just give them their drug of choice once after that. It will not take a sophisticated experiment to see that they are nowhere near “cured.”
No, addiction is permanent. You always were and you always will be, if you are now.
The definition of addiction includes the idea that the condition is permanent. So if you magically can control your drinking or drug use in the future, then guess what? You were never addicted to begin with. You were merely abusing the substance, not addicted to it.
No, the closest you can get to a cure is to take massive action in your life and maintain abstinence until you die. If you try to control your drug or alcohol use and are successful at doing so, then that is not addiction at all.
Does AA or NA cure alcoholism or drug addiction? Of course not. Many, many people relapse who are working these programs of recovery. Even for some who sincerely try, and honestly desire to be clean and sober, even they do not always stay clean and sober. No, there are no guarantees.
The closest you can get to “cured” is to be actively working a program of recovery that involves holistic, personal growth. That might sound like a bunch of woo-woo but it actually is true. Even those who stay clean and sober for the long run in 12 step programs are generally working a program of holistic personal growth.
So what does “holistic personal growth” really mean?
Well, “holistic” just means your “whole person.”
So think about this: most recovery programs only address the spiritual part of the solution. This is not very helpful compared to a program that addresses the “whole person.”
For example, people tend to fare better in long term recovery from addiction when they start exercising, quit smoking cigarettes, lose weight, seek spiritual growth, and find emotional balance in their lives. If all they do when they get sober is seek spiritual growth, then they are missing out on quite a bit.
What does “personal growth” mean? It means that the individual must, at some point in their recovery, become self motivated to grow as a person. Sure, the group might help you along to an extent, but eventually you have to learn how to push yourself to recover and to grow.
Continuous positive action is what is ultimately required. In long term recovery, find one goal at a time and pursue it with everything you have. Conquer that goal and master it, then move on and find another area of your life in which you can develop. This way you will not get burned out spending a limited amount of willpower on too few resources.
Does this result in a cure? Of course not. But it is arguably the best way to live in recovery, because you are constantly pushing yourself to seek out that next growth experience. Those who do not push themselves eventually fall victim to relapse, because complacency is really the only enemy in long term recovery.
Push yourself to grow holistically and you can recover from addiction. It’s not a magic bullet, and it takes work. But of course it is worth it in the end….