Is it possible to quit drugs and alcohol forever without attending meetings or using recovery programs?
Yes it is. The question that you need to ask yourself, though, is why you have not done so already if that is your intention?
For most people who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, they actually DO need some form of help in order to make the transition to sobriety and recovery. Even if you do not stay in a program for the rest of your life, you may still benefit from taking action and seeking support in order to make the leap into recovery.
For example, you might go to detox and then stay for a few weeks in a residential treatment center. Sure, this is a recovery program of sorts, but it is not something that is permanent or a lifelong program or anything. Granted, they will likely introduce you to AA or NA, and suggest that you make a lifetime commitment to those programs, but this is strictly optional.
My path in recovery started with treatment and I dabbled in AA and NA for a year or so. After that, I stopped going to meetings, and have been clean and sober ever since for over a decade now. The 12 step program is not my salvation and it does not keep me clean and sober today. But I must admit that when I first got clean and sober, the places I went for help (rehab) forced me to attend 12 step meetings.
However, look now at the last 10 years of my life, in which I have not attended any programs, counseling, or 12 step meetings at all. I create my own path in recovery and I do not rely on others to keep me clean and sober. I believe that anyone can follow this same path in recovery so long as they have their priorities straight.
At one time I was attending an AA or NA meeting every single day and I slowly started to question this activity. I was listening to the same people yap on about the same old problems, and I was not getting much relief from the meetings themselves. On the other hand, I was doing other things with my recovery that did not involve the 12 step program at all, and the meetings were taking away from that time.
If you go to a meeting every single day of your life then that is an enormous time investment. If you get a lot out of each meeting and they bring a huge amount of meaning to your life then this is fine, but if not then you are wasting a great deal of time and mental energy.
At one point I had to seriously consider the idea that I might relapse and die if I quit going to meetings. I thought this was possible because everyone at the meetings said it might happen if “a person were to stop coming to meetings.” But luckily this was not the case and I have not been to any meetings for over a decade now.
I still work on my recovery but I do not adhere to a program in order to do it. I simply push myself to make personal growth each and every day. This has been working wonderfully for me for the last ten years and I am so glad that I reinvested my time that would have been spent in meetings into other things.