How Do I Stop Using Drugs and Alcohol?

Patrick
  • By Patrick
  • How do you stop using drugs and alcohol? Let’s break this question down into two really obvious camps right away:

    1) People who can stop using drugs on their own

    2) People who have tried to stop on their own, and cannot

    This is an important distinction, and it represents our starting point. There are a number of people out there who get caught up with partying, drug use, heavy weekend drinking, or whatever–and many of those people do not actually have a problem. They might spend a weekend in jail over a DUI and figure out that they need to calm down and get their house back in order pretty quickly, and they can do so without any problem. There are people out there that fit this description, people who can stop using (or control their using) on their own. They might have gotten tripped up with drugs or alcohol, but they basically do not have a problem.

    The other group of people do have a problem. A real problem. (This is the group I belong to, by the way). I could not stop on my own, and for a long time, I didn’t even want to try to. Then I went through a fairly long phase where I tried to control my using. I could manage to fool myself for a few days or even a few weeks that I had things under control, but eventually, I would always go back to being a full blown addict. Eventually I came to a point where I could no longer see myself continuing in my life–regardless of whether I continued using drugs and alcohol or not. I just felt like I could not continue on like I had been–drinking heavily and chasing all sorts of drugs, day in and day out….I just felt like it couldn’t go on anymore. This was my point of surrender.

    At the same time, I felt like I could not possibly get clean and sober either. I had been to treatment centers before and I had been exposed to AA in the past but I felt like those things wouldn’t work for me. And even if they did help me get clean, I felt that I would just be miserable without being able to get drunk and high.

    So I really felt trapped. But I did something that led me to where I am now. I asked for help. I asked for help and someone was there and they stayed with me until I could get into a treatment center. And once I was in the treatment center, I asked for more help, and the people at the treatment center set me up in a long term treatment center. Things fell into place and my life slowly got better and better and I’m still not sure of the exact process that occurred. I do know that in the beginning, I asked for help. Then I started following directions.

    Now I’m leaving out a few details here, but I am now approaching 7 years of continuous sobriety, and I work at that treatment center where I first got clean. It’s difficult to describe the transformation that has become my life. This here is a detailed account of what worked for me and what didn’t, and this gives quite a bit of my story as well. This entire website explores my success in recovery, as I try to document and explain the process by which I transformed my life.

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