“What are some alcoholism and drug addiction recovery solutions that might work for me?”
People ask this question a lot, especially when they have tried to get clean and sober before and found the treatment to be lacking in some way.
So what are the available options? How do people get clean and sober, and stay that way? Let’s take a look:
1) 12 step recovery – this is the default solution for the majority of people, and it is also what gets pushed on the vast majority of people in drug rehabs and treatment centers. Now there is not necessarily anything wrong with 12 step recovery, so long as it works for you. But the fact is that the success rates with 12 step programs are not all that outstanding, and some people can certainly benefit from finding an alternate path.
If AA or NA meetings work for you, that is great. Take your solution and run with it. Grow in the 12 step program. Live a great life. But if this solution fails for you, or if it does not mesh with you at all, then you might seek another solution.
2) Religion – this is definitely not for everyone. Some people do very well in religious based recovery programs, and still other addicts do well simply by getting involved with their church again now that they have stopped using drugs and alcohol. It is a solution, though it is not for everyone. Again, if it works for you, great. If not, seek an alternative. Pretty simple.
3) Counseling or therapy – There are some addicts and alcoholics who manage to stay clean and sober just by seeing a counselor or therapist once or twice a week. I actually tried this for a while and it did not work for me. I think the reason it did not work was because I was not yet ready to get clean and sober, but also because it was disruptive enough. By “disruptive,” I mean that a recovery solution has to get the addict away from their drug of choice for a while, out of their using environment, away from the people that they used drugs or alcohol with, and so on. Going to see a counselor a few times each week (or less) is not disruptive enough for most people to break free from drug or alcohol addiction. Now with that said, an addict might go to short term rehab, get clean and sober, and then use counseling as a means to grow in their recovery and thus maintain their sobriety. But I would not rely on counseling as a way to actually GET clean and sober. It is not disruptive enough.
4) Fitness and exercise – Again, this is more of a long term recovery technique. Exercise can be enough to keep someone sober all by itself, depending on the dedication and intensity of the exercise. Most people will not really get into fitness enough for it to become their recovery solution, but some people have done exactly that, and this serves as a powerful lesson for the rest of us. Which leads us to our last point, which can incorporate the idea of fitness as part of your recovery solution, along with other recovery strategies…..
5) Holistic approach – this is the ultimate, in my opinion. Why use one strategy for recovery when you can benefit from them all? “Holistic” just means that you are treating the addict as a “whole” person in their recovery. Thus, exercise does become important. So does nutrition, spirituality, emotional health, and so on.
Using an holistic approach means that you always have a way to grow in your recovery. There is always another area of growth for you to work on. Thus you can keep pushing yourself to make progress and avoid complacency.