Recovery from alcohol and drug abuse is an inside job. You may have heard that statement before in the rooms of a 12 step fellowship but what does that really mean? Recovery starts when the addict decides to take action and until that willingness to do something about his or her problem is announced, there is very little you can do for your loved one.
That admission of personal powerlessness must be theirs (Step 1). Often disastrous consequences and brokenness occurs before the addict can finally admit that he or she can’t go on living under the influence of drugs and alcohol…just the way it is. But once that admission happens, hope springs if the right puzzle pieces are in place. The first step in the process of recovery is to separate the user from the chemical dependencies. An inpatient drug and alcohol detox program is wise for those with long term opiate or alcohol abuse to help the patient overcome dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
Help Addicts Recover With the Steps
After a period of physical separation, we recommend getting down to the real meat of the recovery process. Steps 4-7 of any 12-step recovery program outlines a practical program of action that helps the addicted take a hard look at the truth behind the reasons why they are using drugs and abusing alcohol. For each individual, this process of self-examination can be very painful.
The Causes of Addiction Are Hidden in The Past
From our perspective, uncovering the causes and conditions behind why an addict or alcoholic is abusing drugs or alcohol and dealing with them honestly is absolutely mandatory for long term sobriety. Our clinical team, counselors, behavioral therapists and patient care coordinators will help get the patient started on this process of self-examination but it is very important to get the patient to do this work with a 12 step sponsor if possible, they should be part of the recovery team.
Finding and Facing The Truth Is Important Work
The inventory process (Step 4) is designed to bring the recovering person through an in-depth look at past relationships with significant people in their lives and the events that may have caused them to react negatively. They will learn about the basic instincts of life that create self, accept some responsibility for their actions and ultimately identify shortcomings within themselves. A similar process is applied to fears, guilt and sexual harms. It is important the candidate be honest, fearless and thorough during this inventory of the past.
Your Secrets Will Keep You Sick
Now it is time to share what they have learned about themselves with a trusted confidant (Step 5). This cleansing process helps the person in recovery feel free of the secrets that will keep him or her sick. The sponsor is available to share insights, encouragement, prevent negative behavior from being justified and offers clarification. The results of this house cleaning are often very liberating. At this point the recovering person has been through a ton of work and may consider coasting for a little while. We don’t recommend this.
Letting Go Of The Past
Moving forward with Steps 6 & 7 right away will help the candidate let go of the character defects that caused the problems in the first place and begin to adopt a new way of thinking. Momentum and a growing knowledge of these new spiritual concepts do not come easily but patient progress is essential. This is not an overnight matter but a practice that should start right away and continue for years in recovery. The exercise of self-forgetting and accepting spiritual help in his or her life is where real transformation takes place. This became possible thanks to a growing spiritual strength that started when they learned of the need for a vital spiritual awakening in step 2. This is spiritual progress without the confusing messages found in some organized religions and preached from pulpits around the globe.
This important work is very valuable for living a sober life. The actual process described above is not only effective for dealing with past experiences but should also be applied to daily interactions with the people in their lives. Resentments and fears crop up in a person’s life all the time and the goal here is to adopt new attitudes and actions when confronted with life’s challenging situations.
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