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Addiction Treatment Blog by Addiction Experts » Entries tagged with "12-steps"

Recovery without God

Recovery without God

  A recent study performed by Harvard University’s McLean Hospital looking into the recovery process concludes that “faith in God positively influences treatment for individuals with psychiatric illness.”  While the belief in a God, often euphemized as “Higher Power” in many mental health and addiction recovery communities, is promoted heavily especially in 12-step programs, it is not for everyone and recovery is possible without this approach.  I prefer a more personalized approach based on self-empowerment and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Life, Recovery, Spirituality, Substance Abuse

Recovery and Circumcision

Recovery and Circumcision

  Recovery through the 12 Steps is a lot like the ancient Biblical practice of circumcision. Circumcision is the surgical removal of flesh (foreskin) from the male penis, having possible origins in ancient Judaism. In the book of Genesis, the Biblical God made a covenant of circumcision with Abraham, and from then on, it became a tradition for all the men of Israel. However, the physical act was intended to represent the inward change of hearts. Either way … Read entire article »

Filed under: Addiction, Life, Recovery, Spirituality, Substance Abuse

Serene With Serenity

Serene With Serenity

  One of my favorite lines concerning serenity is in Step Three, page 41, of the 12&12 that states, “In all times of emotional disturbance or indecision, we can pause, ask for quiet, and in the stillness simply say: ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. Thy will, not mine, be done.’” Before becoming a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Recovery, Spirituality

A.A. Is Not the Only Way to A Sober Life

  One question asked commonly in the recovery world is: Are there other ways to get clean and commit to long-term sobriety than involving yourself in and working a 12-Step-based program like Alcoholics Anonymous? There is much scrutiny in the eyes of many alcoholics and addicts who are trying to get sober who feel that A.A. or any other 12-Step-based program just doesn’t work for them and are told that if they want to become and stay sober, they must commit to it because nothing else will work. Although it has been proven time and time again that A.A. and working the 12-Steps does work and is preferable for almost all alcoholics and addicts, some people—though the number may be small—find that other forms of treatment and long-term recovery might be more beneficial … Read entire article »

Filed under: Recovery, Treatment

Beer, Liquor, Heroin, and Weed: It’s All The Same Don’t Kid Yourself

Beer, Liquor, Heroin, and Weed: It’s All The Same Don’t Kid Yourself

In the Big Book it reads on page 142, “If he temporizes and still thinks he can ever drink again, even beer, he might as well be discharged after the next bender which, if an alcoholic, he is almost certain to have.”  Many problem drinkers who I have recently come across have explained to me that they had a difficult time with alcohol in the past but have now turned to just drinking beer instead … Read entire article »

Filed under: Addiction, Recovery, Substance Abuse

Bewitched By The Needle

  There have been untold numbers of articles written about how using drugs intravenously can cause an addiction to go from bad to worse, and I can definitely attest to that.  However, I experienced something much more than a full-blown drug addiction when I started shooting up at the age of seventeen.  Being introduced to the world of needles caused an intense mental addiction to the act of putting a needle in my veins, no matter what substance was in the syringe itself. My drug addiction started quite early and I was on and running from the start. I was fourteen years-old when I had my first drug experience with cocaine, which I kept in my Catholic High School locker room and snorted with a peer.  A couple of skeletal lines and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Addiction, Recovery, Substance Abuse

Finding The Solution

  In a chapter of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, “More About Alcoholism,” a portion of it reads on page 31: “Here are some of the methods we have tried: Drinking beer only, limiting the number of drinks, never drinking alone, never drinking in the morning, drinking only at home, never having it in the house, never drinking during business hours, drinking only at parties, switching from scotch to brandy, drinking only natural wines, agreeing to resign if ever drunk on the job, taking a trip, not taking a trip, swearing off forever (with and without a solemn oath), taking more physical exercise, reading inspirational books, going to health farms and sanitariums, accepting voluntary commitment to asylums — we could increase the list ad infinitum.” Through these different approaches of trying to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Addiction, Recovery

The Horror of Getting Sober But Finding the Light

  Getting sober is never easy. It is a frightening concept to even think about, but much like overcoming fear of the dark, there are ways to defeat this dread. One fear most people have surrounding getting sober is whether or not they will have any fun in recovery. Enjoying life is what most people strive for and many of them with the disease of addiction think that what they were doing was more fun than anything they have ever experienced. These folks have nothing to fear. The longer one stays sober, the more and more fun they will find they are having in sobriety. There are so many ways to enjoy life without picking up a drink or drug. Another fear about getting sober is if having to work the 12-steps will … Read entire article »

Filed under: Addiction, Life, Recovery, Spirituality

It’s Been Proven: Service Conducive to Alcoholics Continued Sobriety

  Recent research concludes that actively participating in a service role greatly increases the likelihood that a recovering alcoholic remains sober. Performing any kind of service, from community service such as working with children to taking on a service role at a meeting and sharing one’s personal story all contribute to the definition of “service” assessed in the study. Researchers first became interested in their study as they attempted to draw a correlation for the deeply entrenched belief in AA that doing service greatly increases the likelihood of prolonged sobriety and active participation in meetings and 12-Step work. The study was conducted by Maria Pagano, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Over a period of ten years Pagano and her team of researchers determined results … Read entire article »

Filed under: Addiction, Life, Recovery

The Helping Hand of a Higher Power

The Helping Hand of a Higher Power

  “God, I offer myself to Thee–to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.  Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.  Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.  May I do Thy will always!” One of the things I never knew how to feel about, was the … Read entire article »

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