How To Live Without Drugs And Alcohol

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Addicts and alcoholics that are still drinking and using can be overwhelmed at the prospect of getting clean and sober. The problem is not sobering up, because that happens every once in a while anyway. The problem is not even "how do I stay clean?", because most people understand the basics of such an idea--you avoid drugs and alcohol. The real question then becomes: "how do I live without self-medicating? How do I cope with life?"

Recovery programs as a guide for living

This is what recovery programs are for, such as the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. The program itself doesn't really address the mechanics of putting down the booze or even how to avoid slippery places (such as a bar) that might get you in trouble. Instead, the program is a guide for living; a set of guidelines to keep a person on an upward path of spiritual growth.

Do I need a program in order to enjoy the benefits of recovery?

Probably, but not necessarily. There are many paths to recovery. For example, some addicts find recovery and meaningful growth simply by going to counseling each week. Others might find salvation in a church community. The program itself is probably much less important than the level of conviction with which you pursue it. So it might be useful to start out in a program of recovery, something with some guidelines about how to live. The reason a program is useful is because most of us don't really know how to live when we first get clean and sober. Our lives are a mess and we are out of control. So you might do well to seek out some guidance and ask for help.

So how can I live without drugs and alcohol?

So the real secret to finding a successful life in sobriety is through a replacement strategy. You need to find passion and excitement about living again without drugs and alcohol. Some people will find this passion through church, some through a 12 step program and working with other recovering addicts and alcoholics, and some might find it through a personal path of spiritual growth and development. What's critical is that you have a strong commitment to sobriety and pursue your own growth and development with enthusiasm--regardless of which "program" you are practicing.

Still struggling to make recovery work for you? Are you clean and sober, but find that you're not really happy? If so, then learn more about how to live without drugs and alcohol.

Patrick Meninga is a recovering addict and alcoholic who authors the Spiritual River


Melissa said...

Personally I have found great success through weekly meetings, sober friends, and other forms of self-help. One particular book I have been reading that has brought all of these aspects to the table for me is a book called, Alive!. Simple to read, meaningful, and revolves around recovery, true love, and forgiveness. Hope this helps.