Substance abuse is extremely difficult to overcome. Many who enter treatment for alcohol abuse struggle against relapse. Cognitive behavioral therapy and the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous are both popular approaches to fighting the problem of relapse. Full Story
When it comes to our parents or older adults in our family, we often have blinders on. On the one hand, we tend to think of our parents as having their act together. After all, they raised us and have years of accumulated wisdom. But we may also be preoccupied with our own lives and unable to recognize signs of drug or alcohol abuse that may be going on with them. Full Story
Chronic relapse is a repeated cycle wherein a person seeks help to overcome addiction, gets clean, and then later falls prey to substance abuse again. The chronic condition can see multiple repetitions of this cycle, frustrating everyone involved – the addict, their family and their doctors. A number of high-profile celebrity examples testify to the difficulty in avoiding chronic relapse. Full Story
The fact that Alcoholics Anonymous offers strong potential for success in helping an individual recover from alcohol addiction is not news. Although most medical and addiction professionals recognize its effectiveness, no one had investigated which elements of the 12-Step approach make it so, until recently. A new study investigates this question: Which aspects of Alcoholics Anonymous account for its high rate of success? Full Story
“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States, best known as the President who led the U.S. through World War II, often referred to by his initials, FDR (1882-1945) Full Story
A recent study completed using data from the Hazelden Center showed positive results for young women who followed a Twelve Step program for substance abuse that offers mutual support, including meetings for those in the early stages of drug and alcohol treatment. Frequent attendance at these meetings promoted abstinence from drinking and drug abuse over a six month period after treatment. Full Story
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve themselves." – Anne Frank, one of the most renowned and discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust, born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, best known as the author of The Diary of Anne Frank (1929-1945)
How many times have we thought to ourselves that we’ll do this or that to get going with our recovery – tomorrow or sometime in the future? What’s wrong with working our recovery right now, today? The truth is that there’s no time like the present. Indeed, in recovery, the present is all we ever really have. That’s because we don’t live in the past or in the future. Right now is when we exist. The past is a memory and the future is not yet here. Action takes place in the present.
Thus, it stands to reason that we need to actively work our recovery in the present time. We may plan out our days in advance, and that’s an excellent strategy to keep us working our recovery, but it takes the present to be able to act.
By the same token, if we fail to act today, we are not likely to improve. Why? Very simply, we only make progress in recovery when we take the steps necessary to work on this or that aspect of our sobriety journey that we’ve identified as important – or that our counselor, therapist or sponsor has recommended we attend to.
Sometimes we fear that we don’t know what to do. Better look at that, however, because it’s just as likely that we’re kidding ourselves about something. We could very well be afraid to embark on a certain activity or action because we feel we lack the appropriate knowledge to do so. It’s also quite possible, even likely, that we’ve tried such an action before and did not succeed. That makes us doubly leering of engaging in the activity again.
But we should not allow such fear to dominate our thoughts or deter us from attempting to surmount a particular challenge or hurdle or overcome a certain obstacle. In fact, we will learn more from doing so than if we give up. Not only that, but we can’t move forward if we are unable to make sense of what didn’t work for us the last time we tried this or that approach.
It could also be that we’re uncertain what kind of improvements we should make. Maybe we’ve reached a certain plateau in our recovery and feel comfortable there. We’re not inclined to stretch ourselves at this point, preferring to remain at our comfort level. Why rock the boat, we may ask ourselves before answering that we’re just fine where we are. There’s a very good reason why we need to continue to challenge ourselves and move to the next step in our recovery journey. If we maintain a status quo, not moving forward and not moving backward, the very real danger is that we become complacent about our recovery. And when we take recovery for granted, guess what? The danger of relapse is right around the corner.
Fortunately for us, all we need to do is act today. Do something, even if it’s a small thing, to assist in our recovery efforts. It has to mean something to us. Whether it is a new meeting that we go to or the fact that we go out of our way to help a newcomer to the 12-step rooms feel welcome, it’s the action that we do – and continue to do – that will help us improve. Do this each and every day. Paraphrasing Anne Frank’s eloquent words, "Why wait when we can improve ourselves today?"
When your loved one is in treatment for substance abuse, one of the hardest things to deal with is the phone call you receive from them begging to come home. It’s impossible to ignore the pain in their voice and not be moved. You want to rush to the treatment facility and snatch them back so the pain can be taken away. But that’s exactly the wrong move. The best solution for your loved one is to remain in treatment. That’s the only way he or she has any hope of overcoming substance abuse. Still, you need to be prepared for what to say when your loved one says the words, “I want to come home.”
Withdrawal from any drug is certainly difficult, both physically and psychologically, but withdrawal from narcotic drugs may bring especially severe symptoms. In most cases, the patient will not be in danger of long-term health consequences or death during withdrawal, but many who have experienced it say they would have done anything to ease the symptoms.
Tiger Woods continues to be reproached for his moral infidelities on the global stage, although he is still holding fast to his 12-step rehabilitation efforts after having completed a 45-day treatment program. Now that Woods has made the most private aspects of his life public, admitted to his wrongdoings, apologized to those he harmed, and promised to better himself, he appears to have accepted the first steps of overcoming addiction.