Although the small upstate New York cities that line the Hudson River were late to the party, so to speak, crack cocaine use had reached epidemic proportions by the late 1990s. Add in the increasing heroin use and the chronic alcohol and marijuana issues that the communities faced and it was not all that surprising that I found my first job after grad school in just such a city, working as a therapist in an outpatient rehab facility.
If you desire lifelong sobriety, follow these tips to prevent relapse:
6. Work the Steps—all of them. It seems obvious, given that it is called the Twelve Step program, but it’s easy to get lazy, start to cut corners, and begin asking if it is really necessary to work all of the Steps. The format works if you work it. Initially we go through the Steps to combat addiction. Later, life will present new challenges and opportunities to employ and apply the Steps anew. Continued effort in working the Steps solidifies sobriety. We will continue to use them for the rest of our lives.
How The Right Step Helps Turn Sobriety Into a Satisfying, Lasting Way of Life
George Joseph is Chief Operating Office of the 20-plus The Right Step drug and alcohol treatment centers and one of the nation’s foremost experts on beating substance abuse. He has a captivating and insightful series of blogs on the website www.doctoroz.com.
Joseph’s five-part series, “Characteristics of Sobriety,” explores all that it takes to attain – and maintain – a sober life, including one concept that isn’t generally associated with the process: Fun.
“When people think about getting sober, one of their biggest fears is: Can I ever have fun again?,” Joseph writes. “Most people think sobriety is boring.”
When it comes to dealing with drug and alcohol addiction, the ongoing support of friends and family is every bit as important as identifying the problem and signing up for treatment.
That’s the sentiment of James Patterson, executive director of The Right Step Conroe – an intensive outpatient treatment facility that is part of the nationally accredited, 20-location The Right Step “live life sober” network.
“There are a lot of supervised programs that offer medical, psychological and emotional support,” Patterson said. “But outpatient treatment is where the rubber meets the road. At some point, an addict needs to learn how to live in the real world.”
You can conquer others with power, but it takes true strength to conquer yourself. – Lao Tzu, Philosopher
I asked Dr. Jason Powers, our Chief Medical Officer to help me write on this topic and here is what we came up with:
There are actually two types of sobriety: physical and emotional. Physical sobriety is the easy part. Anyone can quit a thousand times, but only the fortunate can stay quit. Emotional sobriety is not automatically rendered with physical sobriety. Emotional sobriety can be defined as resiliency, wisdom and balance. It is a metaphor of sorts for addicts who develop emotional intelligence over the course of their journeys in recovery from substance abuse.