The 12 steps were created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous as a guide to overcoming alcohol addiction. The steps are now used in treatment from a wide variety of disorders including drug addiction, eating disorders, compulsive spending, and sex addiction.
Relapse is not uncommon in recovery. There are those that enter recovery and never relapse. The 12 steps offer prevention tools to aid you. If you are a loved one are in recovery, here are a few relapse prevention tools rooted in the 12 steps:
- Tell the truth. Honesty is a foundation for success in recovery. Honesty is a necessary component in recovery, from admitting you are powerless over your addiction to admitting your wrongdoings. In order to be honest with others, you must first learn to be honest with yourself. This one takes practice. Ask yourself what your real motives are for going to that bar or keeping those few pain pills. Honesty starts inside.
- Clear the wreckage of your past. A lot of people come into the program and do the waltz. They work steps 1, 2, and 3 and don’t go any further. Until you admit your past wrongdoings and clean up your side of the street, your chance of relapse is high. In the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous, newcomers worked all 12 steps in their first 4 weeks. They immediately then helped others do the same as they repeated the process. Do it now!
- Help others. The founders of AA were unable to stay sober until they shared what had helped them with others. If you have worked the steps, you can help another. This selfless act will ensure sobriety more than any other single action.
- Avoid being around alcohol and drugs. Ask yourself if there is a valid reason to be around drugs or alcohol. Your child getting married or a required business meeting are examples of valid reasons to be around drugs or alcohol. My boyfriend really wants to watch the game at a bar doesn’t have the same validity.
The steps are a design for living a life free of addiction. Working with a step guide or sponsor allows you to be guided, be vulnerable, and lay a solid foundation for recovery. Recovery doesn’t end at 30 days, or 25 years. Recovery is one day at a time. You can only move in one of two directions. You can choose the road to recovery instead of the road to relapse.
Addiction affects the whole family. Design For Change, a residential treatment facility and recovery services program in Lancaster, is a place for hope and healing for all those affected by addiction. If you are ready to start the fight for sobriety, choose a program that will help you come out victoriously. Freedom is yours. Find it today by calling us for more information on our long-term, student, and customizable treatment programs: (877) 267-3646