Alternatives to AA
Hi (put your name here),
Thank you for explaining that you did give AA and NA (eh, eh) a try, but did not find that they were right for you. If they were the type of support or help that you seem to need, you would probably been at a meeting now or reading their literature, rather than this open letter. My own style as a counselor is to promote supported self-help recovery that encompasses all kinds of recovery methods - recovery that is CLIENT based. I also hold clients responsible for their own recovery. You are responsible for the choices that you make. It is OK that 12 step programs do not work for you, as there are other alternatives.
Recovery really incorporates several main components:
1. Process of Change:
One part says that for CHANGE to take place, certain steps need to be followed, pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation/determination, action, maintenance, and exit. This is the PROCESS of change.
2. Reasons for Substance Use:
The second part of the model of change says that RECOVERY is made easier when the substance user is able to DEAL with the issues that got them to use in the first place or keeps them using. In other words you need to learn how to DEAL with life, and find healthy ways to respond to stress rather than using a substance. This includes the biopsychosocial spiritual and harm reduction philosophy of addiction treatment. In simplest terms, treatment is what works for the individual client.
3. Motivation to Change:
The third part of recovery is the individual’s level of MOTIVATION to change their thinking, feelings, and behavior. The very things that drugs alter within us when we use a substance. CHANGE can be immediate you just DO IT, or change can happen little by little until you realize that things are completely different than they were before. Change can also depend on having the right person in your life to help you facilitate change, or the right information, or the right support system. The most important thing to remember about change is that it is POSSIBLE.
4. Social supports for maintaining recovery:
One of the great things about 12 step fellowships is the social support networks. However, there are other types of recovery support groups, such as LifeRing that have meetings, and other recovery philosophies that do not support meetings at all.
Try having a read down the RECOVERY Info on our websites. You can also email me at: Doug@RecoveryRoadMap.org as I offer an online Virtual Counseling service. Again it is not for everyone, but maybe a little virtual help is what you need to make those life changes you have been promising yourself all along. Regards, Doug Pamenter
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