Entries tagged with “addiction and denial”.

One of the principle causes of relapse is thinking that you don’t need help, or that you can manage recovery on your own. We hear lots of people say:

I understand how to manage my recovery. I don’t need a counselor or a sponsor.”

Do not assume you're strong enough to recover from addiction on your own

Relapse begins the moment a person in recovery thinks they can outsmart their addiction. Remember, alcoholics and addicts are handicapped by an addicted brain which has developed the neurological wiring to respond to a disease that is very cleaver.

The people who do best in recovery are those who realize their weaknesses. They are willing to ask for help and accept it. They practice surrendering their will in order to rely on the strength offered to them through programs like AA, NA, or Celebrate Recovery – programs that recognize a need for a spiritual solution to addiction by having the humility to depend on a “power greater than ourselves.”


By Michael Campbell

The people who love and care for those with addictions are constantly placed in the difficult position of deciding how to act. Do you challenge the alcoholic or addict to get help? Do you refuse to help them until they decide to seek treatment? Do you withdraw assistance (money, housing, car, etc.) until they take the steps to get clean & sober.

Support to Stop Enabling

“Enabling” occurs when a friend or family member takes a dysfunctional approach that is intended to help the addict but in fact perpetuates the problem. People often feel great pressure to enable because they fear the addict will hurt himself, lose his job, or become homeless.

As hard as it may be, family and friends must practice “tough love” and encourage the addict to get the help they desperately need. Enabling their behavior only allows the drug or alcohol addiction to continue, increasing the risk of serious or tragic consequences. People in this situation can greatly benefit from the support offered by Al-Anon. These meetings are open to the public and designed to help families of alcoholics or addicts who are struggling to find solutions.

By Michael Campbell

A popular TV star was recently interviewed about her decision to have radical surgery when doctors detected the early stages of a life-threatening disease. After answering several questions on the same topic, she became increasingly frustrated and interrupted the interviewer; “Why does everyone want to always take the easy road,” she asked.  “Life is not a series of shortcuts.  Sometimes we need to make the hard choices if we want the best results.”

These challenging words describe the way in which too many people approach recovery, seeking the easy path forward rather than options with the greatest potential for success.  Addiction is a chronic disease that kills or destroys millions of lives, yet many fail to take it seriously.  Rather than considering the action with the best chance of success, they look for quick-fixes to avoid relapse.  “I can stay strong without going to meetings,” “A sponsor is for people much worse than me,” “I don’t need to say good-bye to the people and places where I used my drugs or alcohol,” are all frequently heard phrases.  So many people devote their energy to looking for shortcuts.

Dealing with AddictionIf we consider those who suffer from the disease of addiction, we see that a common characteristic is a search for the easy way out. Avoid dealing with stress – use your drug of choice.  Avoid addressing conflict in a relationship – use your drug of choice.  Avoid resolving deep hurts and internal pain – use your drug of choice.  Embracing shortcuts is a way of life for addicts and alcoholics.

Recovery cannot succeed without taking the harder road.  Rehab is a minimum of 28 days because research shows that it takes the brain at least that long to make discernible changes.  12-Step programs cannot be rewritten with only 6-Steps because each step is critically important.  Recovering addicts and alcoholics need to avoid high risk situations because the pull of their disease can be incredibly strong.  Sponsors and support groups are crucial because addiction cannot be beaten without help.

A successful recovery is not built on shortcuts.  It comes from a determined effort to do many things right, not just a few.  It requires the maximum effort, not a minimal response.  Failure rarely comes from doing more than is needed, but it is often caused by doing less than is necessary.

By Michael Campbell