Recognize that there are varying degrees of alcohol and drug addiction. The DSM-IV-TR (2000) subsequently categorizes both alcohol and drugs under the title Substance-Related Disorders. There are two categories or classifications of Substance-Use Disorders, abuse and dependence.
Abuse is defined as repeated use of alcohol or other drugs leads to problems but does not include compulsive use or addiction, and stopping the drug does not lead to significant withdrawal symptoms the term substance abuse applies. Dependence is defined as when an individual persists in use of alcohol or other drugs despite problems related to use of the substance, substance dependence may be diagnosed. Compulsive and repetitive use may result in tolerance to the effect of the drug and withdrawal symptoms when use is reduced or stopped.
Due to the fact that addiction or alcoholism spans such a diverse spectrum of symptoms, simply overcoming the basic idea that alcohol use is harmful to some people and not to others becomes more of the focus. People often get caught up in attempting to justify their use and prove they are not addicted or alcoholic rather than develop strategies to recover.
The Secret to a Successful Recovery
Once an individual recognizes that drugs or alcohol is playing a negative role in their lives there are four secrets to a successful recovery:
Any recovery program must have these factors built in to it in order to be effective.
Accountability can come in many different ways. Often people shutter when they hear the term accountability. Yet world-class athletes hold themselves accountable to a coach. Parents hold their children accountable, an employer holds employees accountable. Developing an accountability relationship with another human being is essential. In Alcoholics Anonymous that person would be your sponsor.
Positive Substitution for Dependency
Developing alternative strategies is essential to overcome addiction. Having positive social structures such as joining a drama club, a fitness group, as well as recovery specific groups such as Narcotics Anonymous assists the addict to switch from a negative addiction to a positive substitute.
Keeping away as many negative influences as possible is extremely important to sustainable abstinence. Making new friendships, locating role models, and gaining strength from a group of like-minded people can help anyone recover. In NASCAR they call it drafting, in recovery building positive friendships can create a draft that pulls you to the promised land of Recovery Freedom!
Most recovery programs today are based upon the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous or some variation. It is no secret that there is a spiritual component to the Twelve Steps. By some Spirituality can be defined as an increase in human relations and how an individual positively interacts with others. While others define Spirituality as a continual progression of awareness and a relationship with God. Either way an increase in Spirituality is essential for sustained joy and abstinence.
To locate a treatment facility that teaches these secrets of recovery success in South Florida check out the Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center. To find a local self-improvement group visit Fort Myers AA, Florida NA, or Christian Recovery.