Alcohol addiction owns a history of lives destroyed, bankrupt and lost over the course of many centuries. In addition to the alcoholic, other victims of this disease include family members, friends and completely innocent by-standers. In many cases, alcohol dependency can lead to emotional and intellectual madness. Fortunately, two developments over the last century have helped to bring many out of slavery to the bottle: the growth of Alcoholics Anonymous and the strides made in the science of addiction. Both of these approaches converge on one necessity: total abstinence is essential for recovery. This is achievable with the help of 12-step fellowship groups and, sometimes, sober living houses.
12-Step Groups and Sober Living Houses
The idea backstopping both sober living houses and 12-step groups is that freedom from drugs and/or alcohol is not accomplished in a vacuum. Rarely has anyone kicked addiction by trying it solo. Yet working through the roots of alcoholism and drug addiction with others is a strategy many find crucial to their recovery. They can empathize, advise and demand accountability. These relationships help people who want liberation from addiction to find it.
One Step at a Time
For almost a century, individuals struggling with alcohol dependency have had a vehicle helping them win: fellowship. Alcoholics and addicts found that they needed, more than anything else, someone to talk to; a shoulder to cry on; and people they could help while working to free themselves. As the concept grew in popularity, it became more systematic. The 12 steps serve as stages through which to pass on the way to clean sobriety. Generally, the 12 steps reflect positive resolutions, these among them:
- Admitting powerlessness over the abused substance
- Confessing that only a higher Power can free you
- Surrendering to that higher Power
- Examining yourself in terms of character, nothing held back
- Confessing to God, yourself and others the precise way in which you have done wrong
- Willing to allow God to change your character for the better
- Asking God to take away moral weaknesses
- Identify the people you have hurt and resolving to redress those wrongs
- Trying to make amends insofar as it does good, not harm
- Conducting ongoing self-evaluation and correction
- Praying and/or meditating to strengthen the agreement with one’s God, and to grow in knowledge and confidence
- Experiencing spiritual renewal and taking the message of sobriety to those trapped in addiction’s grip.
Sober Living Houses: Fellowship 24/7
Sober living houses are not detox centers or addiction clinics. In brief, they are private homes that host people who are commencing or maintaining a life of sobriety. Living alsongside eachother for a perod of time, the residents learn to deal with emotions and reality in ways that enhance their self-respect and avoid further substance abuse. Inter-personal relationships, emotional stress and daily responsibilities, once triggers for a drink or a hit, become opportunities to successfully navigate while clean and sober. These homes blend into their neighborhoods and provide a peaceful environment to deal with issues.
Is there a Difference?
12-step programs are based on meetings where people come and go. They can happen in church basements, community centers, public libraries or American Legion halls. Sober living houses are where recovering people sleep, take their meals and contribute to household management while participating in an environment of mutual support and accountability. These two approaches, of course, are not mutually exclusive. Again, fighting substance dependency is frustrating and in vain if done all by yourself. If you are trying to overcome addiction, the first thing to do is reach out. We can — and want to — help you. Our counselors are ready to talk with you day or night. Call us at 614-705-0611.