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Jan 22, 2009

How to Overcome an Addiction

There are many types of addictions and most can be treated the same way. Here are some simple pointers on how to go about changing your addiction.

Admit there is a problem and be willing and open to change. Admit that we are powerless over drugs and that your lives have become unmanageable. Most people can't or won't. Most people won't admit they don't want to quit. They say they should and that they want to, but deep down they don't really want to. But that's okay, you can still get help. There are two main types of treatment: community-based or 12 step, both can work. They usually don't because people continue to be unable to accept
Try community-based if it suits you. Joining a new club, sports team, or other kinds of community will help you make new friends and start a new chapter of your life in which addiction is not a part.
Try a 12 Step program if it suits you. If you want to try a 12 step program, go to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), NA (Narcotics Anonymous), SA (Smokers Anonymous), or one of the other programs that use the set of guiding principles for recovery from addictive, compulsive, or other behavioral problems that was originally developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Unfortunately most people won't go until they are so desperate and have run out of any other options so now they are ready to listen.
If neither of these approaches suit your needs, you can still try Rational Recovery. This method allows you to gain confidence, take charge, and leave your addiction behind in a healthy and private manner.
As everyone should, get rid of all prejudices and be willing and open-minded.

Go to your first meeting. Let them know it's your first meeting and you know you have a problem and need help. Ask them to please help you. Get the literature they recommend and read it. Get a sponsor. "Shut up and listen." Go to at least one meeting a day, better yet three or more. Get involved with the group. Get in a home group. Pray. Most important work the steps, but that should be a given if you've got the right sponsor. If he or she doesn't have you working the steps get rid of him or her and get a new one. Very few people will do those tips because deep down they don't really want sobriety, but even if you don't want it and you do those things sobriety will find you. It's a promise.

Be careful when things start to get better. Don't wait on that fourth step. Many of us have based all our decisions on shame, guilt and remorse. So when we start doing well we have to screw it up because we don't believe we deserve it. Complete steps fully, get through the entire fourth step. There is no 3 1/2 step. Just do it. Now, go to a meeting for the rest of the process.