As many people each year embark on the journey of recovery, they start to wonder if they can find a better way to succeed. The 12-step programs have been around for many years and for good reason…they work! Here’s a list of ways people claim you can get sober, but we are going to tell you why they don’t work.
Moderation Management is a newer offering of “recovery” programs. Having been founded in 1994 as an alternative to AA, Moderation Management is geared toward problem drinkers instead of alcoholics.
They believe in changing your behaviors by using a network of support groups. This, in turn, will give you positive lifestyle changes. They don’t believe you need to be abstinent from alcohol, but merely just moderate your usage.
They also offer their own steps, nine of them to be exact. The organization claims that followers will be on the path of achieving moderation and balance in every area of their lives.
As an alcoholic, you know that any drinking will lead you back to full blown addiction. You can’t help it, it’s part of the disease. In fact, Moderation Management never hides the fact that 30 percent of their members end up going on to abstinence-based programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
The psychedelic substance called Ibogaine is illegal for use in the United States, but other countries have claimed success when treating addiction. The drug works by dampening the brain’s reward pathways and lessening the desire to use. They also claim that it is effective when an addict needs to lessen the effects of withdrawal. It is a naturally occurring substance that is found in plants.
Because of its illegal status in the United States, there is not enough research on its functions and effects. Initial data, however, shows that there have even been indications of death as a result of using this drug.
Emotional Freedom Technique
This method is commonly referred to as “tapping” and involves using a series of taps on pressure points. During this time, you’ll walk through the challenges you are facing. People use it as a way to walk through their addictive urges. EFT combines the ancient Eastern acupressure method with the psychotherapy techniques of the West.
Many people will claim that EFT will aid in responding to urges and addressing underlying issues to addiction, but there is no substantiated proof to back up those claims.
Neurofeedback will allow you to see your brain on a computer. During this time, the claim is that you can alter brain rhythms through continuous feedback. While it has been used previously for victims of PTSD, it is just now making its way into a few rehabilitation centers. There are also some psychological clinics that are adopting the practice.
Again, there is little research to back up the claims made about neurofeedback. It is a new method and overall results seem to be mixed at this point. The majority of the research thus far shows that it might be a good treatment plan for conditions such as anxiety or insomnia instead.
Medication-assisted treatment has become a popular form of treatment for substance abuse disorders, especially for those who suffer from opioid addictions. In a nutshell, MAT is the use of addiction medications, such as Suboxone and Methadone, in conjunction with therapeutic services.
While participants are expected to attend therapy sessions and have regular check-ins with an addictions professional, this does not always happen. Often times, patients receive their medication for an extended period of time, and never truly get the clinical care they need. Unfortunately, there are still a lack of regulations for MAT.
Additionally, another issue that arises for many MAT patients is the likelihood of abuse, dependence, and diversion of these medications. Without the necessary clinical support in place for these individuals, many revert back to negative and destructive behaviors.
Meditation has become an integral part of mental health and is popular in addiction recovery. It has been successful at treating an array of mental health problems and there has been a success in treating substance abuse when combined with the 12-steps.
Regular meditation is an effective way to reduce the chances of relapse. In fact, neuroscientists have discovered that after five 20-minute sessions of meditation, there was an increase in the blood flow to critical parts of the brain. This is said to have power over self-control.
Relying on a program such as meditation alone will not keep you sober. You are not meant to walk the journey of recovery alone, but instead, surround yourself with others who understand your thoughts. Attending daily meetings, especially in early sobriety, as well as consulting with an experienced sponsor, are critical parts of a successful recovery program.
Some people take the tip to stay away from trigger people, places and things to mean avoid all people, places and things! When this becomes the thought pattern, you can quickly convince yourself that you don’t need a meeting or you don’t need a phone call to your sponsor.
You start being your own support system and it’s very easy to lie to yourself. It’s common to tell yourself things such as, “My feelings aren’t that bad” or “I don’t need to talk about that”. This is the sound of our own addiction trying to bring us down. Talking about things like these with like-minded people will shed light on reality and help us to stay grounded.
This is another program that was started as an alternative to the traditional 12 steps. It is an abstinence-based program that follows a method called AVRT – the Addictive Voice Recognition Technique. The organization doesn’t believe in groups or support centers and even claims that they are unnecessary. They go as far as suggesting that 12-step programs encourage relapse.
They want you to “isolate your Beast”. This is considered the internal voice which will make you want to use drugs or drink. You are supposed to force your Beast to live alone. Eventually, you will bring forth death to the Beast for a full recovery.
Main Reason These Won’t Work
While I briefly touched on each of these alternative methods, I wanted to take a moment and discuss the main reason many of these will not work. We aren’t meant to do this on our own power, through our own will. We are meant to connect with others!
Being a human means that we have a need for community. Rooted deeply in our DNA is the fact that we are addicts who need constant love and support to walk through this journey. Believing that any other way is going to help us achieve sobriety is dangerous.
The beautiful part about being in a 12-step program is there is never a lack of people to support you. They’ve all been through the same experiences, thoughts and feelings that you are having right now. You don’t need to walk alone and you don’t want to! Spend time getting to know the people around you in the rooms. What you will come to find is a great group of people that love you unconditionally and never judge you.
What a wondrous way to achieve sobriety – by walking hand in hand with others.
Contact Clearbrook Today
The wheel does not need to be reinvented. Everything you need to get sober and remain sober for a lifetime has already been figured out. All you have to do is walk the path that is laid out before you.
For 45 years, Clearbrook Treatment Centers has been providing quality treatment solutions that work. If you or someone you know and love is currently struggling with substance abuse, please let us show you what recovery really has to offer. Secluded in the beautiful mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania, you or your loved one will have the opportunity to recover in serene and peaceful environment. Please contact our Admissions Specialists today and see how we can help.