Giving Up Self-Will

Twelve step fellowships stress the importance of giving up self-will and trusting in something greater than yourself. We learn to stop trying to assert our will over every facet of our lives. Instead, we learn acceptance of the unchangeable and faith in a higher power. When we make the decision to “turn our will and…

Do I Need a Higher Power?

The term “Higher Power” can be confusing for newcomers to 12-Step recovery. Upon first hearing the term, it is easy to equate it with “God” and religion. The concept of a Higher Power, however, is far removed from and religious associations. A Higher Power simply means finding belief in something greater than yourself—it can be…

Leaving Behind Drinking and Using Buddies

Addiction leads to isolation and deep depression. We often leave behind our loving friends and family in exchange for friendships with others who are also using or drinking. These friendships are often superficial and quickly dissolve one we are no longer willing to engage in addictive behaviors. We may initially feel lonely, but leaving behind…

Boost Your Mood by Being More Social

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome can be difficult to manage. We may feel tired, anxious, depressed, and have trouble staying positive. Being stuck in pessimism can spell disaster for our ability to effectively engage in a program of recovery, especially in the early stages of our sobriety. However, there are many ways that we can improve our…

Does Acupuncture Actually Work?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese healing technique that has been used for over 3,000 years. At first glance, acupuncture may seem like a strange and pseudoscientific way of treating ailments. The practice has grown in popularity in recent years, with nearly 2.5 million Americans reporting they have received acupuncture in the previous year, for one…

Admitting There is a Problem

Denial can be one of the strongest impediments in seeking help for addiction and alcoholism. We use all forms of self-deception to keep ourselves from admitting the truth—that we are powerless over addiction and our lives are unmanageable. We may face dire consequences as a result of our behaviors, yet still maintain the belief that…

What is Alcoholics Anonymous?

Alcoholics Anonymous was the first twelve step recovery program founded by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in 1935. The basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous, known as the Big Book, was published in 1939 and laid out the original twelve step program of recovery from alcoholism. Since that time, Alcoholics Anonymous has undergone minor changes,…

Finding Support in Fellowship

Twelve Step recovery is about more than just sobriety. It is also about building friendships within a community of other men and women attempting to recover from addiction and alcoholism. Many of us felt alone and ashamed of our addiction, but were surprised to find that there are communities composed entirely of people who have…

Is Entire Abstinence the Only Way to End Addiction?

Many people believe that if they have a problem with one drug, they can simply switch to using a different, safer drug. For example, someone with a heroin addiction may think that, once they are no longer physically dependent on heroin, they can use marijuana with impunity. From the collective experience of many men and…

The Danger of Leaving Treatment Too Soon

Many people begin to feel better after detox—so much better, that they may feel they don’t need to stay for the full duration of treatment. Leaving treatment against medical advice (AMA) can ruin a client’s chances of recovery. There are many other factors related to one’s addiction that require a longer period of time to…