In order to recover from an addiction, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors must change. An addict will need to learn how to live again, in a way that does not support alcohol or drug use. Recovery is a lifelong process that will take constant vigilance. One will need to work on repairing existing relationships and building new, healthy ones. Most importantly, it means healing from within. Learning how to really love oneself and deal with the difficult emotions and situations that impelled the substance or activity abuse. The first step: admitting that there is a problem in the first place. Without relinquishing the denial, recovery cannot begin. Getting sober and going through treatment doesn't end when your time in rehab is over. If anything, that's when the real challenge begins. When you leave a supervised program, it's up to the individual to remain sober. But that doesn't mean that one needs to do this alone. In fact, if it can be helped, one should never do it alone. Find support from friends, family members, recovering addicts, counselors, or people in your church or community. Building a strong support system is essential to remaining in recovery. Peer support programs and self-help groups are an invaluable way to find comfort, stability, guidance and encouragement. Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA, is one of the most widely established and well-known self-help groups for alcoholics and addicts. Though people with any addiction can attend AA meetings, one may feel more comfortable with a 12-step program that caters to the specific addiction. These include narcotics anonymous, cocaine anonymous, marijuana anonymous, crystal meth anonymous, gamblers anonymous, overeaters anonymous and sexaholics anonymous. With over 30 programs modeled after the 12-step traditions of AA, one should be able to find a program for the specific addiction. One of the keys to working a successful 12-step program involves getting a sponsor, a former addict in the program, who can share his or her experiences about getting sober.12-step programs aren't just about going to meetings they also require one to take a personal inventory and dig deep within oneself to figure out why one started using in the first place. Accepting one's flaws and learning how to live with them without turning to alcohol, drugs or abusive activities is the aim of recovery. If you are trying to recover from an addiction, and feel the urge to drink or use, your sponsor is the first person you call. This teaches you to reach out instead of trying to handle your cravings or personal struggles alone. Group support programs also allow you to meet a lot of new people striving for sobriety. In the beginning especially, you will find recovery easier if you have other sober friends that you can hang out with. This is your opportunity to make new friends, find new interests and hobbies and surround yourself with positive people. By doing these things, you give yourself the greatest chance at lifelong recovery and happiness.
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Last Updated:December 20, 2012