Talking With an Alcoholic About Getting Help

“Your candidate may give reasons why he need not follow all of the program. He may rebel at the thought of a drastic housecleaning which requires discussion with other people. Do not contradict such views. Tell him you once felt as he does, but you doubt whether you would have made much progress had you not taken action. On your first visit tell him about the fellowship of alcoholic’s anonymous .If he shows interest; lend him your copy of this book. Unless your friend wants to talk further about himself, do not wear out your welcome. Give him a chance to think it over. If you do stay, let him steer the conversation in any direction he like.” pg. 94- 95 Working with Others from the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous

It is important that we do not try to corner someone into recovery. It’s a program based on attraction rather than promotion and there is a reason for that. If we were to try and convince people that they need to get alcohol addiction help then they would not have gotten sober on their own accord but rather because they were preached to and told they need help. That is not what sobriety is about. When someone decides to go to a drug addiction detox, sober living, 30 day rehab program, or AA it is important that they come to the conclusion that they are powerless on their own so that they can own their recovery, struggles, and triumphs that come along with it. We can share our experience, strength, and hope by telling them what happened, what it used to be like, and what it’s like now. We can make ourselves available to anyone who’s suffering from this disease but that where our responsibilities stop as far as informing someone about this disease goes.

Addiction – How Does It Happen?

Addiction is most often defined by a compulsive psychological and/or physical dependency or obsession to anything. Many people tend to associate addiction with drug and alcohol dependency. However, addiction is often seen throughout an array of varying substances, activities and objects. Regardless of the focus, addiction is always an unhealthy obsession.


Addiction can occur over a lifetime or overnight. For some people, it occurs quickly –  while for others, the progression is slow. Addiction typically begins following an extreme sense of euphoria, relief, or contentment. Whether the focus is drugs, sex, shopping or the internet, the addict will continue engaging in the activity to achieve the high on a repeat basis.


Dependency is seen in both psychological and physical forms. Examining the symptom types experienced during the withdrawal process can help in determining which dependency type you are dealing with. Physical dependency is typically found in addicts engaged in the abuse of substances, such as alcohol opiates, nicotine or amphetamines. During the withdrawal period, these substances alter the user’s physical appearance. A psychological dependency can result in effects ranging from violent behaviors to mood swings and depression. Eating, self-mutilation, gambling, and sexual addiction are typically categorized as psychological dependencies.


Most experts cater to a belief in addiction cycles. The first step in the cycle is a feeling of intense euphoria. Following this, addicts may experience a lost sense of control. They will feel as though the addiction has taken over, and dictates their every decision. Craving is the third step in the cycle. To appease these cravings, addicts must take part in the fourth cycle step – use. The fifth and final step in the cycle finds the addict with a belief that their life has become repetitive and predictable. It is during this stage that the addict may begin considering recovery options.

Warning Signs

Diagnosing an addiction is much easier than the fight to overcome it. Specific changes in appearance and mood are simple exterior giveaways. Volatile mood swings are yet another common warning sign.


Scientists have been able to determine a heightened risk in certain individuals for addiction development. Four basic categories are typically used when attempting to assess an individual’s predisposition: mental, physical, social and emotional. The mental factor pertains to individuals suffering from mental illness or low self-esteem. The physical factor is genetics. Emotional factors include individuals who have dealt with depressive situations, such as the death of a loved one or childhood abuse. Social refers to people that associate themselves within groups where drugs or readily available.


If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance addiction, out Above It All drug rehab counselors are available to help! Give us a call today and let our team help you back on track towards the happy, healthy, and fulfilling lifestyle you deserve.

The Alcoholic Double Life

“More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor. To the outer world he presents his stage character. This is the one he likes his fellows to see. He wants to enjoy a certain reputation, but knows in his heart he doesn’t deserve it. The inconsistency is made worse by the things he does on his sprees. Coming to his sense, he is revolted at certain episodes he vaguely remembers. These memories are a nightmare. He trembles to think someone might have observed him. As far as he can, he pushes these memories far inside himself. He hopes they will never see the light of day. He is under constant fear and tension.”-pg. 73 Into Action from the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

As alcoholics we are very good at living a double life. While we might be dying on the inside, and spiritually bankrupt it doesn’t matter as long as everyone around us thinks we are doing well, and have it together. This doesn’t always change after receiving alcohol addiction help especially in the beginning. It’s as if we have an alter ego. It stops us from letting people in. Its that part in us which drives us to gain acceptance and be the favorite and before we know it we are constantly striving for perfection and always coming up short. Weather its wanting to be the favorite student, partner, child, or friend it becomes our mission to show everyone how “okay” we are when we know we are dying on the inside. It plays out in many ways. We end up compartmentalizing our relationships and often times feel overwhelmed when we can’t keep it together and we start coming unglued. This pressure that we continuously put on ourselves to be a chameleon and do things perfectly is torturous. When we get into a 30 day rehab program, AA, or drug addiction detox we can begin to work on this issue and finally experience freedom from the bondage of self. We know longer have to be a slave to our ideas of what our life as well as personal relationships should look like. As it says in the big book “we will begin to know a new freedom and a new happiness, we will comprehend the word serenity, and we will know peace.”

The 4 Stages of Drug & Alcohol Recovery

When a person decides to seek out professional drug and alcohol addiction help, they embark on a journey comprised of 4 unique recovery stages as they learn to develop a sober and happy future.

These stages – Initiation – Early Abstinence – Abstinence Maintenance – Advanced Recovery – were initially created by the National Institute on Drug Abuse as a guide to recovery success. Below, we will summarize each stage in an effort to inform and support those considering the journey.


Upon reaching out for professional help, an addict begins the initial stage of recovery – initiation. Whether the individual is coerced by exterior forces or seeks help on their own accord, the recovery process will commence with the individual initiating professional help.

During a patient’s initial time in rehab, it’s natural to experience feelings of ambivalence toward their recovery decision. Though many patients tend to view their addictions as, “not so bad”, these feelings have the ability of threatening long-term rehabilitation success.

Early Abstinence

Once a commitment has been made to participate in the recovery process, patients enter the 2nd rehab stage – early abstinence. Of the four, early abstinence can often be the most difficult due to an array of factions, including physical cravings, withdrawal, and psychological dependence. During this stage, patients are properly educated in regard to the coping skills needed to enjoy a sober and happy life post rehab. The tools gained here will serve patients throughout the remainder of their recovery.

Abstinence Maintenance

Following a continued 90 days of sobriety, patients will graduate to the 3rd recovery stage – abstinence maintenance. Patients who have begun their recovery in a residential facility will now move to the follow-up or continuing counseling phase of the recovery program while living outside the facility grounds.

With the tools and education gained in rehab, this stage’s main focus lies in relapse prevention. Here, coping skills and tools are utilized to help repair and address various areas of the patient’s life:

-Dealing with the past

-Anger Management

-Building healthy relationships

-Nutrition and exercise


-Addiction substitution

Advanced Recovery

After a 5-year sobriety period, addicts will reach the 4th and final aspect of their recovery – advanced recovery. During this phase, addicts should be able to take the skills and tools gained throughout recovery and utilize them in achieving a happy, fulfilling and satisfying life.

Not only are addicts in advanced recovery able to maintain their sobriety, but they will also hold the skills necessary to become a healthier, involved, and well-rounded individual.

Want to Learn More?

If you are interested in learning more about the recovery process, our Above it All addiction counselors are on hand to help! Give us a call today, and get moving towards the sober, happy and exciting lifestyle you deserve!

Fear and Seeking Alcohol Addiction Help

As the AA book says “Fear is an evil, corroding thread; the fabric of our lives is shot through with it.” Fear is obviously a bar to reason, and to love, and of course it invariably powers anger, vainglory, and aggression. It underlies maudlin guilt and paralyzing depression. President Roosevelt once made the significant remark that “we have nothing to fear but fear itself.”- pg. 265 from The Language of the Heart

When we are first getting sober or even before we receive alcohol addiction help we are often times full of fear surrounding many different aspects of sobriety. Some of us may be fearful of the idea of getting sober while others may be afraid of the process whether it involves a 30 day rehab program, AA, or a drug addiction detox. The thing about fear is that while it may protect us from potentially dangerous positions it can also keep us from positive things and situations in our life as well. Fear can be healthy if it aids in keeping you out of harm’s way. For example when we first get sober some of us may decide not to go into bars for a while…this is an example of a healthy fear of alcohol. However If our fears keep us from doing things like getting sober then it is an unhealthy and destructive fear. The fact is that we didn’t get sober to live in fear. Sure it’s going to crop up from time to time and that’s fine. What matters most aren’t so much the feelings surrounding the situations in your life but rather what you do with those feelings.

Trust God, Clean House, Work With Others: A Formula for Sobriety, Part 1

Working with others…This is perhaps the easiest and most fulfilling out of the three. After receiving alcohol addiction help, we then do the work either through a 30 day rehab program, AA, or a drug addiction detox, then comes the working with others part. There are many ways other than sponsorship to be of service. There are commitments at meetings, committees to volunteer for, as well as different areas of program that need help. With that being said sponsorship is one of the most rewarding as well as imperative parts to staying sober. Through sponsorship we get to give away what was so freely given to us. After we have started doing the work we can then take others through the steps and show newcomers precisely how we have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. If we can look back to when we were new and can recall the fear and discomfort that we experienced then hopefully we can approach this situation with patience, love, tolerance, and compassion. We get to walk through this together. Taking someone through the steps is important not only is it the thing that keeps the program going but it also teaches us how to show up, be accountable , work with our fellows ,keep our egos in check, and keeps us sober. There is nothing more rewarding then seeing someone you sponsor stay sober, know that you helped them achieve sobriety, and perhaps passed on some of the most valuable tools in life one can pass on.

“Do You Miss Drinking?”

It seems like a normal drinker’s favorite question to ask is “do you miss drinking”? The fact is prior to receiving alcohol addiction help, going to AA meetings and getting sober through the help of places such as a drug addiction detox, or 30 day rehab program for most of us the way we were living life was no longer working for us. Sure drinking was probably fun in the beginning but what we were doing prior to getting sober was not living but rather maintaining. We had to drink and we lost our power of choice. It became our “medicine.” So when asked do you miss drinking the first thought that usually comes to mind is what is there to miss? When alcoholics hit bottom it is usually after we have become enslaved to our addiction we are stuck in the bondage of self and it is definitely not anything worth missing. When we get cravings or find that we are missing getting loaded it is usually a result of the part of our brain being triggered that has poor memory recall. Normal drinkers would recoil from alcohol like a hot flame if they ever came close to experiencing what   we had prior to getting sober but not us. We seem to touch the “flame” and two minutes later we forget that once again alcohol had burned us and were back at it. We do this over and over again until we can no longer endure the torture. When we get sober we trade our previous life for a life of freedom, happiness, and joy when we do the work. It is life that is worth living and worth giving up our old ones for.

Remember, Sobriety is Fun!

During our journey we can become very serious, especially after seeking out alcohol addiction help and getting sober. it is important to remember to have fun along the way. Often when we talk about fun, or doing things just for fun, we talk about it in a dismissive way as if fun isn’t important or near impossible when we are entering into a 30 day rehab program or a drug addiction detox. We tend to value step work and seriousness, and we forget to pay our respects to the equally important, light side of silliness and laughter. It is equally important to have fun in sobriety as it is to be serious about our sobriety.  We all know the feeling of euphoria that follows a good burst of laughter, and how it leaves us less stressed, more openhearted, and more ready to reach out to people. We are far more likely to walk down the street smiling and open after we’ve had a good laugh, and this tends to catch on, inspiring smiles from the people we pass who then positively influence everyone they encounter. Witnessing this kind of chain reaction makes you think that having fun might be one of our most powerful tools for changing the world and for living a happy and sober life. Laughter is good medicine, and we all have this medicine available to us whenever we recall a funny story or act in a silly way. We magnify the effects of this medicine when we share it with the people in our lives. If we are lucky, they will have something funny to share with us as well, and the life-loving sound of laughter will continue to roll out of our mouths and into our lives. Of course, it is also important to allow ourselves to be serious and to honor that side of ourselves and sobriety so that we stay balanced. After a great deal of merriment, it can actually be a pleasure to settle down and focus on step work, or take some time for introspection until our next round of fun begins.

Getting Out Of “If Only”

Sometimes we assign different people places, or things higher value than they are worth or put the responsibility of our well being off on other people, places, or things. We might say to ourselves “If only I sought alcohol addiction help sooner…If only I got that job I wanted, went to that 30 day rehab program, got those shoes, went to a drug addiction detox sooner, had the relationship I wanted with so and so, or was acknowledged by others the way I want to be then maybe I would be ok.” Well, what if we stopped thinking in terms of “if only” and started to create the life we want with positive self-talk and by taking responsibility We might begin to realize that we are ok. Who we are is enough. We are beautiful, unique in our own way, and loveable. We are finite fallible human beings and we are grand and magnificent in our own right and we all have a right to be here and be who we are. Eleanor Roosevelt once said “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Well if that is true and we go around feeling like we are not good enough at some point  then the question that deserves  the spotlight is not so much what if we got what we think we wanted but rather what are we doing to ourselves? Why do we pick apart and strip away the self-love we have even if we only do it a little? Furthermore how do we stop? We stop by living a life of love and tolerance. We stop by letting you be you and me be me and we stop by living an emotionally sober and freeing life. Get in touch with who you are, your shortcomings, and who you want to be. Love it and celebrate it!

CA Rehab and Sobriety: When You’re Ready to Make a Change

If you find that when you start drinking or using you can’t stop you may need alcohol addiction help. If you are sick and tired of not having control, having there be severe consequences to your actions, as well as losing all the positive things in your life then it might be time to look into a 30 day rehab program, AA, or a drug addiction detox. When we are first getting sober the idea of showing up, getting sober, and doing the work can be intimidating and impossible. With programs like the ones previously mentioned anyone has a fighting chance when it comes to recovery. Through taking that first step we are not only showing up for ourselves and others but for life as well. Through the help of the programs that are available we don’t have to do this alone and they can show you exactly how to recover. Before we get sober many of us are left feeling helpless. This disease had taken almost everything if not everything we love and cared about. It was as if we were banging our head against a brick wall over and over again and we couldn’t stop ourselves. We lost the ability to control and enjoy our drinking. We learn that it wasn’t due to lack of will power as many of us had thought but rather it was the result of a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body, a disease, alcoholism. Thankfully there is a solution and through getting sober and staying sober we can regain the power in our lives. We no longer have to be enslaved to this disease if we are willing to take the first step and reach out.