Inside Rehab

Practical information about addiction treatment and recovery

When Quitting Drinking Is On Your Resolution List

Common myths about quitting drinking and overcoming addiction include the notions that you have to go to rehab and AA, you can't do it on your own, and you must be "in denial." When you're ready to quit, how do you know what's right for you? Read More

Thank you for the article. I

Thank you for the article. I may be wrong, but I think almost anything can work as long as you're ready (as seems to be proven by the various methods you mention above). I had been in inpatient and outpatient programs, but they didn't help me stop. It was only years later that I realized that it wasn't that the programs didn't work; the problem was that I simply wasn't ready to stop drinking. When I voluntarily walked through the doors of AA, I was finally ready to consider stopping, and that's why it eventually worked for me. But nothing and nobody could stop me while I was still hell bent on hurting myself.

Hit the nail on the head, Doxie37!

While there are research-based approaches, called motivational interviewing, that can help ambivalent people become more ready to change, ultimately, it's all about readiness!

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Don't give up on giving up

After about 30 years of drinking and smoking and 10 years of realizing I needed to quit both, this year it finally clicked. It happened suddenly one day when I just felt really tired of going to convenience stores and paying $8 for a pack of smokes. When the cigs went, the drinking did too. Although I have to abstain completely from the cigs, I am able to drink occasionally & socially without following up with a session at home getting plastered, like I used to. And don't think you have to go to AA. Their message of giving into a higher power never appealed to me.

Inside Rehab

Addiction is a chronic, progressive brain disease. It's treatable. Perhaps not as successfully as one might like, but on a par with other chronic diseases that require substantial behavioral change, like diabetes and hypertension.

Neuroscientists say addiction is a "spectrum" disease; it has deepening stages. The level of intervention will depend on where each individual falls along the spectrum. Those in early stages may not need formal treatment while those in later stages probably will.

Unfortunately, many people still don't believe addiction is a disease. That's why science-based education is so important.

For a not-for-profit website that discusses the science of substance use and abuse in accessible English (how alcohol and drugs work in the brain; how addiction develops; why addiction is a chronic, progressive brain disease; what parts of the brain malfunction as a result of substance abuse; how that malfunction skews decision-making and motivation, resulting in addict behaviors; why some get addicted while others don't; how treatment works; how well treatment works; why relapse is common; what family and friends can do; etc.) please click on

Stages of Change

Behavioral changes are typically hard to make and need to be motivated. Spontaneous remission like "Smoky Robinson" are great events. It also occurs when people are sick and tired of being sick and tired. AA programs and others help people do more than just stop, they help them keep growing.

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Anne M. Fletcher, M.S., R.D., is the author of Inside Rehab: The Surprising Truth about Addiction Treatment – And How to Get Help That Works.


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