Addictions can be measured like shit. People have varying level of shit in their lives. Some have mouse shit, while others have dog shit, and some have elephant shit. People with mouse shit may include young adults who party too hard. Most will mature out of their excesses and become responsible drinkers, with or without therapy.
People with dog shit need to remain abstinent. If they return to drinking, they will be standing on the edge of a deep canyon. I once heard of a woman who crossed a fence to get a better photo of the edge of the Grand Canyon. There were loose pebbles and when the ground shifted…
Elephant shit people might as well drink gasoline, for even one taste of alcohol is a death sentence. Many have alcoholic parents, and drank alcoholically from their first drink. They can’t go back to controlled drinking because they never could drink with control. They aren’t sick. People who are sick have the potential to get better. They have a genetic trait (not an illness) for abusing substances. It won’t change anymore than will their eye color. They need to understand this, and not try to test it anymore than they would want to test their balance on loose pebbles at the edge of a steep canyon.
A one-day-at-a-time approach sprays the room with floral scent – repeat daily. An effective program gets into the clients’ shit and helps them clean it up. Alcoholics can never drink, but they need goals and future vision, not limited to one day at a time. Substance abuse is like high school – been there, done that. When the substance abusers life becomes filled with healthy thinking, healthy activities, and healthy relationships, then there is no room for deadly mind-altering substances. Drinking again isn’t possible, but recovery to a healthy clean and sober life is an achievable goal.
There is no problem so bad that drugs or alcohol can’t make it worse