The Tipping Point of Treatment and Recovery

If drinking “adult beverages” consistently makes a person act like anything BUT an adult, they may need to reconsider their relationship with said beverages. Signs begin to present themselves when a person’s relationship with alcohol and other drugs progresses into addiction.

No one wakes up one morning and says, “I think I’ll become an alcoholic today.” Addiction is far more subtle than that. Many people don’t acknowledge their addiction until the mid-to-late stages — when it begins to inspire all kinds of problems — health, legal, financial, vocational and relational.

Addicts and alcoholics try everything to convince themselves and others that they aren’t stuck. They try denial, rationalization, minimization, intellectualization, and they seem to have every “ization” in the nation except realization. And realization has to do with realizing their powerlessness over alcohol and/or other drugs.

The realization of powerlessness is only real when a person goes through a radical process of tangible transformation. Until then, it’s just an idea. A person may affirm the “idea” of powerlessness but until it flows from head to heart, they’re just toying with the concept. Like it’s some Rubik’s cube.

Just because some people can drink without the proclivity for addiction doesn’t mean that everyone can. Some people can make it into the NFL, but I can’t. Some people can drink a single beer and it’s enough. Others simply can’t stop.

The realization of powerlessness is understanding that your proclivities are different than other people’s. If you’re an addict or an alcoholic, you are powerless over those pet substances. And until the reality of powerlessness sets in, freedom will continue to be a puzzle for you.

Treatment providers have the same challenge as the lawyers and loved ones of addicts. We have to get through to them. Treatment and recovery can’t even get out of the start gate until the addict and/or alcoholic has the ah-ha moment of powerlessness. And we will stop at nothing to get them to that tipping point.

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