For many people whose alcoholism has progressed to the extent that they have lost control over not only their drinking but themselves and their lives, it is often necessary to get a number of different types of help. In many cases, this means the very first phase of their recovery is to spend time in a detoxification facility. Commonly known as a â€œdetox,â€ the purpose of such a facility is to allow the person a short period of time to get the alcohol out of his system.
Since a detox facility only serves to rid the system of the immediate presence of alcohol, the person may next be advised to have a longer stayin a rehabilitation facility. While in a rehabilitation facility the person's system has the chance to heal from the alcohol, and, equally important, to begin to regain the strength of body and clarity of mind. A rehabilitation facility usually includes nutritious foods, exercise, recreation, and counseling. The rehabilitation facility is also often the alcoholic's first introduction to the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve-Step Program. Participation in the program is required, and usually closely monitored.
When a person leaves a rehabilitation facility, he is advised very strongly to continue attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The phrase â€œninety meetings in ninety daysâ€ is often used to underscore the importance of attending at least one meeting each day. He will also be advised to get a Sponsor, whose purpose is to guide him through what he needs to do in the program.
While attending meetings and doing stepwork are important parts of recovery, in order to have the best possible chance at recovery being successful the person should keep a couple of other factors in mind. One is that whether or not he will be successful depends very much on him; and also, he cannot reasonably expect his meetings to substitute for or replace the other types of help that he may need on an individual basis. For example, meetings are not a replacement for mental health counseling, medical assistance, or other forms of assistance that he specifically needs.
Too many people sabotage their recovery, and some even relapse, because they are given the mistaken impression that their sponsors, meetings, and fellow Alcoholics Anonymous members can meet these needs and provide these services, which not only is not the case but is also stressed as such in the Big Book. Twelve-Step meetings are but one part in recovery from alcohol abuse; if the individual desires the best chance that recovery has to offer, he will not neglect the other parts which are relevant to him.
When a person has the need of treatment for alcohol abuse, his body, mind, life, and surroundings have been suffering greatly from his alcoholism. Each part of treatment has an important role in the person's chance for recovery; and in order to make the most of that chance, all that is required of the individual is for him to realize that recovery is a process which includes hard work, but also that in the end the results will most definitely be well worth it.
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