I've thought a fair amount about how to get people to stop abusing drugs and alcohol: I used to be a drug counselor and in my 25 years as a career and life coach, I've had many clients with substance abuse problems. Here's my current thinking:
- For some abusers, the goal should be moderation, for others, stopping completely. Some people can be functional alcohol/drug users--if they have the discipline to keep it moderate. Others cannot function well-enough using drugs/alcohol even modestly--either because their job or life requires high-level functioning or because they lack the discipline to keep their use moderate.
- Twelve-step programs help some people. Most likely to be helped are those who need structure, group support, aren't particularly intellectual, and consider themselves religious or spiritual.
- Other people may be more likely to stop with cognitive therapy: correcting their erroneous thinking: e.g., "I'm more creative or likable when I'm high, "It so helps me cope with life that it outweighs drug use's liabilities," "My kids won't be affected," and most often and powerful: "I must satisfy my urge to feel good right now."
To find a non-12-step self-help group, you might try SmartRecovery.
- Sometimes, a physician can prescribe medication to help you stop. To find one that specializes in helping people with addictions: click HERE
At the risk of sounding like a goody two-shoes, there really are ways to get high on life without drugs. For example, I get real pleasure from helping my clients, writing, hosting my radio show, playing in the garden, or walking my doggie, Einstein.
How could you fill your life with enjoyable activities that don't have negative side effects?