Completing treatment at an alcohol detox centre will have alcoholics weaned off drink and cleared the substance from their system. This is a necessary first step but not enough for long term recovery from alcoholism.
How can an alcoholic stay sober once they have left an alcohol detox centre?
Many rehabilitation centres use the 12 Step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous as a daily programme of recovery to assist their clients in staying sober, one day at a time, after completing alcohol rehab. Time in an alcoholism rehab after detox is a good way for alcoholics to learn how best to practically apply the 12 Step programme in their lives. Learning how to apply these practical 12 step tools can be the lifeline so many alcoholics need after they have “dried out”, but have no real experience of how to stay sober.
Many alcoholism centres offer a quality alcohol detox as part of their initial treatment programme. It’s important to understand that a detoxification is not the same as recovery but is a precondition for recovery.
A 12 Step alcohol recovery programme revolves around the spiritual principles as defined in the 12 Steps. These are at first a manner of clearing away some of the more flagrant debris from the past and allowing the alcoholic enough peace to move forward in the present. Once the daily 12 step routine is established it takes little effort to continue to behave in a manner that enhances the alcoholics’ peace of mind and doesn’t hurt other people.
Practising the 12 step programme allows the self centred, self seeking alcoholic to make a shift towards being more concerned with the well being of others. At first recovering alcoholics practise the 12 step programme of AA in order to stay alive themselves but after a while the fruits of living this way make it worthwhile to continue living on a spiritual basis. The 12 step alcoholism recovery routines are performed by thousands of people around the world every day and much warmth & support is found amongst this fellowship of recovering people.
These steps were developed from the ‘Oxford Groups’ movement in 1935 when Bill Wilson and Dr Bob Smith were both hopeless alcoholics at a time when the only thing that could be done for chronic alcoholics was to admit them to a mental hospital for detox. When Bill Wilson sobered up, and began living a life emphasised on spirituality and helping the still suffering alcoholic, he paid a visit to Dr. Bob Smith and through sharing his specific experience of what being a drinking alcoholic was like and how he had found a way out, Dr. Bob Smith also found recovery and began to help others at 12-step meetings.
Through placing a spiritual emphasis on an alcoholic’s recovery, and getting support from other alcoholics trying to achieve sobriety, the 12 step movement has gone from strength to strength and become a worldwide fellowship.
They created the 12 Steps and the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous as a guide for living life free of the compulsion to drink. Many people in the world are sober from alcohol and other addictions, and living a life better than anything they had imagined due to these 12 Steps and their daily programme for living.