Disease or Choice: Why Does It Matter?

Every once in a while, we witness heated debates on social media regarding the disease model of addiction. Despite widespread acceptance within the medical community, many view the disease model with absolute disdain. They feel that addiction is a choice, plain and simple. Regardless of the stance they take, many people tend to feel very…

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Fulfilling the Twelve Promises: Part 10

If you’ve been reading the other articles in this series, it should be quite clear by now that the Twelve Promises all relate to changes in our thinking. Our actions, emotions and thought patterns are all intertwined. The Twelve Promises are generally called the Ninth Step Promises, because our thinking changes quite drastically when working…

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Embracing the Tenth Tradition

Many of the Twelve Traditions require a bit of metaphor in order to apply them in our everyday lives. This is because, unlike the Twelve Steps, the Twelve Traditions pertain more to AA and NA groups than to the individuals who comprise their membership. But some of the Twelve Traditions, such as Tradition One, can…

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Understanding and Practicing Step Ten

Up to this point, the Twelve Steps focused on teaching us the right principles to embody in recovery. Now, it’s time to put those principles into action on a daily basis. There is no point in working so hard to establish a decent moral compass if we intend to toss it by the wayside later…

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Reading Guide for “The Family Afterward”

The family members of addicts and alcoholics often suffer terribly until the afflicted individual finally agrees to seek help. Parents, children, spouses, siblings and others all suffer their own pain as they watch a loved one struggle. When the addict or alcoholic enters treatment, the family usually feels some relief. But the family dynamic will…

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Warning Signs of a Relapse

A common misconception about addiction recovery is that once a person gets clean, they’re fully recovered. But it would be far more truthful to think of sobriety as a journey rather than a destination. And as we embark upon this journey, we encounter many obstacles along the way. One of these is the potential for…

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The Twelve Concepts for World Service: Concept VIII

Throughout this series on AA’s Twelve Concepts for World Service, we often use metaphorical interpretation to explain how these concepts apply to our personal recovery. Sometimes, this requires a bit of outside-the-box thinking. In the case of Concept VIII, however, it’s actually quite easy. The metaphor is still there, as is the case with all…

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The Gift of Friendship in Recovery

“How rare and wonderful is that flash of a moment when we realize we have discovered a friend.” —William E. Rothschild After a few years in addiction, we often come to value more than the substance itself. In many ways, we become equally addicted—perhaps even more so—to the lifestyle. This rings especially true for those…

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Principles of the 12 Steps

Character defects come up a lot in recovery conversation. Upon recognizing drugs and alcohol as mere symptoms of a greater affliction, we begin working to identify the other driving factors that led to our downward spiral. We then strive to replace these shortcomings with more positive attributes. For instance, we may begin with honesty, open-mindedness…

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How to Help an Addicted Parent

Dealing with a loved one’s drug addiction is never easy. When that person is your parent, it is even more difficult to acknowledge and accept. Many children of an addicted parent do not know what to do, where to turn, or how to help. It is established that addiction is a disease that effects the…

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