A “first” of anything is a beginning, and so it is with the steps: The First Step is the beginning of the recovery process. The healing starts here; we can’t go any further until we’ve worked towards taking the first step in addiction treatment. When your life becomes painful and unmanageable enough, you may find yourself at rock bottom. This is generally where people decide at taking the first step in addiction treatment. You stop the substances. You ask for help. You get to a doctor. You then find some system, some method or way that is going to help you start to stop the addiction. There are drug rehab centres, there is community help like AA and NA and then there is every thing from Smart recovery through to Buddhist retreats. Another method is A Course in recovery by Mark L Lockwood and there are many other online or onsite programs becoming available to addicts and those suffering depression, tension and general life burnout.
There are many 12-step programs for various addictions and compulsive behaviors, ranging from Cocaine Anonymous to Debtors Anonymous—all using the same 12 Step methods. Although the 12 Steps are heavy on spirituality, many nonreligious people have found the program immensely helpful. The language emphasizes the presence of God as each participant understands him, allowing for different interpretations and religious beliefs. Remember that drug rehab centres can have recovery rates as low as five to twenty percent in the first year. What we do know is that we need something new and improved. As with anything, we need more data and more research. But if anyone tells you there is only one way to skin a cat – run!
Today we will talk about NA and taking the first step in addiction treatment. Why not. It has worked for millions of recovering addicts.
Taking the first step in addiction treatment
Some NA members “feel” their way through taking the first step in addiction treatment by intuition; others choose to work Step One in a more systematic fashion. Our reasons for formally working Step One will vary from member to member. It may be that we’re new to recovery, and we’ve just fought-and lost-an exhausting battle with drugs. It may be that we’ve been around awhile, abstinent from drugs, but we’ve discovered that our disease has become active in some other area of our lives, forcing us to face our powerlessness and the unmanageability of our lives once again. Not every act of growth is motivated by pain; it may just be time to cycle through the steps again thus beginning the next stage of our never-ending journey of recovery.
Some of us find a measure of comfort in realizing that a disease, not a moral failing, has caused us to reach this bottom. Others don’t really care what the cause has been-we just want out!
Whatever the case, it’s time to do some step work: to engage in some concrete activity that will help us find more freedom from our addiction, whatever shape it is currently taking. Our hope in taking the first step in addiction treatment is to internalize the principles of Step One, to deepen our surrender, to make the principles of acceptance, humility, willingness, honesty, and open-mindedness a fundamental part of who we are.
Then, in taking the first step in addiction treatment, we must arrive at a point of surrender. There are many different ways to do this. For some of us, the road we traveled getting to the First Step was more than enough to convince us that unconditional surrender was our only option. Others start this process even though we’re not entirely convinced that we’re addicts or that we’ve really hit bottom. Only in working the First Step do we truly come to realize that we are addicts, that we have hit bottom, and that we must surrender.
How to begin
Before we begin working the First Step, we must become abstinent-whatever it takes. If we’re new in Narcotics Anonymous and our First Step is primarily about looking at the effects of drug addiction in our lives, we need to get clean. If we’ve been clean awhile and our First Step is about our powerlessness over some other behavior that’s made our lives unmanageable, we need to find a way to stop the behavior so that our surrender isn’t clouded by continued acting out.
Because recovery is a lifelong process, there’s no wrong way to approach the 12 Steps as the participant tries to figure out what works best for their individual needs. In fact, most participants find that they will need to revisit some steps or even tackle more than one of the steps at a time. But taking the first step in addiction treatment is what matters most. Without that, things will just get progressively worse.
For more information on taking the first step in addiction treatment contact Pathways. We offer a new and alternative treatment course. Super different to conventional drug rehab centres. Call 0824424779 today and taking move towards taking the first step in addiction treatment.