How to Quit Drinking & Using Drugs – Part 2

Part II

By Jim deVarennes – President & Founder Sober Living America

This is Part II of our blog – how to quit drinking and using drugs.

Some say, “If you don’t pick up you can’t get high”. And they would be correct. But if you have lost control like me, it’s not going to be that easy.

In Part I we talked about the wonderful lectures we got from our parents, our wives, husbands, and friends. Remember those – “If you loved me, you wouldn’t do this.”, or “If you cared about your family, you would stop”, or “If you cared about your life, you would stop living like this.”

Sorry family and friends – those talks don’t work. Although we usually agree with you.
So what can I do to stop?

Things you can do:

There is hope, and a solution. After years of personal experience and working with so many that have tried to gain control, here are some suggestions. Again – Everything I share, I have learned from those wonderful “old-timers” in the recovery rooms. You folks in recovery, please add your suggestions. There are millions of you who have found a way out – One day at a Time.

  1. First, and this is a tough one, I had to admit that I have a different reaction (an allergic reaction) to alcohol and drugs than others. Here’s how the original members of Alcoholics Anonymous put it in their book: (You will find extremely helpful information in both the AA book and the NA basic text).

    From page 30 in the book titled Alcoholics Anonymous: “Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics (I say drugs too – it fit perfectly for me). No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows. Therefore, it is not surprising that our drinking (& using) careers have been characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could drink like other people. The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker.”

    I gave you an example of how I tried to control my drinking & using. I’m sure you can add to the list.

    It goes onto say that I had to admit this to my innermost self that I was addicted. They said that this is the First Step in recovery. They continued with “The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.”

    I wanted to be able to drink and use like others who seemed to have control -I really did. I wanted to recapture the glory days of old, but man I was beat down. I had lost the ability to control my drinking and using. I was in BIG trouble.

  2. If you are willing to admit that you have this this allergic reaction, then you could be on your way to a wonderful life. Stop beating yourself up – you’ve been beat up enough.

  3. Go to a 12 Step meeting and repeat that daily for 90 days. If you miss – don’t worry, go the next day – just keep trying. Success in recovery is about being consistent and moving forward.
  4. At your FIRST meeting, they usually ask if anyone is new – say YES.
  5. After your first meeting – get one or two phone numbers. If you go up to the person who ran the meeting or look for the people who are picking up chairs, they will be able to help you.
  6. Next – call them and thank them for the number and ask them what you should do next. Remember, these people are there for a reason; they have been where you are. They will help you.
  7. The next day – go to another meeting.
  8. Stay strong. Tell yourself – I will not drink or use NO MATTER WHAT. I had to change how I described a drink. I used to refer to beer as Cold Beer. Today I call it a warm glass of puke. (I love the guy that gave me that pearl). It’s not good dope; it’s a bag of misery.
  9. If you have insurance and feel you need treatment – GO. But remember, treatment is NOT the solution, just a step in a positive direction. If stopping drinking and drugging was the solution, detoxification and treatment centers would turn out winners every time.
  10. If you don’t like the meeting you went to, try a different group. Do a Google search for Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous in your area. There are meetings everywhere, and you will find a good fit for you.
  11. If you find that a lot of people are complaining about their life in a meeting, that’s not a good meeting. Find another one. There are lots of good meetings.
  12. Next – within a couple of days, find a competent Sponsor. That’s a sponsor who has a sponsor and is actively involved in his/her group and working the steps. I suggest ask someone who has a long time in recovery.
  13. Start working the Steps. If you go to a 12 Step program, it is suggested to work the 12 Steps. I heard that too – genius.
  14. Learn to Pray. No this is not religion, most of us have said this pray, “God, if you get me out of this, I’ll never do it again”.
  15. Work with other people. How do you do that? After a week of meetings, you’ll see new people coming in, they will look beat up like we did, go say hi and tell them it’s going to be okay, and then introduce them to your new sponsor. (GET ONE)
  16. HAVE FUN – I lost so many things to alcohol and drugs. All the things I used to love to do, dope took away. I have learned that being clean and sober; I have found a life full of peace and happiness that I never dreamed of. It’s good to smile again. I have learned that when you smile, it sends a signal throughout your whole body that everything is okay.

For those of you who have questions, go to several 12 step meetings (AA, NA, Alanon) and ask – they will help. We are writing a blog to offer more suggestions to you family members so stay tuned.

Feel free to call me or the great people at Sober Living America – they will help too.

We love you and care about you – stop beating yourself up, you’ve been beat up enough. CALL SOMEONE – GET HELP.
Love ya & God Bless,

Jim

About the author:

First a disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I hold any type of counselor’s license. Also, all of the information I am sharing with you I have learned from the “old-timers” in the recovery rooms or read in a recovery book.

My name is Jim deVarennes, president and founder of Sober Living America. For the past 20 years, I have had the privilege to operate and serve Peachford House and Sober Living America. During that time, we have served over 50,000 people and housed as many as 750 people daily in 11 cities.

We are an organization dedicated to reaching out and educating students through our “Friends – Say Something” campaign, as well as offering individuals & students affordable sober living facilities. Our Vision is No Money/No Problem.

My story comes from my own personal trials and tribulations, and my experience guiding thousands of others through recovery. For the past 29 years, I have met some of the most wonderful old-timers in the recovery rooms. Taking the actions suggested by these great folks, has somehow kept me clean and sober “One Day at a Time” for 20 years (I didn’t listen too well – that’s why it’s not 29 years). (BTW– one day at a time is an amazing concept).

We love you and care about you – stop beating yourself up, you’ve been beat up enough. CALL SOMEONE – GET HELP.

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