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With upwards of 15,000 substance abuse treatment facilities in the U.S., it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you or a loved one. One of the best ways to choose the right treatment program is to consider the facilities certifications. A seal of approval from the Joint Commission (JCAHO) is considered the highest award available


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As addicts, drugs and alcohol take over our actions, as well as our thoughts. The “great obsession” of using liquefies any desire to pursue interests that we either used to love or might find enriching to our lives. Refreshed and renewed, many of us feel the overwhelming need to replenish our desires with healthy actions. And this is where the concept of a new #drugofchoice is formulated.



GLOUCESTER — Chief Leonard Campanello and Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken are pleased to announce that The Hope Center For Rehabilitation in Florida is joining the Gloucester Police Department’s ANGEL Initiative.

As of Tuesday morning, 137 people have been placed into treatment programs by The Gloucester Initiative since June 1, when the program began. 

The Gloucester ANGEL program allows people who suffer from addiction to turn over their remaining drug supply and paraphernalia to the Gloucester Police Department without the threat of arrest. Those in need of help are put into treatment programs as opposed to jail cells. The policy went into effect last month in an effort to address a growing opioid epidemic and to reduce the number of overdoses in Massachusetts. Click here to view the official police policy document.

“It’s an honor to be joining The Gloucester Initiative to help make a positive difference in people’s lives,” said James Durkin, CEO of The Hope Center For Rehabilitation. “We are committed to guiding our guests along their path to recovery, and in turn, allowing them to make a complete 360-degree turn into a new, healthy lifestyle.”

Chief Campanello and businessman John Rosenthal have launched The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) — a new nonprofit organization created in response to Gloucester’s revolutionary drug addiction program and the immediate positive feedback from local, state and national organizations.

Both Chief Campanello and Mayor Romeo Theken are pleased to be expanding The Gloucester Initiative’s dedicated team of partner treatment centers by adding The Hope Center to the program.

About The Hope Center For Rehabilitation

Based on Boynton Beach, Fla., The Hope Center For Rehabilitation, provides a full range of services both leading up to, during and following treatment. This includes professional interventions, medically assisted detox, inpatient rehabilitation (30-90 days), intensive outpatient rehabilitation and outpatient services.

The Hope Center also offers group activities, including kayaking, zip lining, beach trips, movie nights, paddle boarding, gym membership, snorkeling and wakeboarding. Transitional housing units are provided for both men and women, known as Magnolia Place. Each gender-specific home offers state-of-the-art amenities for clients looking to continue living in a safe, 12-step supported environment with like-minded individuals for up to nine months after treatment. Staff offers part-time supervision to help guests transition as they embark on their post-treatment plan.



Getting Sober at any Age

…and finding happiness & success too

If you’re someone who has discovered that they are either too young to get sober, or perhaps too old, I can assure you age is not a factor, but merely an excuse. Don’t allow your disease to talk you out of this. I’ve heard countless people praise young members within the recovery community for having found sobriety in their youth. You can feel their deep desire to have had the courage to do the same. What I notice is their longing to have the years they wasted back, and to be able to reverse all of the damage they have done in that time.

Let’s not assume that “late” even merely refers to age. I’ve known many alcoholics and addicts who by all accounts seemed far past the point of saving. They had habits that should have long ago killed them, despite their youth. Yet, I’ve witnessed some of the most severe cases return to sanity. You can find plenty of these inspiring stories in our Big Book, which gives any suffering addict hope that it really never is too late to recover.

Granted, getting sober at a young age will strip you of some of the wilder times you may have waiting ahead. And often, that is a deterring factor. Or perhaps you’re worried life won’t be enjoyable any longer without the drugs and alcohol. But if you’ve reached a point, like the majority of us, where your use is inhibiting you from the joys in life, your ambitions, is ruining your relationships and preventing you from most if not all of your goals, then you will find that sobriety will not hinder your life, it is actually the only thing that may save it.

Not all of us are lucky enough to have climbed down the ladder to rock bottom at a young age however. An older member of our fellowship, a gentleman at the age of 75, shared one day that he had recently celebrated an anniversary. Assuming he had many years, the group members were surprised to hear him say he was celebrating 1 year sober. The man stated that the last year had been the happiest of his life. He had reconnected with his children, his grandchildren and had found a completely new level of happiness he had never imagined for himself. This story, and many others like it, are the tales of inspiration that keep many members spiritually connected to the promises of our program. It also reminds us that we are never too old to experience self-discovery, true happiness and to learn.

If you’re still not convinced of the irrelevance of age, here are a few other success stories reached at an unlikely time:

  • At age 7, Mozart wrote his 1st symphony
  • At just 17, Joan of Arc led an army in defense of France
  • At 21, Fred DeLuca co-founded Subway Restaurants with just $1,000 in the bank
  • At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh picked up a paint brush for the very first time
  • Julia Child didn’t learn to cook until she was 40
  • At age 45, George Foreman recaptured the heavyweight championship with a 10th round knockout, becoming the oldest person ever to win the heavyweight championship
  • Ray Kroc founded MacDonald’s at age 57
  • At 86 Ruth Rothfarb ran the Boston Marathon in just over 5 hours

 

No matter what your age is, embracing recovery is like hitting a “restart” button on your life. It is a spiritual rebirth. Our fellowship gives us a perfectly designed plan of action to remain teachable, to practice honesty and to clean away the wreckage of our past.

It also allows us to build a future of our dreams. If you’re young, our program enables you to journey through life with integrity and gives you the optimal environment to succeed and to look back with gratitude. If you’ve spent many years in your disease and have reached a mature age where the future doesn’t seem as bright, don’t be deceived. By this point, having had real-life experience, you’ve been given the opportunity to discover what your needs, desires and tastes are in addition to understanding what it feels like to fail.

I recently heard another member share that he had experienced great wealth and success, but was failing in the game of life. When he got sober, he humbled himself by taking a low-level job and working his way up again, much like he did for his personal life by working the 12-steps. By the time he got sober, he knew what his tastes and interests were. He knew what it felt like to fail, which made it easy to do things differently this time. He also experienced re-growth, having built his life back up from the foundation. Without having had a lifetime of experience, he would not have so successfully trail blazed his sobriety and shared his story to other alcoholics.

Remember, it’s never too late to change your life if you are still alive. Each of us has a desire to win the lottery in life. So often we hear stories of amazing success, joy and happiness. Often, especially as a suffering addict, those dreams seem completely unrealistic. But in reality, recovery – at any age – is practically guaranteed if you follow this simple plan of recovery outlined in the 12-steps. Diane Ackerman once said “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well”. While you may not achieve great fame or release a Nobel Peace Prize winning novel, you will give yourself the opportunity to live a life that you never thought imaginable – a sober one.

 

…and finding happiness & success too

If you’re someone who has discovered that they are either too young to get sober, or perhaps too old, I can assure you age is not a factor, but merely an excuse. Don’t allow your disease to talk you out of this. I’ve heard countless people praise young members within the recovery community for having found sobriety in their youth. You can feel their deep desire to have had the courage to do the same. What I notice is their longing to have the years they wasted back, and to be able to reverse all of the damage they have done in that time.

Let’s not assume that “late” even merely refers to age. I’ve known many alcoholics and addicts who by all accounts seemed far past the point of saving. They had habits that should have long ago killed them, despite their youth. Yet, I’ve witnessed some of the most severe cases return to sanity. You can find plenty of these inspiring stories in our Big Book, which gives any suffering addict hope that it really never is too late to recover.

Granted, getting sober at a young age will strip you of some of the wilder times you may have waiting ahead. And often, that is a deterring factor. Or perhaps you’re worried life won’t be enjoyable any longer without the drugs and alcohol. But if you’ve reached a point, like the majority of us, where your use is inhibiting you from the joys in life, your ambitions, is ruining your relationships and preventing you from most if not all of your goals, then you will find that sobriety will not hinder your life, it is actually the only thing that may save it.

Not all of us are lucky enough to have climbed down the ladder to rock bottom at a young age however. An older member of our fellowship, a gentleman at the age of 75, shared one day that he had recently celebrated an anniversary. Assuming he had many years, the group members were surprised to hear him say he was celebrating 1 year sober. The man stated that the last year had been the happiest of his life. He had reconnected with his children, his grandchildren and had found a completely new level of happiness he had never imagined for himself. This story, and many others like it, are the tales of inspiration that keep many members spiritually connected to the promises of our program. It also reminds us that we are never too old to experience self-discovery, true happiness and to learn.

If you’re still not convinced of the irrelevance of age, here are a few other success stories reached at an unlikely time:

  • At age 7, Mozart wrote his 1st symphony
  • At just 17, Joan of Arc led an army in defense of France
  • At 21, Fred DeLuca co-founded Subway Restaurants with just $1,000 in the bank
  • At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh picked up a paint brush for the very first time
  • Julia Child didn’t learn to cook until she was 40
  • At age 45, George Foreman recaptured the heavyweight championship with a 10th round knockout, becoming the oldest person ever to win the heavyweight championship
  • Ray Kroc founded MacDonald’s at age 57
  • At 86 Ruth Rothfarb ran the Boston Marathon in just over 5 hours

 

No matter what your age is, embracing recovery is like hitting a “restart” button on your life. It is a spiritual rebirth. Our fellowship gives us a perfectly designed plan of action to remain teachable, to practice honesty and to clean away the wreckage of our past.

It also allows us to build a future of our dreams. If you’re young, our program enables you to journey through life with integrity and gives you the optimal environment to succeed and to look back with gratitude. If you’ve spent many years in your disease and have reached a mature age where the future doesn’t seem as bright, don’t be deceived. By this point, having had real-life experience, you’ve been given the opportunity to discover what your needs, desires and tastes are in addition to understanding what it feels like to fail.

I recently heard another member share that he had experienced great wealth and success, but was failing in the game of life. When he got sober, he humbled himself by taking a low-level job and working his way up again, much like he did for his personal life by working the 12-steps. By the time he got sober, he knew what his tastes and interests were. He knew what it felt like to fail, which made it easy to do things differently this time. He also experienced re-growth, having built his life back up from the foundation. Without having had a lifetime of experience, he would not have so successfully trail blazed his sobriety and shared his story to other alcoholics.

Remember, it’s never too late to change your life if you are still alive. Each of us has a desire to win the lottery in life. So often we hear stories of amazing success, joy and happiness. Often, especially as a suffering addict, those dreams seem completely unrealistic. But in reality, recovery – at any age – is practically guaranteed if you follow this simple plan of recovery outlined in the 12-steps. Diane Ackerman once said “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well”. While you may not achieve great fame or release a Nobel Peace Prize winning novel, you will give yourself the opportunity to live a life that you never thought imaginable – a sober one.

 



Discover Your Character Traits, Goals & Purpose

Our 12-step fellowship provides a roadmap to uncover the reasons for our addiction. In our 4th step, we list with complete abandon an inventory of our resentments, fears and defects of character, connecting the dots between our pattern of behavior and our addiction. This self-cleanse allows us to bear witness to all of our deepest ailments and then enables us to let them go and work on our defects in the future. It takes courage to dig into our disease and let that become a part of our growth. Recovering addicts are given strength through their vulnerability when they admit their personal faults and actively work on them.

This process relieves us of the things that are holding us back from discovering our true passions. Now, with a renewed sense of self and clarity, there is no better time to discover your true potential. In reading through a number of books on life, awareness and happiness, I realized that many of them encouraged positive personal identification, which included things like skills, natural born talents, character traits and passions. I found myself surprised that I there was no worksheet on taking a positive inventory to identify personal qualities, outlining how one could offer their gifts to the world and pursue their passions in life.

This notion struck a nerve because I believe many of us identify, both prior to and after getting sober, with a fear of the future. In truth, how exactly can we have energy and optimism for the future if we have not identified a path to walk toward it?

You may ask yourself: What is my calling? What are my dreams? How can I ever achieve them? How do I deal with life now? We’ve won the lottery by finding recovery. In many ways we have been “reborn”. We’ve also been granted time and mental space to work on what we most desire. Think about how much better your sobriety will be if you put energy into your dreams and goals? Now that is a great way to create a positive foundation in recovery.

You owe it to yourself to discover your passion and purpose. You can start today with an exercise I’ll call a “Reverse 4th Step”. List the personal attributes you value which strengthen your character and what you can offer the world. Start by making lists of these qualities by following this simple guide:

  1. List the talents you are born with (your natural abilities, aptitudes)
  2. List skills that you have developed or mastered (sports, technologies, art, singing)
  3. List your education & experiences that have made you uniquely specialized (training, travel, etc.)
  4. List your character traits of the spirit (courageous, empathetic, optimistic, grace under pressure)
  5. List your top, most memorable accomplishments (winning a race, best-in-class)
  6. List your values (family, honesty, freedom)

Next, discover your passion and purpose. Most people don’t know what their passion and purpose is because they have never tried to figure it out. You can begin reaching your dreams by first writing them down. According to Dave Kohn, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech, people who regularly write down their goals earn 9x as much over their lifetimes as the people who don’t. Make this list positive, specific and measurable. You would be amazed at how attainable your dreams are if you take the time to identify your ambitions.

By connecting your natural abilities and character traits with the things you are passionate about, you can pursue goals in your life that align with your real purpose. For example, if you are a naturally gifted skier and have a high level of patience, perhaps becoming a ski instructor would be a well suited job for you. Maybe you are extremely good under pressure and love high-energy. You might want to consider a profession in an emergency room or trauma center. If travel is a passion of yours and you’re an excellent writer, decide to embark on a travel blog and share your experiences with the world.

If you follow your passion money and success will naturally follow, not the other way around. The same goes for your journey in sobriety. While identifying our character defects helps us work on being better people in the future, focusing on our character traits can help us pursue the dreams of our innermost soul. Think of your life ahead as an empty canvas: visualize life’s coming attractions by identifying your unique traits and by setting goals because possibilities, adventure, accomplishment, contribution and happiness are waiting.



Reinvigorating Your Spiritual Foundation in Recovery

When I was early in sobriety, I once heard a man share at a meeting that he “would give up his 30 years for anyone’s 3 months.” At the time I can’t say I really understood what he meant because I so envied his achievement. But today, that message was loud, clear and on point.

He was referring to the “Pink Cloud” stage that many people reach in sobriety. Its’ a multifaceted state of mind when the drugs and alcohol have left you for long enough that you can feel again and are beginning to really connect with other sober supports. At this phase, the Big Book starts to really make sense and more than likely your relationship with yourself and your loved ones is improving after years, or maybe even decades of neglect.

It’s similar to the felling you get when you’re first in love or have reached a lifelong goal. You have a sense of peace, accomplishment, security and blind faith in this beginning phase of real recovery. But like love, the feelings fade over time and moments of enlightenment become less frequent. Perhaps you’ve noticed yourself pulling away from regular meetings you used to attend, or are calling your sponsor less or maybe you’re just feeling more disconnected from your program.

I can tell you almost everyone at some point “loses the magic”, if you ever achieved it at all. If you’re left looking back longingly on the days when your spiritual connection was thriving, here are some ways to reignite the passion for your program.

1. Go To A Meet You’ve Never Been To Before
Typically our regular meetings, like all routines, start to feel redundant. But with thousands of meeting going on every day throughout the country, there is always a new group to introduce yourself to and to be inspired by. One of my favorite things to do when I’m in a new city is to make it to at least 1 meeting while I’m there. Each new meeting is an opportunity to network and hear an inspirational message. It’s also a great way to expand on your support network. And today, finding a meeting close by has never been easier. Download the Meeting Finder app onto your phone to locate a meeting anywhere in the world based on your location. Intergroup will also provide you with the latest meeting information. Visit http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-aa-resources for information to contact your local intergroup office.

2. Raise Your Hand To Be A Sponsor
The whole sponsor relationship thing is a little daunting, for both sponsors and sponsees. Overcoming your fear to ask someone to sponsor you takes motivation and courage. To raise your hand and offer your help to someone newly sober also takes guts. But the reward is profound. Do you remember what it felt like in early sobriety to have someone answer your daily phone call, meet with you to go over your steps and give you support and advice when you just didn’t know what to do? The spiritual reward of helping someone else early in sobriety will open so many doors back into your own journey early on, and allow you to freely share the gift you’ve been given. It’s our fellowships way of paying it forward. Sponsoring other men or women will help you grow further in your program, helping elevate you to a new “Pink Cloud” of your own.

3. Read Through Your 4th Step Again
You spent weeks or months writing a 4th step. This list of character defects, resentments and people you may have harmed is like your very own golden diary. In your 5th step you were able to release all of these fears that were holding you back from transcending to the next level of acceptance and change. Over time, we’re taught to quell these defects by practicing steps 10 and 11 on a daily basis. But if you’ve noticed that some of your defects begin popping up now and then, don’t be frustrated. We’re naturally apt to revert back to our instinctual nature. Take an evening to read through your 4th step. Remember, these moments or traits were part of a larger pattern. Take the lessons you discovered in your 5th step and try and make those adjustments on a daily basis. This will undoubtedly help bring you back to a more enlightened stage as you live vicariously through your step-work, connecting the feelings you had then with the growth you have now.

4. Go To A National Convention
When you attend a national convention of any sort, whether it’s work or hobby related, you’re making an investment in your understanding and growth in that area. When you attend a 12-step fellowship gathering, you’re making an investment also in your spiritual bank account. Thousands of people join together for a few days of saturated learning where guests have the unique experience of hearing inspirational stories, attending specifically designed workshops in addition to enjoying fun networking events. It is almost guaranteed you will leave reinvigorated. There are a number of conferences held around the country, and around the world every year. Start by checking out the events calendar at www.aagrapevine.org (the International Journal of AA). If you’re young and in recovery, The International Conference of Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous (ICYPAA) is an excellent event for you, bringing young AA members together from around the country. The conference will be holding it’s 57th gathering this September in Miami. Visit www.icypaa.org for more details. For more events, Young People in Recovery has chapters throughout the country (who meet weekly) and host regional conferences. Find out about your local chapter and upcoming events at www.youngpeopleinrecovery.org.

5. Commit to a 90 in 90
When I first got sober (for good) I made a commitment to attend 90 meetings in 90 days because that’s what I was told helped countless people get started on their journey in sobriety. What happened was I made a powerful foundation for my own program. When you make a commitment to attend a meeting a day, you get to experience a variety of different meeting formats in different areas, each of which are made up of different people. The gift in this commitment is that you just have to show up, and the miracle is given to you. On any occasion, you are present to hear an enriching story, or connection with a new member. Over time, you create accountability with people and build on your sober support network. If you’ve been in recovery for a while, it’s an excellent way to get back to your foundational roots especially because at each meeting, there is a new message or be heard or a re triggering of one you’ve long since forgotten about.

You certainly aren’t going to adopt each of these suggestions in 1 day but it’s a great roadmap to begin working on in the year ahead. So break out your 4th step, plan to hit a meeting you’ve never been to before, check out some upcoming conventions and get ready to jump back on that pink cloud!



After several months or years of consistent and solid recovery, you may find that you are becoming somewhat tired of the same old routine, regardless of how well it has served you. Attending the same meetings every week may increase the monotony of a steady job and balanced routine. As addicts and alcoholics, maintaining a steady routine for any extended period of time is likely far from the norm, and it is not uncommon for those used to the chaos of substance dependency to become somewhat restless when adhering strictly to a daily practice. Unfortunately, many who grow agitated or ‘squirrely’ in reference to their program eventually end up neglecting the fellowship altogether, or replacing beneficial daily practices with risky behaviors in order to keep themselves entertained. Rather than stick with the same 5 meetings every week and uphold the same service commitment for 2 years, below are several recommendations geared towards keeping your recovery energized and warding off the “same old, same old” blues.

Keeping Your Recovery Energized

Depending on where in the country you are living, you may or may not have access to a wide array of meetings from a variety of fellowships – some of the most common being Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Cocaine Anonymous. There are also fellowships for various behavioral addictions, including Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, and Codependents Anonymous. It just so happens to be the case that most alcoholics suffer from some degree of co-occurring disorder. Many addicts and alcoholics are also afflicted with codependency in some realm of their lives – arguably, all alcoholics are codependent upon alcohol and all addicts are codependent upon their drug of choice. Even if you do not completely identify as a codependent, finding an open meeting of Codependents Anonymous to attend may open your eyes to potentials you have never previously even considered. If you are having difficulties in romantic relationships or find yourself engaging in old behaviors relating to promiscuity, you may want to find a Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meeting near you. Even if you are simply curious, an open meeting will not turn you away, and the likelihood that you will take valuable lessons away regardless is exceptionally high.

Switching Up Your Meetings and Getting Involved

Switching up your daily meetings is a great way to reenergize your recovery, but there are many other effective and easy ways as well. It is extremely important to have friends in recovery, seeing as a solid sober support network will come in handy not only when you need help personally, but when you are feeling bored and looking for some safe and fun friends to spend time with. While it is relatively simple to find a great group of people (usually your homegroup members) to go eat with after meetings, it can be somewhat difficult to make fun and enthusiastic friends that like to do more than sit around, drink coffee, and chain smoke. The best way to meet new people that like to have fun is by getting involved! Fellowships are constantly having picnics and bonfires and a slew of other events – sign up to volunteer for as many as you can. You are sure to meet other people who are both involved and fun-loving. No matter how bored you feel, remember that there is always a simple solution. So mix things up, have fun, and reenergize your recovery!



You’ve just graduated from a 90-day drug rehab – been “coined out” by a group of peers who wish you well and remind you they’re there if you ever need help. Your plane leaves tomorrow – you can’t wait to return home and see your friends and family. You’ve missed them, and you want to show them how far you’ve come in just several months. Therapists and counselors have warned you about the temptations that will likely await you at home, but you aren’t worried… after all, you’re cured! You will no longer want to drink and use drugs, for you’ve uncovered underlying causes of your addiction and addressed them with the assistance of a professional. Right?

Drug Rehab Is Just The Beginning!

Very, very wrong. It is very likely that one has not engaged in any sort of aftercare after inpatient will relapse within a short period of time. The vast majority of inpatient drug rehabs will strongly recommend a comprehensive and extended aftercare program effective immediately after one graduates from residential treatment. In most cases, such programs will include attendance at an IOP (intensive outpatient program) for a period of time, as well as continued daily attendance at a 12-step meeting such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Usually continuation of one-on-one therapy sessions is recommended as well in order to address underlying emotional issues as well as the addiction itself.

It is a common misconception that completing a stay at an inpatient rehab facility is about the extent of treatment – that once your inpatient stay comes to a close you are essentially cured of your addiction, free to return to your old life and pick right back up where you left off; without the use of drugs and alcohol, of course. In fact, graduating from a residential drug rehab program is only the beginning of your journey into recovery. It will be strongly recommended that immediately upon graduation that the newly sober addict or alcoholic maintain sobriety by entering a halfway or sober living house. This will allow him or her much more freedom while still managing accountability by means of frequent drug tests and a set of strict rules (curfew, cleanliness, etc). A careful transition from inpatient to halfway and finally back into total independence has been proven most successful in prolonged abstinence from drugs and alcohol.

Recovery Begins “In the Rooms”

It is often said that real recovery begins “in the rooms”. This refers to the fact that it tends to be difficult for addicts or alcoholics to maintain meaningful sobriety without getting involved in a 12-step program of their choosing. Regular attendance at meetings is usually essential to sustaining sobriety based on several differing factors – one of the most important is being surrounding with sober supports, friends who can relate to the struggle and are available to help if need be. 12-step meetings tend to be a crucial aspect of every aftercare plan, as does continued one-on-one therapy in order to continue resolving emotional problems and underlying causes of addiction. Don’t be fooled by the common misconception that rehab is the end of the road! Recovery is a lifelong process, and sobriety requires continued maintenance. But there is no question that all of the hard work you put in will be more than worth it in the end.



If you’ve ever been to a 12-step meeting yourself or sought advice from someone who has, you have inevitably heard several well-worn clichés. “One day at a time”, “easy does it”, “stick with the winners”… surely you’ve heard these and many other ancient slogans rattled off by old-timers in meetings, and without question most go over your head with little thought. But when taking a closer look, some of these hackneyed catchphrases can actually prove to be quite helpful. Here are 9 examples of everyday mottos you may stop taking for granted after actually taking them into consideration. Old-timers are old-timers for a reason, after all!

  1. “First Things First”

Well… yeah. Isn’t it always? It seems like a simple message – and that’s really because it is. When AAers remind you that the first things first, they’re really reminding you to stay focused on the day at hand and stop projecting. Stay in the present moment – ground yourself and focus on the task at hand. This slogan also alludes to the fact that sobriety must remain top priority, for, as another saying goes, “everything you put before your sobriety you are going to lose”.

  1. “Easy Does It”

Rome wasn’t built in a day. It isn’t likely that after a week of sobriety you are going to be a happy, healthy, productive member of society. Take it easy – give yourself a break. The slogan also reminds one to avoid trying to force solutions, that sometimes doing nothing is an action in itself. Take a step back and let the universe unfold as it should.

  1. “Live and Let Live”

This slogan simply suggests that one should focus on themselves and their own issues rather than the issues of those surrounding them. Live your life and let other live theirs. When an addict or alcoholic tries to run the show, things tend to end up a lot more complicated than they would have been otherwise.

  1. “One Day at a Time”

This slogan is pretty self-explanatory – and it also a universal trademark of Alcoholics Anonymous and many other 12-step programs across the globe. A major key to staying sober is facing every day as an individual feat. Wake up in the morning and tell yourself, “Today, I will not drink. If I still want to drink tomorrow I can.”

  1. “To Thine Own Self Be True”

So, this one was Shakespeare – we must give credit where credit is due. But AA has essentially adopted the quote and made it their own over the years, adding new significance to the famous words. Essentially, this line advises one to avoid engaging in self-deception. Lying to yourself will only hinder potential progress. Be honest and thorough, if not with anyone else, at least with yourself. And your sponsor.

  1. “Meeting Makers Make It”

This is probably the most straightforward of all AA clichés. If you go to meetings, you won’t get drunk. While regular attendance at meetings does undeniably help one stay sober, it is important that one engages in the meeting, pays attention to speakers, and fellowships before and after the convening to truly get the most out of each experience. So while this statement tends to lean towards true, if you sit in the back with your head in your hands, refusing to ask for help, you may not stay as sober as you’d like.

  1. “Wherever You Go, There You Are”

It is not uncommon for addicts and alcoholics to impulsively pick up and move across the country, believing that a geographic change will help them tame their symptoms. Many realize rather quickly that it isn’t so much the surroundings as it is an internal malady, and are forced to heal from the inside out rather than the outside in.

  1. “My Best Thinking Got Me Drunk”

Essentially, this slogan points out the fact that most addicts and alcoholics are so sick in the head that any thought they have is probably wrong. One of the predominant points of Alcoholics Anonymous is helping other alcoholics – especially when it comes to decision-making. If left to their own accord, most of the sober men and women in the rooms would undoubtedly be drunk. Or dead. If you think something is a good idea, ask! It most likely isn’t.

  1. “I Am Powerless But Not Helpless”

It is important to remember that powerlessness is entirely different than helplessness. While you may be powerless over drugs and alcohol, you are never helpless – it is your choice every day whether or not you pick up. Keep these helpful clichés in mind if you ever start to feel overwhelmed, and remember – stick with the winners!


The Hope Center

The Hope Center for Rehabilitation offers a full range of services both leading up to, during and following treatment, including professional interventions, a luxury, medically assisted detox program, inpatient rehabilitation (30-90 days), intensive out-patient rehabilitation and out-patient services. Each of our clients become a part of our alumni program at the completion of their treatment to help foster a continued community of recovery.

Copyright by The Hope Center 2016. All rights reserved.