Saying Goodbye to 2013

It’s New Year’s Eve! This is a time to think back and reflect upon the last 365 days. What changes have you made in your life? What accomplishments have you succeeded in? For individuals addicted to drugs and alcohol it is likely that their answers will not be very positive.

Perhaps you have attempted to stop using on your own and found that your dependence on your substance of choice is much more powerful than you anticipated. Ending addiction to drugs and alcohol often requires help from professionals. While you may be able to stop using for a period of time on your own, maintaining sobriety without understanding: addiction, why you choose to abuse drugs or alcohol, addressing the reasons for your substance use and developing ways of preventing future drug use will result in your return to drug and/or alcohol use to solve your problems.

Maybe you stumbled on difficult times in your life and wound up relapsing? Losing your way on the road of lifelong sobriety doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to regain the footing you once had. For recovered addicts who have relapsed, it means that you know how to achieve being sobriety and must work on ways to maintain it: learning new stress management tools, relapse prevention techniques, being able to identify individuals who will cause harm to your sobriety and developing a plan for your day to day life as well as a long-term plan for your future.

Planning each day as well as what you want to accomplish in the future gives the individual something to focus on. Creating structure in one’s day is valuable to everyone, no matter if they are a recovering addict or someone who is struggling with depression (or any other psychological issues). Planning and scheduling one’s time helps them to know what is expected of them each day and their free time will be filled with enjoyable, healthy activities (reading books, watching movies, spending time with supportive friends and family). Having a plan for the future gives the person achievable goals to work towards and by accomplishing these goals gives the person a sense of success and pride; two very powerful emotions that will motivate them to continue on the road of sobriety instead of returning to a life of substance use.

Narconon Fresh Start and their staff at Fort Collins New Life Center in Colorado, Lone Star Victory Ranch in Texas, Rainbow Canyon Retreat in Nevada and Sunshine Summit Lodge in Southern California wish you and yours a very Happy New Year.

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