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Can a drug addict drink alcohol?

When an addict enters recovery for drug addiction, one of the most common problems they face is when they are told they will have to give up alcohol even when they did'nt really drink much. They struggle to picture a boring future where they will not be able to drink either going out to have fun, or even just having a glass of wine with the family at home. Experience of most addicts has shown that an addict cannot use any mind or mood altering substance at all.

What Recovery Resources Have to Say:

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1. Alcoholics Anonymous

It should come as no surprise that Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t condone drinking in recovery. In fact, according to A.A.’s central text, the Big Book, if you’re drinking, you’re not really in recovery. And A.A. teaches that real alcoholics cannot control drinking; in their experience, controlling your drinking is not possible. A.A. doesn’t paint a boring picture, though. According to the Big Book

“…we aren’t a glum lot. If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn’t want it. We absolutely insist on enjoying life” (p. 132).

2. Narcotics Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous also discourages drinking in recovery. NA’s central text, the Basic Text, encourages its members to “abstain from all drugs in order to recover” (p. 18). Further on, the Basic Text says,

“Before we came to NA many of us viewed alcohol separately, but we cannot afford to be confused about this. Alcohol is a drug” (p. 18).

3. SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery is an organization of self-management and recovery training for people seeking abstinence from addiction. They don’t encourage drinking in recovery, but do allow it. The program also seeks to help people find motivation to quit drinking from a logical point of view. SMART Recovery uses a seven-step model to change harmful behavior. The last step of this model is “termination,” or graduation from SMART Recovery. After an individual graduates, they’re allowed to drink as much as they want.

4. Rational Recovery

Rational Recovery also discourages drinking in recovery. Rational Recovery is a self-described

“…worldwide source of counseling, guidance, and direct instruction for self-recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs through planned, permanent abstinence” (Rational Recovery Website).

What are your thoughts?
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