Alcoholics Anonymous and other Twelve-Step programs provide the best and most time-tested road map to long-term recovery. But in order to reach complete success, it’s important to understand that the Twelve Steps are not merely a solution to end addiction but a means to achieve nothing short of total spiritual and personal transformation. This is achieved by interacting with individuals who understand the struggle, who have been in the same dark places, and who can help reduce the feelings of isolation, fear, and hopelessness that come with the battle against addiction. Staying connected with those who are also in recovery also offers a positive foundation of support to ensure constant motivation and encouragement towards an intended, favorable outcome. Strength and confidence both come much easier when you have others you can lean on during the tough times. I have learned these things through my own experiences, however empirical research also indicates that meaningful participation in Twelve Step groups, both during and after formal treatment, is associated with better outcomes among substance abusers. I feel this is because the Steps should be viewed as more than just a series of exercises. They provide the basic principles for living our lives. Most people who are serious about recovery will often seek out opportunities to apply one or more of them to challenges they encounter in their daily lives. Over time, the spiritual principles in the steps become integrated into their thoughts, their feelings, and behavior, and before long, they discover that they are not only working the Steps, but actually living them. This, of course, is the ultimate goal.
There are many methods by which an effective counselor can provide the necessary support. It starts with being an an active listener. Don’t just hear what is being said, but absorb and interpret while also paying close attention to non-verbal communication as well. Compassion and empathy are vital to the effectiveness of any counselor even if they don’t always share the same perspective. Support comes in many forms, but there is one area of recovery that is overlooked far too often and counselors must stress the importance of nutrition as a necessary component of any good Twelve-Step program. Eating healthy plays a valuable role in ending addiction because most addicts suffer from a poor diet and the nutritional deficiencies that come with the struggle of alcohol or drug addiction. Alcoholics, in particular, get their caloric intake from the consumption of alcohol which is completely insufficient for the necessary nutritional daily allowance to promote better health.
Recovery is a delicate time for an addict and they must follow a strict regimen in all things, including their diet. One of the easiest ways to eat healthier is by making smoothies and other healthful mixed drinks, which alleviates the need for always making and preparing meals. Fast food is not a good idea for people in recovery, smoothies and blended drinks are a good alternative for eating well on the go. Counselors should urge addicts to get a juicer or a similar blending appliance that they can use to make healthy drinks that will nourish like a meal. There are some useful online resources to find out more about juicers and the capabilities they offer. The dangers that come with poor diet while in recovery include excessive eating (substituting one addiction for another), a negative emotional impact from eating the wrong foods therefore driving them back to alcohol or drugs, and the risk of becoming overweight which may also spur a recovering addict back to their addictions because they don’t like the way they look or feel about themselves.
It may not seem like an obvious connection at first, but proper diet is one of the many pillars of sobriety. Getting a juicer can be a small price to pay to help a recovering addict find success in the long run.