Guiding Principles of Staying Sober


road-to-recoveryWelcome to my blog! My intention is to provide you with the best available tools, tips, research, and skills for long-term sobriety, health, and wellness. A good way to begin is by telling you about the foundational ideas of the Staying Sober. My approach is built on a new paradigm in addiction treatment: Recovery Management. Here are seven guiding principles of this new treatment model that I have adopted.

  1. Addiction is a chronic, progressive medical condition that is cyclic in nature. This is described by the medical/mental health community as the “disease” model of addiction. In my view, this term is so loaded with negative cultural connotations that it is not helpful. I prefer a more judgment-neutral description that refers to addiction as a chronic medical condition.
  2. Addiction can be successfully managed with proper treatment and ongoing aftercare. There is no cure for addiction at this time. However, like other chronic medical conditions—such as hyperten­sion (high blood pressure,) asthma, diabetes, or arthritis—addiction can be successfully managed.
  3. Staying Sober uses a developmental treatment model. Sobriety skills are introduced one at a time, so that each subsequent skill builds, reinforces, and strengthens the previous one. This creates a foundation for recovery that is solid and stable.
  4. Staying Sober emphasizes personal empowerment. You are at the center of treatment. You assume responsibility for your recovery. You get to define what success means, choose your goals, and decide the pace at which you want to accomplish them.
  5. Staying Sober is solution-focused, strength-based, and judg­ment-neutral. Staying Sober builds on your strengths. Treatment is built around your individual abilities. There are many roads to the mountaintop of sobriety. I invite you to use the path that resonates best with you.
  6. Sobriety is a process, not a place. There is no finish line in recovery. Recovering addicts are engaged in the ongoing process of sobriety on a daily basis. The work does not end, but neither do the rewards!
  7. Recovery is about managing, measuring, and tracking your progress. Staying Sober contains a built-in monitoring system (the Spectrum of Sobriety checklist) that enables you to measure and monitor the quality of your sobriety.

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