AA Tag

When thinking of drug addiction, the obvious problem that comes to mind is drugs. Addiction is often thought of as a chemical response to repeated exposure to substances that can cause physical dependence. But could the real problem behind drug addiction be the individual, not the drugs?

I'm tense in my therapist's office as we listen to the ringtone over the speaker until a voice answers.

"Hey mom," I choke,"I relapsed again."

By the age of 24 years old, I was willing to do very little to help myself or others.  I was put in a place where my self-will was no longer working for me. I had relied on my determination and ambition to succeed without anyone else’s help for a long time, and it had worked up until recently. 

One of the key elements of working a 12 step program is having a sponsor that guides you through the process. Often, sponsees will turn to their sponsors for more than just the steps in order to get direction and life advice. What is the difference then, between a sponsor and a therapist?

Most people finding their way into recovery are familiar with 12 step meetings. Is just attending 12 step meetings enough to stay sober though? What does it actually take to stay sober as a young person?

12 step meetings are an important part of most sober individuals’ recovery programs. How many meetings should be attended each week though? Does a successful recovery schedule look any differently for someone that has just gotten sober, versus someone that has been sober for a longer amount of time?

Being able to find a balance in sobriety is an art only mastered through a difficult process of trial and error. My experience in finding a balance in my own sobriety after going through a long term recovery home took some time. I was successful after learning to balance my leisure activities like surfing, staying connected with the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and working a job.

When I came into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous 17 months ago, my life was falling apart from the inside out.  I was scared, angry, and depressed; I felt there was little hope for the future.  I blamed the world for my misery; it wasn’t my fault that no one understood me.

My name is Pashka, I am a graduate of New Life house and I have three and half years sober. Like many of the graduates, I grew up in sunny San Diego. I come from an amazing family, my parents immigrated here and were able to accomplish exactly what they sought out for, the American Dream. Not only were they able to establish themselves successfully in this country, but were able to provide me, their only son, with everything that they were not able to have themselves.

In a word, my relationship with my family over the course of my life has been a tumultuous one at best. That is not to say that it has always been bad, but I can tell you with certainty that it has not always been good. They’ll be the first to tell you the same thing.