Effective recovery from addiction involves abstinence from all mood-altering chemicals plus character building. Total abstinence gives the addict/alcoholic a chance to recover from the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical damge he has done by giving up the devious ways and then paying back for the harm he or she has done. This usually takes many months and should be done in the mainstream of life.
Addicts/alcoholics must want to get sober and clean because of their severe pain and loss. Then there is much work to do. Ideally, this is done with and by those who have 'been there' in the Twelve Step programs. It is beneficial to be mentored by a good therapist as the addict/alcoholic goes through the first year or two. A personal trusting relationship with a good therapist who has been there and a good outpatient group can save the person from the old self.
Dr. Pete Butkins