The “Must” to Overcome Alcoholism and Addiction

Sustainable recovery from the grip of addiction, as many can attest to, is not a success story realized by a single transactional decision. Far too many men and women consign their beliefs about recovery to flawed ideas about treatment and rehabilitation.

As a professional who worked in clinical treatment settings, both inpatient and outpatient rehabs for years alongside talented, caring, and passionate people, I do experience some discomfort and hesitancy when I discuss what I believe to be basic failures of the treatment “industry”. But, for the sake of adhering to my own mission to provide a straightforward and effective recovery coaching continuum of success to my clients, I will speak on this “Must” today and start with the following brief paragraph. 


A Note on Rehab

Clients or “patients” who spend thousands of dollars and weeks of their lives at treatment facilities are presented with all sorts of helpful addiction education and plenty of “treatment fluff”, as I call it. What this means is that the treatment industry norm seeks to fill the patients valuable days with billable services like lectures, large-group therapy sessions, experiential recreation, daily workouts in on-site gyms, equine therapy, high-carb food bars, and more. Also consider the draw of luxury accommodations, which is certainly “nice”, but these features do not qualify as effective interventions targeting the goal of real and sustainable recovery. In my experience with hundreds of successful clients, the solution to sustainable recovery from substance-use is imbedded in the following principles and does not require any of the above.


The Must

When people begin to experience negative life circumstances tied to substance-use, which can be drinking too much alcohol, over-medicating with pain pills or sedatives, or using illicit drugs like meth, cocaine, or other “recreational drugs”, at some point they begin to fear for their future. Some begin making attempts to control their intake to little, if any degree of success. Of course the family and loved-ones in their lives become aware and concerned. In the end, relational problems become more and more acute. 

A perceived solution, pushed by television and other media ads, as well as some health insurance referrals, is a rehab facility stay. The promises indicated in the deluge of advertising is that treatment will “fix” the substance-use problem and soon all will be well. Many people have varied levels of success following treatment. However, the first “Must” for success is more often than not, missing from the initial decision to seek recovery.

Here’s the critical factor: Is the choice made to seek help for real change? Has there been any discussion and deep consideration about why the substance(s) have become an addiction? The choice must be about a self-discovered fundamental change in attitude and outlook. Rehab may offer detoxification when needed for physiological dependence on a substance. Rehab may separate the individual from his or her drinking or drugging routine for a set time period, but where does it address the driving inner force or defective thought process? The emotional need to “numb” themselves from a thought pattern or overload of problems the week after they complete treatment?


The Struggle

If you or someone you care about is struggling or self-destructing by way of alcohol and drugs, the question they themselves must answer is “am I ready to discover the underlying issues that drinking and drugging ‘fix’ for me”? Has the pain and suffering become so acute that an admission can be made? A decision that something has to change? Have the temporary “I’m quitting for real this time” moments finally played out to the point of “no confidence”?

I’ll drop the following list into this article as a stark reminder or maybe a warning, depending on how much the illness of addiction has destroyed so far. Just read these bulleted scenarios, check off any that apply, and let this article help you in making the real recovery decision, is it the right time to face and accept the “Must”?


  • “Dr. shopping” for more prescriptions
  • Increased spending on alcohol/drugs 
  • Hiding your drinking or using from loved-ones
  • Making false excuses or lying about where you were or why
  • Increasingly poor performance at work or loss of jobs
  • Legal problems like DUI or possession arrests
  • Family problems like distrust, arguments, separation, or divorce
  • Increased isolation from good friends or family
  • Increased feelings of depression, anxiety, or fear of the next “bomb”
  • Feeling a sense of low self-esteem
  • Persistent feelings of loneliness
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
  • Hopelessness


New Thinking

Real recovery from addiction begins with accepting a couple of initial facts. If you have been to treatment before and found that lasting recovery eluded you, or you made promises to yourself and others that you would stop drinking or using drugs and you find yourself facing that broken promise once again, you might consider a new approach. The effective approach begins with the acceptance that addiction is more powerful than self-will and its grip is stronger than you thought. 

You can access more helpful recovery guidance by clicking HERE for my Free Day 1 Guide


The solution to the problem that most likely landed you on this page is a simple one. However it requires a journey to full recovery, one marked by some difficult twists and turns on the trail of self-discovery, honesty, and open-mindedness. The journey requires an experienced navigator, one that knows the landscape and the footholds along the way. The destination is what I call the “summit of recovery”, a place only reachable by a willing explorer with the appropriate tools and provisions for the journey.

Take a closer look at yourself, your difficulties, and the solution thats right for you by navigating to my Start Here page for a Free Self Assessment.


I will present more of what I know to be critical information for your consideration in the next blog. Stay tuned.

Next Week: “Reasons to Recover”: A Clear View of the Truth


Be safe and care for one another.

Coach Chris  


As a trained professional in the field of substance-use recovery, a practicing recovery coach, and more importantly, a person in successful recovery from addiction for over 26 years, I have some knowledge to share and lots of hope for anyone who’s ready for change. 


The Recovery Journey to Addiction Freedom Online Course is Now Available as a Fully Digitized and Interactive Program Experience on All Mobile Devices and Computers.

Recovery Begins With Acceptance and A Commitment to Coach Chris’s 21 Day Self-Paced At-Home Course. This Amazing Course was Developed over Many Years with the Coach’s Experience as a Trained and Licensed Addiction Counselor and 3 Professional Coaching Certifications. This Solution-Focused Course Is Not Like Costly Rehabs or Treatment Centers, Does Not Require Group, In-Person, or Virtual Sessions. Includes Daily Coaching Videos, Medical Expert Video Interviews, Celebrity Recovery Video Interviews, Self-Searching Worksheets and Interventions, Relapse-Proof Guidelines, Early Recovery Craving Solutions, Safety-First Guidelines, Daily Relaxation and Wellness Video Productions, Goal and Intentions Worksheets, Art Therapy Modules, and many more Interventions in Perfect Order and Alignment for a Full and Sustainable Journey to Freedom from Addiction to All Mood-Altering Substances.


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Asking for Medical Help

If you or someone you know exhibits withdrawal symptoms, psychological problems, or any signs of self-harming behavior, contact your medical professional, call 911, or reach out to SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)


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