I invite you to consider a simple, radical idea – the goal of treatment may not be to get people sober by focusing on short-term relapse prevention techniques, but rather to teach them how to stay sober on a daily basis by changing the way they think, feel, and behave so they can enjoy long-term recovery health and wellness. This new, psycho-educational approach represents a paradigm shift in addiction treatment. At the center of this model is a single premise – addiction is a chronic medical condition whose symptoms can be successfully managed with proper treatment and on-going maintenance.
The guiding principles of Staying Sober
- Addiction is a chronic, progressive, relapsing medical condition. This new definition of addiction is endorsed by major health organizations: AMA, APA, SAMHSA, and NIDA.
- Effective treatment relies on a developmental learning process. Staying Sober teaches CORE 24 recovery tools – the 24 most effective, evidence-based skills, techniques, practices, and behaviors needed to shift from an addictive to recovery-based mindset.
- Emphasis on personal empowerment. The individual is at the center of treatment. They take ownership of their recovery, define their own version of success, select their own goals, and set their own pace to achieve them.
- Solution-focused, strength-based, and judgment-neutral. Treatment is built around the individual’s abilities. There are many roads to the mountaintop of sobriety and individuals choose the path that best suits them best.
- Sobriety is a process, not a place. There are no finish lines in recovery. Individuals engage in the ongoing process of sobriety on a daily basis. The work does not end, but neither do the rewards!
- Monitoring, measuring, and managing progress. The Staying Sober approach has a daily checklist and point system to help keep individuals motivated and on-track.
Short-term “one size fits all” treatment leads to short-term sobriety outcomes followed by frequent relapse.Click to tweet
Short-term treatment = Short-term sobriety
The Staying Sober approach is a significant departure from previous treatment models that rely on intense, but brief, treatment episodes. According to SAMHSA, short-term, “one size fits all” treatment leads to short-term sobriety outcomes followed by frequent relapse. Staying Sober uses an ongoing, developmental system of self-care that produces long-term sobriety.
Three stages of Staying Sober
Staying Sober is divided into three stages: Early, Mid, and Long-Term Recovery.
Early Recovery: This is an educational stage in which individuals learn:
- The medical model of addiction and its significance.
- How to break the cycle of addiction.
- The CORE 24 recovery tools needed to shift from an addictive to recovery-based mindset.
Mid Recovery: This is an organizing, integrating stage in which individuals learn:
- Organize new sobriety skills into a unified, balanced routine.
- Monitor, measure, and manage sobriety with the CORE 24 checklist.
- Adapt, change, and modify schedule to meet on-going needs.
Long-term Recovery: This is a transformational stage; weekly sober routine becomes a lifestyle. Individuals learn:
- Address legacy issues.
- Practicing acts of service.
- On-going strategies for on-going growth and development.