So sad that the only way we get relief from the denial that blinds us is through feeling the pain of such consequences. Hopefully this “moment of clarity” will enable your son to see that abstinence itself is not equivalent to recovery. It is simply the precondition to recovery mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and recovery is the means to prevent further addiction – induced pain. Very scary for him to admit he needs to abstain completely and indefinitely from not only alcohol but all other mood – altering drugs in order to recover. How else will he cope with uncomfortable feelings? That is of course the fear that fuels the denial – denial of the existence of addiction and the need to treat it beyond simply abstaining, selectively and for awhile. And that is of course what fellowship (meetings), mentorship (sponsor) and spiritually based cognitive behavioral therapy (the twelve steps) provides.

An addict has precisely two choices: complete, continuous abstinence and indefinite participation in a program of recovery, or eventual return to the devastation of active addiction, and the great pain that brings to the addict and anyone who loves the addict. Perhaps xxxx would be benefit from reading this – sent as a physician with 25 years of experience in addiction medicine and 27 years of personal recovery, and as a person who fell in love with his fine heart when I watched his video about his gap year. I hope he chooses recovery, so he can live according to his heart, and stop breaking his heart by the consequences of active addiction, such as beating up his friend. I’m also very willing to help in any way I can if xxxx seeks my help.

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