For many individuals who are struggling with their alcohol use, there may come a moment when they ask, do I have a choice in my drinking? As society has made a habit of attaching the word "addiction" to everything from shopping, gaming, and eating to substance use, it stands to reason that people with alcohol use would assume that if they are addicted, they do not have a choice.
12 Step programs have, for a number of years, taught the false idea that alcohol use is an incurable genetic disease that has been passed down through families generation to generation. 12 Step programs want their members to believe that they are powerless against their urge to use alcohol and that they will inevitably fail in their attempts to quit alcohol use. They want you to believe that the only treatment available is belief in and submission to a higher power, meetings for the rest of your life and total lifelong abstinence, which they say you cannot achieve. So where does this leave the members of 12 Step programs? They feel demoralized, defenseless, powerless, and total failures. With these resulting feelings amongst their members, it really is no wonder 12 Step programs have a 95% dropout rate.
The truth is that you are not diseased and there is no scientifically verifiable proof that an alcoholic gene even exists. Your alcohol use is a learned behavior that you may have seen modeled by family or friends close to you, but it is behavior that you chose and learned to do. You can learn to stop using alcohol completely or learn to moderate your alcohol use, but the bottom line is that you do have a choice in your drinking.
If you believe you have an alcohol use issue and are interested in making the decision to get help, you can begin a new life that is free from the problems of alcohol use. It is important that you enlist the aid of a program that will support your desire to change your behavior and not meet you at the door with defeat.
You will not find the type of assistance to support a change in behavior in a 12 Step program. They think you have a chronic, incurable disease that you can never change. Cognitive Behavioral Education (CBE) has proven to be an effective method to help individuals change their behavior patterns, to change or end their alcohol use, and move forward with a life of purpose and fulfillment.
CBE does not work from a disease theory, an addiction genetics theory or that you are in any way helpless and powerless in your alcohol use. Rather, CBE teaches individuals to use self assessment and self change to reevaluate their choices and decisions and to make productive new decisions and choices, as well as to develop positive habits and behaviors that support these new choices. CBE helps you to learn to rebuild your self confidence and self esteem and gives you the information and knowledge to make an informed choice as to whether you will abstain from your alcohol use or to moderate your use-- if that is what you choose to do. Whatever you choose, you are always in total control.
Saint Jude Retreats offers a CBE program that helps guests in moving toward total freedom in their alcohol use. Our guests are empowered and discover that they can have a life that is not controlled by alcohol use.