Alcoholism and addiction aren’t things that people have, but are behaviors that people do. They’re verbs rather than nouns.

We aren’t saddled with an addiction disease of which we are victims but, instead, we engage in behaviors that we can change if we so choose.

This fact is empowering and liberating because we, ourselves, can choose to live alcohol and drug free if we wish. We don’t need to confess to a group of strangers that we’re victims of something beyond our control, to submit to a Higher Power, to accept the belief that we suffer from a mysterious “loss of control,” to be forever in constant fear of relapsing, or forced to be “in recovery” for the rest of our lives.

There’s a highly effective alternative to a life of 12-stepping. The non-religious St. Jude retreats teach practical skills to help people achieve happy lives completely free of alcohol or drugs.