Is Sobriety All or Nothing?
Many addicts in early recovery ask the same question- is recovery an all or nothing thing? For example, if you enter rehab for addiction to opiates, do you really have to give up alcohol, or vise versa? The simple answer- yes. A high is a high, whether it is from drugs or alcohol. If someone is recovering from an opiate addiction and relaxes with a beer or two at night, it is a slippery slope right back into their original addiction.
Some may be hesitant to enter and complete rehab and give up their substance of choice completely. They believe that moderation management, which is when someone tries to limit their alcohol intake to a safe level, is a better situation for them. However, this does not work for those with the true disease of addiction.
When a person suffers from the disease of addiction, his or her brain changes. They need drugs or alcohol to survive, and if they do not have it, it causes chaos in the body. To survive the disease of addiction, one must go through addiction treatment and completely give up drugs and alcohol. It is not possible for them to just cut back on the substances. Drinking a little alcohol or doing a small amount of drugs will lead to worse things for an addict.
So for addicts, sobriety and recovery really is all or nothing.