top of page

Is Our Alcohol Recovery System Working?

Updated: Feb 12

Is our alcohol recovery system working?


I personally know this better than anyone else. I am a survivor of childhood trauma and alcohol addiction turned a Speaker and the Creator of She’s Recovered. Now, I help women who have survived trauma and alcohol addiction truly heal so they can get to living the amazing life waiting for them on the other side!



So, is our alcohol recovery system working? 


My answer to this is that although it is working for a small minority of people, it’s not working for the majority and I would say most people who need help. 


This is not hopeless at all though, this is actually in fact very hopeful because I have something to propose to you that will completely flip this on its head to instead help the majority if not most of those who need help. 


All we need to do is make a small shift in our thinking about alcohol recovery overall, about the true root cause for the majority of those who suffer and therefore what options for alcohol recovery we make available to those who need them. 


What I’m going to cover is:

#1 WHY it is so important address if our alcohol recovery system is working, individually and for our society at large 

#2 WHAT my proposed solution is to improve our alcohol recovery system 

#3 WHO am I, what is my story and experience with the alcohol recovery system as somebody who once needed help myself and now as a professional 

#4 HOW we can make these needed changes to our alcohol recovery system

#5 If you are (or someone you know is) struggling to control your alcohol consumption, what you can do NOW 


Are you ready? Okay, let’s go!


#1 WHY it is so important address if our alcohol recovery system is working, individually and for our society at large 

It’s so important to take a look at how our alcohol recovery system is doing because while it is helping a minority of people, it is not helping the majority and I would say most people who need help. 


How do I know this? Let’s look at what the data tells us. As always, the references for all these data points are in the “Reference” section below (in this episode’s podcast post on my website).


Did you know that out of all the people who struggle to control their alcohol consumption… 

  • Only 10 out of 100 people will even seek help in their lifetime. That means that 90% of people who struggle with alcohol will never seek help, they will live their entire lives suffering and everyone around them and even our society will suffer too, and they will die suffering.

  • For the 10 out of 100 who do seek help, they will take on average 10 years to do so. That is a long time.

  • Only 1 out of 10 will actually get form help. That’s not a lot of people at all.

  • Then of course, for the 1 out of 10 who do seek help, not many are truly able to fully recover and long term. For those who are, many don’t have a great quality of life because they suffer from strong and obsessive thoughts and cravings for alcohol all day every day and the only mechanism of defense they have is to white-knuckle it and to constantly live in fear of what will happen if they do pick up a drink.


So, we can conclude from this data that our alcohol recovery system is not helping the majority of people and for the small minority it is helping, it’s not giving a quality solution.

 

This matters to us all individually because we all know someone who struggles to control their alcohol consumption or you may even be the one who struggles and the likelihood of someone who struggles and seeks help from our current recovery system actually recovering is little to none.


This matters to our society at large also because there are so many severe injuries and even fatalities from drunk driving accidents, there are so many children who are at risk of losing their parents because their parents can’t truly recover, there are so many health related conditions and even fatalities caused by alcohol abuse and more. 


#2 WHAT my proposed solution is to improve our alcohol recovery system 

I propose that we change the approach of the alcohol recovery system from what the research calls a practice-based approach to an evidence-based approach.


The research tells us that our current alcohol recovery system uses a practice-based approach which is based on tradition and opinion, so what we have always done and what we think is right. 


I can’t think of 2 worse things though to base something as important as alcohol recovery off of than tradition and opinion.


Regarding tradition, a wise person once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, but we keep basing our approach to alcohol recovery partly on tradition, how we’ve always approached it and wonder why we keep getting the same devastating results that I just shared above.


Regarding opinion, another wise person once said that everyone has an opinion just like everyone has something else, which will remain nameless here for our purposes, and it’s not good, but again, we keep basing our alcohol recovery system partly on opinion, what we think is right and wonder why it’s not turning out good.


I instead propose that we approach alcohol recovery with an evidence-based approach, which is based on research and research I always say is just a fancy word to show us what works for the most amount of people, the most amount of time and in the best way possible.


Basing our alcohol recovery system on what works for the most amount of people, the most amount of time and in the best way possible is an approach that will yield much better results than what we’ve always done and what we think is right. 


To note, the good thing about research is that there are outliers to what works for the most amount of people, the most amount of time and in the best way possible and for that we can always use the traditional method too. My proposed solution is one where we put all the recovery options that are available on the table, not just 1.


#3 WHO am I, what is my story and experience with the alcohol recovery system as somebody who once needed help myself and now as a professional 

It's one thing to survive after trauma and alcohol addiction, but it's another to truly heal and thrive. Not many do.

 

I know this better than anyone. As I shared earlier, I am a survivor of childhood trauma and alcohol addiction turned a Speaker and the Creator of She's Recovered. Now, I help women who have survived trauma and alcohol addiction truly heal so they can get to living the amazing life waiting for them on the other side!I know exactly what it's like to go from having lived experience seeking help from our trauma and addiction recovery system only to not get better despite trying for nearly a decade, to finding alternative paths to recovery and to get better in just 3 short months, and to go on to take a seat on the other side of the table and become an expert in the very field I once sought help from. My belief is that if you are seeking help and you are not able to truly heal, it is not your fault.

 

You don't have to just survive, you can truly heal and thrive. I fully believe that you can truly heal and thrive too! There is a path forward for you and I will help you to find it! 


#4 HOW we can make these needed changes to our alcohol recovery system

To improve our alcohol recovery system, I propose we:


First, share all of the options for recovery to those who are seeking help. To note, this includes recovery options that support moderation as well as sobriety. 


Second, help them identify their goals with alcohol. To note, not anyone else’s goals for them, their goals with alcohol and again, whether it is moderation or sobriety.


Third, connect them with the path of recovery that best aligns with their goals with alcohol. To note again, not anyone else’s goals for them, their goals with alcohol and whether it is moderation or sobriety.


Fourth, connect them with all they need to accomplish their goals with alcohol and as always, their goals, not anyone else’s goals for them and whether their goals are moderation or sobriety.


Fifth, after they have healed from alcohol addiction and only after they have healed from alcohol addiction, to help them begin their path of truly healing from any trauma they have survived so they can go on to thriving and getting to live the amazing life waiting for them on the other side.


#5 If you are (or someone you know is) struggling to control your alcohol consumption, what you can do NOW 


I have a gift for you! It's called 3 Ways to Reframe Alcohol Recovery.


Not being able to find the path of alcohol recovery that actually works for you, struggling with strong and obsessive thoughts and cravings for alcohol all day every day until you finally give in and drink way too much and cannot stop, and in this endless cycle that repeats itself over and over again can leave you feeling hopeless.


In this complimentary resource I share exactly how after suffering for nearly a decade, in this same cycle, under our system's mainstream approach to alcohol recovery I was finally able to find an alternative path of recovery, recover in just 3 short months and stay recovered ever since. Now I help other women do the same! 


Click here to grab your copy! It's completely complementary and my gift to you!


References

Cridland, E.K., Deane, F.P., Hsu, C-I., & Kelly, P.J. (2011) A Comparison of treatment outcomes for individuals with substance use disorder alone and individuals with probable dual diagnosis. International Journal Mental Health and Addiction, 10(5), 680-683. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11469-011-9364-z 


Lloyd, M.H. & Brook, J. (2019). Drug testing in child welfare: a systematic review. Children and Youth Services Review, 104, 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.104389 


National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Medication for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder: a Brief Guide. https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma15-4907.pdf


United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2017). Facing Addiction in America: the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. CreateSpace Independent Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK424857/pdf/Bookshelf_NBK424857.pdf

bottom of page