New Freedom Academy is a 12-Step Centered program, which is to say our entire treatment philosophy is fully integrated with the 12 steps. If our clients are to live free of the brain disease of addiction and all its misery, they will only be in treatment a small fraction of their lives. The 12 steps are a design for living that lasts a lifetime, therefore our goal is to assist our clients to transition into the next level of care with an excellent start in the process. If this goal is met, they are “on fire” about recovery, and have begun the shift from the inward, morbid reflection of active drinking and using to the outward, service-based lifestyle in recovery. The beauty of 12 step work is its daily regenerative power.
It is our belief that the book Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as the “Big Book”) is the best clinical manual for alcoholism and addiction treatment ever written. Within its pages are detailed instructions on precisely how to recover and how to maintain recovery. Its power as a toolkit for recovery is more than adequate. In fact, the process of working the steps helps “rewire” the brain, which is to say, alleviates obsession and places any person, who honestly pursues the process, into permanent recovery – a position of neutrality, safe and protected – one day at a time.
Many people hold the belief that 12-step centered recovery is about going to meetings regularly, avoiding temptation, and just sort of leading a mundane life. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here are a few myths:
Myth: 12-Step meeting makers make it.
Truth: If a person only attends meetings without fully engaging in the steps, they rarely make it beyond the honeymoon period and into actual recovery, because attending meetings doesn’t really address the underlying causes and conditions of the symptom of drinking and/or using drugs. However, the steps address all these issues, and clear the way for an awesome life. More deeply entrenched issues often benefit from a therapeutic application and safe environment offered at New Freedom Academy.
Myth: Meetings are a great place to go and dump your problems, so the group can give you feedback and advise you on what to do.
Truth: Meetings are not the place to dump and process problems. They are the place to share experience, strength and hope about recovery, and the target audience is the newcomer, who has no idea about how to stay sober. A place to dump and process life struggles is with one’s sponsor, therapist or in group therapy – the very resources available at New Freedom Academy.
Myth: If you just don’t drink or use, you won’t get drunk or high!
Truth: Indeed, if you don’t drink or use, you won’t get drunk or high. But the primary problem being experienced is known as restless, irritable and discontented which, at least up to a point, is solved by drinking or using. It is an unbearable state for a alcoholic/addict. The truth is that if this is left untreated it will lead to more drinking and using. There is no choice in the matter for an untreated addict. The myth seems to indicate that a sufferer has a choice, they do not, that choice has been removed. Our educational process dives deeply into the so-called “Choice Argument” and does an excellent job of disproving that untreated alcoholic/addicts have a choice about drinking and using, while we simultaneously offer and encourage the abstinence-based solution of spiritual recovery.
At New Freedom Academy, we turn these myths upside down, and expose the faulty thinking behind them. Our goal is to encourage our clients to carefully study the Big Book, and to take the steps, just as they are written, with another person who has had a spiritual awakening as the result of taking the same steps. Our clients do this while gaining help in many other areas, such as deeply rooted psychological issues, below-average life skills, and a general lack of accountability and integrity. These principles are modeled in our program, and our core belief is that striving everyday to lead a better life sets the foundation of 12-step centered recovery.