The Abstinence Alternative

This model was borrowed from Dr. Andrew Tartarsky

1:  Set the stage for positive change.

2. Learning some Skills for making positive changes: Curiosity, Awareness and Sitting with Feelings

3.  Self-Assessing what’s problematic about your substance use

4.  Embracing Ambivalence (Mixed feelings) about changing

5.  Setting Positive Change Goals (using more safely, cutting back, moderating or stopping

6.  Making a Personal Plan for positive change

This approach assumes that we have the power to change and I believe with all my heart that we do.  We must abolish the idea that we are powerless and unable to take control of our situation.  Positive change is not impossible it simply takes work and perseverance.  Self hatred and negative thinking will only make this journey more difficult.  It is essential that we identify self talk that is untrue.  We might also need to sit and sort out all of the things we think we know about addiction, change and drugs.  We have all been conditioned to believe certain things about addiction and how we should handle chaotic drug use.

We are drug users….not helpless victims.  We are drug users, citizens of the United States with rights and resources.  By coming together and fighting this battle together we will be empowered and positive change will occur!

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