Anonymity is the central focus in numerous alcohol and drug recovery programs, most famously Alcoholics Anonymous. However, research shows that making a public commitment to sobriety is a powerful act that actually strengthens an addict’s journey toward sobriety.
When you become publicly committed to treatment, you begin to talk openly about your addiction to your friends, family and counselors. A public commitment is an effective action that demonstrates there is no longer a need to deny or make excuses for the destructive behavior. It also identifies that you are ready to take ownership of the drug abuse.
Consider these 5 benefits of making a public commitment when entering rehabilitation and a path towards a sober life:
1. You’re fully devoted.
Whether an individual is trying to lose weight, stop smoking or end a life of addiction, making a public commitment is like drawing a line in the sand for others to see. A public acknowledgement of committing to a life free of drugs leaves no question that sobriety is your number one priority. A lack of a public commitment, on the other hand, can result in ambivalence. This dangerous characteristic is an obstacle to a successful recovery and can lead an addict to take more risks with their sobriety.
2. You will receive a support system.
Making a public commitment to friends, family and counselors acknowledges your need for support—and that’s what you will get. The path to eliminating drugs and alcohol may seem insurmountable but your support system will be one of the most valuable components of long-term recovery.
Realizing and committing to a support team increases motivation and long-term success for sobriety. To strengthen the commitment to abstinence, it is valuable to share and discuss an actual written copy of your sober living plan, knowing you will be held responsible for your actions.
3. It serves as a good reminder.
The unhealthy and unwanted way of life as an addict may fade from memory over time. Proclaiming publicly a commitment to a sober life allows others to remind an addict of the negative consequences of their previous drug abuse. Awareness of the high cost of a relapse is essential in recovery. Making a public commitment and being held accountable is an important reminder that a return to substance abuse is always going to be a mistake with severe personal costs.
4. You’re starting on a blank page.
Frequently, recovery addicts report a feeling of freedom that results from making a public commitment to a new life. It might seem counterintuitive. On the surface, it would make common sense that announcing a commitment to no longer using drugs or alcohol would add pressure to the process. However, published research shows that when there is a “commitment to sobriety … the recovery task is now given a top priority.”
5. It inspires hope.
For addicts, making a public commitment to enter treatment and begin the journey to recovery solidifies the belief that a sober lifestyle is possible and attainable. When shared in public, the addict becomes hopeful and is inspired to put in the effort that is required in a life of abstinence.
The advantages of making a public committed to rid your life of drug dependency and abuse is tough, but extremely promising. Public declaration is a stronger commitment than a private or internal decision since it suggests you will be (and are) accountable to others for this destructive behavior in your life. A public commitment demonstrates that sobriety is the primary focus of your daily life.