1. Trying to control your alcohol or drug intake - If you're really an addict and not someone who has made a lifestyle choice, then controlling your use of alcohol or drugs is completely impossible. Some addicts try, and fail, at this for many years until they finally realise it can't be done. The very nature of addiction means that it is impossible to control your use of a particular substance once the first drink or drug is down the hatch.

2. Swapping or switching substances - Maybe it's just vodka I can't control, or maybe it's just crack that sends me crazy. Perhaps if I switch down to a weaker drink or a softer drug, then that will make a difference? Wrong - it won't. If you truly have an addiction to drink or drugs, you will be addicted to all forms of them. Abstinence is the only way in the end. You are only delaying the inevitable by swapping and switching the substances you use.

3. Believing that external circumstances are responsible for your problem - Many of us believe that we are only using drink or drugs to cope with the stress or strain of our current circumstances. We believe that if only our partner were nicer or our job was better or our financial situation improved then we would automatically drink or take drugs less often. The truth is that some people do use drink or drugs to cope with life situations; but if you're an addict, then no matter what changes in your life, you'll still turn back to the old substances.

4. Believing you're cured - Alcoholism and sometimes drug addiction are illnesses of denial. I often hear of people in long-term recovery returning to drink or drug use again, because they believe that after some time off the sauce or the substances, they will be able to handle it. Let me tell you, I know people who have achieved ten years or twenty years of sobriety and when they pick up the booze again, believing they must be cured by now, within a week they are right back to where they started again - or worse.

It is possible to recover from alcoholism and drug addiction, meaning that your life vastly improves without the substance in it any longer. In those cases, you will hardly ever feel cravings and be a much happier person overall. BUT, this does not mean that you can return to drink or drug use - your 'allergy' to these substances will remain with you, so you must remain abstinent for the long-term.

5. Trying to better better on their own - Addiction is a massive issue. Why on Earth would you want to struggle with it alone? There is nothing shameful in getting support, whether that's through Fellowship groups, relapse prevention groups or with the support of a professional. You wouldn't expect to have to recover from any other illness alone, so why this one? Put your pride aside, and ask for help. You'll be glad you did.

Author's Bio: 

Beth Burgess is a recovered alcoholic and Recovery Coach at Sort My Life Solutions (Smyls). Her forthcoming book, The Recovery Formula, is already gaining critical acclaim and will be published in summer 2012.

Visit http://www.smyls.co.uk for more articles and updates on the book.