According to The Oxford Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language, addiction is defined as follows: "...the condition of taking a drug habitually and being unable to give it up without incurring adverse effects." Nothing more, nothing less. It says nothing about mental illness, character disorders or immorality.

A lifelong Pennsylvania resident and veteran of many Philadelphia rehab centers, Butch Z. first saw addiction treatment as just another way to avoid responsibility. That was until he learned to accept the truth. "Until I was able to see my part in things, accept responsibility for fixing what I'd done wrong, I didn't have a chance at a different life." In referring to the most powerful weapon in the fight against alcohol and drug addiction, the 12-step program, Butch adds, "I finally had to face the ninth step, that step requiring amends. They told me that if I burnt my mother's house down, it wasn't enough to apologize; I had to show up with tools, wood and a plan, then rebuild it for her. That was the only way to take adult responsibility for my life."

Many critics of treatment, those who see it as Butch first saw it, assume the 12-step program is a "feel good" program that enables addicts to avoid responsibility while settling into the comforting sympathies of any one of thousands of rehab facilities springing up all over the recovery landscape. Whether discussing rug rehab in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh rehabilitation or any other 12-step based program, one thing is certainly true: responsibility for one's actions not only in recovery, but for the consequences of choices made prior, is essential to long term recovery. And those in the treatment field know it.

As does Pittsburgh rehab veteran, Helen P. "My family hated me. I owed thousands of dollars to my brothers and sisters, to my grandmother, even to aunts and uncles. I would avoid family reunions, birthdays, weddings, even funerals. It wasn't until my mother died, and I found myself face to face with the fact that I'd even considered avoiding that, that I admitted my addiction. Clean and sober two years now, I'm still paying everyone back. But the fact that I'm trying, that some of them can tell the others it's true, makes me welcome again in my family. More important, though, I can look myself in the eye and be grateful for the gift of recovery."

Twelve Palms Recovery Center, experts in private, compassionate addiction treatment, focuses their efforts on the individual. They also emphasize the importance of the 12-step model by not only encouraging AA attendance, but hosting AA meetings, as well. For additional information call 866-331-6779 any time, 24 hours a day.

Author's Bio: 

Mark R. Merrill is a veteran of twenty-three years in alcohol recovery. He has worked as a volunteer in Multnomah County and Washington County, Oregon "In Jail Intervention Programs," as well as written extensively on the issue of alcohol and drug recovery.