The Abstinence Alternative

bokeh-1160391_1920The Abstinence Alternative

This model was borrowed from Dr. Andrew Tartarsky

1:  Set the stage for positive change.

2. Learn skills for making positive changes, such as curiosity, awareness and sitting with Feelings

3.  Make a self assessment about what’s problematic about your substance use

4.  Embrace ambivalence (aka mixed feelings) about the changes that will be made

5.  Set positive ‘Change Goals’ (using more safely, cutting back, moderating or stopping

6.  Make a personal plan for positive change

This approach assumes we have the power to change and as an organization, that’s something we firmly believe. The idea that we are powerless and have no recourse to change our situation is incorrect and harmful – we believe our community needs to see itself in a different and more positive light. Positive change is possible, while also being difficult and frustrating. We are here for you in your times of need to create the positive support network that you need to see you through.

We also know that not every attempt, made in good faith, will meet with success. We all know many people who have struggled and continue to struggle through several attempts – we are here to say that you are valid and strong. Keep trying, keep working – we are here for you. It isn’t a matter of doing well or doing poorly – it is always more complicated than that – if you are trying, you are winning and we support you.

We are not helpless. We are citizens, with rights and resources – if we rally together and support each other, we can make the changes we need and create a better world for you and all that come after!