Alcoholism and addiction have several common threads with reciprocal recovery principles. In their book, "Rethinking Substance Abuse,” editors William R. Miller and Kathleen M. Carroll to sum up what has been learned about the science of addiction.
- Drug Use is Chosen Behavior in the Beginning – for experimenting, peer pressure or otherwise its chosen at first.
- Drug Problems Emerge Gradually – it takes time to become addicted.
- Once Well Established, Drug Problems Tend to Become Self-Perpetuating – once the brain alters it number of drug receptor cells drug craving demands more of the same.
- Motivation is Central to Prevention and Intervention – actively doing something toward change may be more important than the particular actions that are taken.
- Drug Use Responds to Reinforcement. If you crave and use the drug use is reinforced.
- Drug Problems Do Not Occur in Isolation, but as Part of behavior clusters such as mood disorders, school or work problems, legal problems, ill-health and family problems.
- There Are Identifiable and Modifiable Risk and Protective Factors for Problem Drug Use – inherited and learned behaviour.
- Drug Problems Occur within a Family Context – either dysfunctional family culture, genetics or parental drug use.
- Drug Problems Are Affected by a Larger Social Context – social isolation is both a promoter and consequence; while bonding with someone else or a Higher Power may reverse the problem.
- Relationship Matters in rehabilitation. That’s why Alcoholics Anonymous relies on a spiritual connection with another person or a Higher Power.