Monday, December 18, 2006

On Combating Relapse For the Holidays! By Peta-de-Aztlan
Main Entry: 1re·lapse
Pronunciation: ri-'laps, 'rE-"
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Medieval Latin relapsus, from Latin relabi to slide back, from re- + labi to slide -- more at SLEEP
1 : the act or an instance of backsliding, worsening, or subsiding
2 : a recurrence of symptoms of a disease after a period of improvement
CASA is a progressive Christian Recovery Group based upon the original A.A. 12-Steps Program. We hold weekly CASA Meetings at the Salvation Army Homeless Shelter near Downtown Sacramento where we discuss general recovery issues and encourage each other by sharing our time, knowledge and experience together.

Chemical addiction is a progressive disease that gets worst over time as it increases in amount, damage and severity. Our recovery should be progressive as we move forward, advance and improve over time. We need a progressive recovery program to combat a progressive deadly disease. It’s that simple!

At our CASA Meetings we have members who are always coming-and-going because most of us are homeless shelter residents. Residents who are ‘in house’ are plugged into the local shelter matrix and made aware of different community resources for self-help, including regular recovery meetings of 12-Steps recovery groups, such as, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous and CASA. For our general safety, there is a zero-tolerance policy against illegal drug substances, alcohol usage and the abuse of prescription drugs by clients.

Fortunately, our local shelter structure promotes self-help, sober recovery and helps in our search for long-term decent housing. Most of us are here for a limited short time before moving on into regular housing, transitional housing or, for one reason or another, we must exit the shelter and its supportive sober environment.

Unfortunately, many shelter residents who pretend to be working a long-term recovery program are really only playing a half-hearted temporary period of sobriety because they know that if they get caught being drunk or high off dope on the premises they can suffer negative consequences, such as being kicked out of the shelter, ending up homeless in the streets or worse. Many people in recovery often go back into a negative lifestyle of substance addiction if they do not stay actively involved in a continued progressive recovery program

When we have 'made a decision' to remain abstinent ~ stay clean and sober ~ we must work on our continued recovery one day at a time in harmony with our spiritual growth and humane development as humane beings. Sobriety just gets us to the starting gate.

The Christmas Holidays is a time full of many activities, preparations and fun festivities for many families and friends who meet and enjoy good times together, which usually includes alcohol use and even other harmful drugs. For those of us ‘in recovery’ the Holidays are tough times when we must stay extra alert and be extra careful to avoid any severe relapses.

For a strong recovery program there are three (3) key elements that should be present:

1. A conscious contact with Creator God; along with honest prayer, deep meditation and the serious study of recovery literature and other enlightening subjects.

2. A stable 12-Steps home group where we attend meetings on a regular basis, make new friends in recovery and have a smart sponsor to help us work the 12-Steps.

3. A recovery support network of allies and friends working their own recovery program and with whom we spend quality time together in healthy group activities.

If we are actively working a strong recovery program one day at a time, keeping our recovery toolbox handy and are ‘for real’ about our continued recovery we can avoid any severe relapses back down into the darkness of our disease. However, if one is not working a real recovery program and only faking it, then, if he indulges in his poison it is not a real relapse out of a recovery program. He is only repeating the same old sick self-destructive suicidal behavior as he did before as he gets sucked back down into the insane vicious circle of chemical addiction.

We must not get nostalgic about past times of partying, boozing and doping, not get caught up in any dark moods of depression and not wander around aimlessly without a set route and positive plan of action for the day. We must be prepared at all times! Thus, the annual Holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are especially dangerous periods for all of us.

If one does suffer a real relapse, then, if he comes back to our recovery meetings because he has decided to get ‘for real’ about the serious business of recovery we should welcome him back as a wounded ill person who needs pure love, humane compassion and true understanding, not guilt, shame and condemnation.

However, we should not get caught up in any co-dependency pattern and condone insane behavior. At critical times we need to engage in constructive criticism and self-criticism for us to get better, learn our lessons and get involved in the lifelong spiritual healing work of serious recovery from substance addiction.

Remember: Jesus Christ is the real reason for the Holiday season. The Holidays should not be a year-end annual excuse for getting drunk into oblivion or stoned out of our minds and becoming a nervous wreck. Whatever happens, keep coming back!

Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Related Link=
Relapse Prevention: Dual Recovery Anonymous Online Resource Center
Join Up!
CASA 12-Steps Yahoo Group=
CASA 12-Steps Program Blog=


  1. To the extent that the CASA 12-step programs “works,” fine, but please be aware that the CASA 12-step program is not the ONLY way to help Christians recover from their addictions.

  2. I appreciate this comment from Anti-Addiction Guy, though, to be addicted can simply mean to be 'devoted'. Labels can often be limiting to help us understand concepts.

    Here is his great link=
    ~Peta, CASA Field Coordinator


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