Treating Alcoholism

Treating Alcoholism: Rehab or Spiritual Retreat?

Alcoholism Treatment

There are some options to explore if you are ready to put down the bottle for good – and change your life. If you are reading this, it may be your time for treating alcoholism.

Ready For Recovery From Alcoholism

Imagine the scenario: person, head down on the table, crying, confused. Maybe angry, definitely experiencing frustration. The person is drunk. Again. Yesterday there was the promise to stop drinking. But, there they are, drunk again. How did that happen? We know, yesterday they were as sincere as humanly possible – “I’m not going to drink tomorrow!” Alcohol – cunning, baffling, powerful.

Why Do I Drink When I Know My Family and I Will Suffer?

If people are sincere in their desire to stop drinking, why is that they keep getting drunk, over and over? The answer to that is really very easy. If a person continues to drink, or use other drugs, despite negative consequences, they are probably alcoholic. Alcoholics drink alcohol! Until they learn the tools for sobriety, they will drink.

I Don’t Want to be an Alcoholic!!

Imagine this scenario: the elementary classroom, asking young kids what they would like to be when they grow up. NOT ONE kid will express a desire to be an alcoholic! It is not surprising then, that the idea a person may be an alcoholic is really hard to accept. It is a huge bitter pill!

The (main) Choices for an Alcoholic

  1. Keep drinking
  2. Stop drinking without a program. If a person can accomplish this, we call it ‘white knuckle sobriety’.
  3. Begin attending a 12 Step program, follow ALL suggestions. As if your life depends on it.
  4. Go to an alcohol treatment program rehab facility

Yes, there are some other choices, but the above 4 are the main ones.


Maybe I’m Not An Alcoholic! Maybe I Need a Spiritual Retreat Instead

A recent email correspondence with an alcoholic is a great example of how denial works. This person was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Drunk on wine, night after night.  Trying to hold it together. Finally falling apart and reaching out for help. This person could briefly see through the veil of denial. Consequently, they were able to see alcohol was the common denominator in all of their suffering.


It did not, however, take long for the rationalization to set in. This person responds to the suggestion of a 12 Step meeting: “I can’t go to 12 Step Meetings because…(pick any number of reasons that are NOT more important than suffering an alcoholic death)”. “I will go to rehab…next month, or the next, or maybe in the new year.”  Several weeks later an email, with a very cheerful note and expression of gratitude. The person was going on a ‘great spiritual retreat’ for 4 weeks!

Time will tell for this person. Why? Because if you’re an alcoholic, no amount of yoga, fruit drinks, and dolphin swimming will keep you sober. My respectful reply, “If sometime in the future, you find yourself crying into your wine glass again, please reconsider the options that work the best, for the most alcoholics. 12 Step program or rehab. Preferably, both.

Treating Alcoholism with Rehab & the 12 Steps

A 12 Step base and a holistic program such as Serenity Vista in Panama is steeping in opportunities for spiritual growth. Growing spiritually is the cornerstone to freedom. Treating alcoholism, however, requires more. A combination of spiritual principles and an honest appraisal of one’s life is needed. Click here to learn more about how this comprehensive approach can help you.


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