Strategies for Success in Sobriety

Success Stories and Words of Advice

Anyone who has battled a drug habit or alcoholism and who has managed to break free from it and move into sobriety knows that overcoming drug and alcohol addiction is not like flipping a light switch. A different analogy may be more suitable.

Imagine rolling a large rock down a very slightly graded path. The downhill slant is there, but only just. Still, the more you move it, the easier it gets. Inertia kicks in, and the task becomes less tiresome. But you’re still pushing the rock. There’s still a conscious effort on your part. Addiction recovery is a lot like that.

Going to a treatment center gives you the strength, the determination, the muscle, the technique, and the grit you need to move the rock. But you still have to be the one who pushes it, and you have to be the one who keeps moving it after you’ve graduated from your recovery program.

The strength is within you. But it has to be you who keeps moving the rock. No one is going to do it for you.

Throughout our recovery, as we roll that rock down that slight grade, we’re liable to get stuck from time to time. Maybe we hit a muddy patch, and our feet slip as we try to keep the boulder moving forward. Or perhaps the rock goes off into the ditch, and we have to get it back up on the path once again. There’s nothing wrong with any of this. It’s just a part of life.

During life’s occasional falters and missteps, I’ve always found it helpful to read the words of wisdom and the success stories of others who have made it. I’ve also enjoyed the writings of addiction experts, truth seekers, humanitarians, and others who have positive things to say about addiction recovery and the quest to improve conditions in life as a whole. Let’s take a look at some of these positive words and see what we can learn from them. Let’s find encouragement in the success of others. And if ever you or a loved one is having a hard time in recovery—or just in life, let these words of kindness and hope give you strength.

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase,
you just have to take the first step.”
Martin Lither King Jr.
Image Source: Wiki Commons

Martin Luther King Jr.

Though his mission was not one of addiction recovery, Dr. King was involved in a nationwide movement that forwarded rights and equality for all. He put his life on the line for something he truly believed in. And it did eventually cost him his life. In one of his famous sermons, Dr. King said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, you just have to take the first step.”

No one expects you to have the exact strategy for the next several decades of your life detailed and drawn out. No one expects you to know it all. But we do expect you to strive for betterment. Going to a treatment center and getting help is the first step on the staircase to freedom from drugs and alcohol. After that, the rest becomes a matter of merely climbing that staircase and not faltering in your ascent.

Dr. Nora Volkow
Image Source: Wiki Commons

Dr. Nora Volkow

Going in a slightly different direction, we turn to Dr. Nora Volkow the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. One of her famous quotes touches on the complexity of addiction in the 21st-century, showing compassion for pain patients but a strong insistence on curbing addiction to both illegal and legal drugs alike. “In the past, when we have addressed the issue of controlled substances, illicit or licit, we have been addressing drugs that we could remove from the earth and no one would suffer. The challenges we face are much more complex because we need to address the needs of patients in pain while protecting those at risk for substance use disorders.”

Like Dr. King, Dr. Volkow raises the very salient point that we have to help everyone—pain patients and addicts alike. Addiction is a huge crisis that has far-reaching effects on those who might not even themselves be addicts. We have to take the first step on the staircase and keep on climbing, but we also can’t forget about others who might be suffering as well.

Narconon Success Stories

Narconon Graduation

A sure way to turn a hard day or week around in one’s recovery is to read about the successes of others. Sometimes your current struggle in life seems to outweigh the success you had in beating drug and alcohol addiction all those months or years ago. Don’t worry too much about it. Life is bound to bring hardships from time to time.

But try to find joy and solace in the successes of others. Their success (added to the success you experienced when you first graduated a treatment program), might be enough to turn your day around. Following are three success stories from people who completed the Narconon program:

I have learned what it means to be a good person. I am happy and free. I am comfortable in my own skin. My life is manageable. I have hope and confidence. I no longer view other people as the enemy. I trust and love again. I know I will be able to help others and I am no longer a danger to society. I feel better than I ever imagined possible.” —KD

“How do I express my heartfelt gratitude for this technology? It has saved my life and has given me a new life and ways and means to be happy, successful and sober. I will express my gratitude by leading and giving the precious gift of life I have been given. Thank you!” —DS

“I have completed the program. I am very glad to have been given the opportunity to come here. I have learned so much since being here that will help me be a productive and ethical member of society. I am also glad to have been given the opportunity to stay and train.” —LS

Narconon’s goal is to help people come off of drugs and alcohol and find peace and stability in a sober life. But Narconon’s purpose is also so much more than that. Narconon aims to help people get their lives back, to leave them with the tools for success in life beyond just staying sober from drugs and alcohol. Narconon’s mission is: “To provide an effective path for rehabilitation from drug abuse and to assist society in preventing the scourge of drugs worldwide.”

“To provide an effective path for rehabilitation from drug abuse and to assist society in preventing the scourge of drugs worldwide.”

If you or someone you care about is working through sobriety and falling on hard times, take solace in the wisdom and encouragement contained herein. If you’re seeking help for yourself or a loved one who is struggling with drug abuse, contact a Narconon treatment center today.


Reviewed by Claire Pinelli, ICAADC, CCS, LADC, RAS, MCAP



After working in addiction treatment for several years, Ren now travels the country, studying drug trends and writing about addiction in our society. Ren is focused on using his skill as an author and counselor to promote recovery and effective solutions to the drug crisis. Connect with Ren on LinkedIn.