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. These are;

  • 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.

See also;


Rethinking Substance Abuse: What the Science Shows, and What We Should Do about It