Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book - North Jersey Recovery Center - A bottle lays on its side next to a glass of alcohol. Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book has helped many people but is much more effective when combined with treatment at an alcohol rehab center.

Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book

What is the 12-Step Program Book?

The 12-step program book has been made famous by every movie and TV show depicting Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

The Big Book is the foundation of 12-step program meetings.

And Alcoholics Anonymous has become the largest alcoholism support group in the world.

The Big Book contains the steps and traditions created by the brilliant minds behind Alcoholics Anonymous.

It also contains stories about former and current addicts that have gone through this process already.

The 12-step program book guided millions of individuals into a life of sobriety.

This book is one of the many incredibly useful resources we utilize in our addiction treatment programs.

Following the 12-Step Program Book

Since its publication in 1939 by a co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12-step program book has become an all-time bestseller.

More than 30 million copies of The Big Book have been printed.

In addition to steps, traditions, and addicts’ stories, it contains the fascinating history of Alcoholics Anonymous and details regarding support methods.

But this is not what The Big Book is known for.

Most people know the 12-step program book for the 12 steps and traditions it contains, as the name suggests.

Millions of recovering alcoholics have followed these steps.

The Big Book has proven so successful that hundreds of other support groups have adapted the steps for their use.

Narcotics Anonymous is a good example of this.

They also follow a 12-step guide to achieve and maintain sobriety.  

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What are the Steps in the 12-Step Program Book?

The steps in The Big Book help recovering alcoholics achieve and maintain their new-found sobriety. The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are as follows:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs

You do not have to follow any particular religion to use or benefit from the 12 steps in this program. The 12-step program book is a powerful recovery resource. It contains a greater breakdown of each of the 12 steps.

How the 12-Step Program Book can Help

Self-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are proven treatment methods that complement and extend the effects of other professional treatments.

They can be incredibly helpful during recovery, as they provide community-based social support. This support helps many people achieve and maintain their abstinence, as well as develop other healthy behaviors.

The stories in this book and the meetings themselves tell other alcoholics, “you are not alone.” Depending on where you are in your recovery journey, these stories can act as guides and keep you focused on sobriety.

The author’s journey is in the first chapter. One of the most powerful sections of the 12-step program book is Part One. In this section, the author shares ten different stories.

These stories are ones of hope. They are about some of the earliest members of Alcoholics Anonymous.

When the book was published, these ten individuals had maintained their sobriety for the remainder of their lives. Reading these stories is a powerful motivator.

Alcoholism in America

There is a good reason that the 12-step program book is considered one of the most important and influential books in American history.

Alcoholism rates in the United States are high, and for some demographics, they continue to rise. In 2018, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed important insight on alcohol consumption in America:

  • 139.8 million Americans were alcohol users within the month of the survey
  • 67.1 million Americans identified as binge drinkers
  • 16.6 million Americans identified as heavy drinkers

If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12-step program book can help you regain control of your life.

Alcohol Rehab Treatment Methods

The 12-step program book, combined with the insight, care, and fellowship you experience in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, can help change your life.

These meetings are one of the most important and effective treatment methods. And research in this area has told us that we need these services now more than ever before.

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings now take place in-person or online. Alcoholics who have tested both methods have noticed that the two are very similar. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings over platforms like Zoom or Google Hangouts are inclusive, convenient, and essential.

AA meetings provide a unique and important level of support. This particular care method integrates with other alcohol rehab treatment options.

Outpatient care programs work well alongside AA meetings for patients with milder addictions, strong support systems at home, or schedule limitations. However, we also offer more intensive programs, like inpatient treatments and intensive outpatient treatments.

We will work with you to choose the programs that best fit your unique addiction and needs. You do not have to figure it out for yourself.

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Alcohol Rehab

Alcohol Rehab is a vital addiction treatment method. Thankfully, most major health insurance providers offer coverage for a wide range of addiction treatments.

If you have health insurance, but you are not sure what will be covered, please call our admissions department. There is someone available around the clock to review and verify your insurance coverage for you.

They know the best and quickest ways to get through to insurance companies. They will make this process easier for you with this fast and free service.

North Jersey Recover Center Alcoholism Treatments

At North Jersey Recovery Center, 12-step meetings are part of a bigger picture.

We offer various treatment programs, options, and services to meet all of your recovery needs.

We will work with you to build a plan that will help you achieve and maintain sobriety.

And it all starts with the first phone call.

Call our office today for more information or your complimentary insurance verification.

We will walk you through each of the next steps from there.

Is Alcohol a Depressant? North Jersey Recovery Center - A group of individuals attending an inpatient alcohol rehab for alcoholism is engaging in a group therapy session and discussing topics, such as: "Is alcohol a depressant?" as well as other helpful tools and resources to support each other as they continue on their journeys to recovery.

Is Alcohol a Depressant?

Is Alcohol a Stimulant or Depressant?

A pressing question for those trying to understand their alcohol addiction may be: “Is alcohol a depressant?” The answer is yes.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and it often accomplishes the opposite of what it is meant to. While many people drink to improve their mood, alcohol can worsen it.

Alcohol harms your mental and physical health. It can alter moods, behaviors, and overall functioning.

At the moment, it may help you relax.

However, its side effects and the inevitable hangover increase your anxieties later.

If you are battling alcoholism, our comprehensive addiction programs will help break the cycle.

Why is Alcohol a Depressant?

Alcohol can be hard to categorize because it mimics the effects of both stimulant and depressant drugs.

This tends to lead to some confusion. Alcohol is a tricky substance.

To a certain extent, it may boost your energy levels or moods. On these occasions, it feels as if alcohol is a stimulant.

However, clarity comes with the crash. At this point, it becomes clear why alcohol is a depressant; it slows down your brain’s ability to function and its neurological activities. This occurs because it enhances the effect of a particular neurotransmitter in your brain.

Alcohol also alters your reactions to certain events. When you are under the influence, you may feel slow to respond.

Side effects, like slurring your speech, experiencing unsteadiness in your movements, anger, confusion, and slowed reaction times, are all common.

Alcohol impairs your mental health, too. Alcohol distorts your judgment and makes it challenging to think rationally. Its diminishment of your judgment and ability to think clearly make it easier to make poor choices. These poor choices often lead to accidents, bouts of violence, driving under the influence, and criminal activities.

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Alcoholism in America

Another common question for those battling alcohol addictions is whether or not they are alone. If you are wondering the same thing, the answer is no; you are not alone. Alcohol use disorders are some of the most common substance abuse disorders we see today.

Nearly 18 million American adults have a reported alcohol use disorder. But even still, this may not reflect the full picture.

Many alcohol addictions go untreated, undiagnosed, or unacknowledged. Alcohol use disorders affect a multitude of individuals, families, and communities.

The normalization and ease of access to alcohol are two factors that make it easy to abuse and easy to hide.

What is the Best Way to Address Alcoholism?

Whether as a celebration or a way to ease stress, most American adults drink alcohol. But pretending the problem does not exist will not make the problem better or disappear on its own. Pretending you are fine because you know others who drink as much as you do will not make your addiction easier to overcome.

The best way to understand, address, and overcome your addiction is to accept the help offered and available to you.

Our dedicated professionals will provide care, support, and guidance at each stage of your journey. It is time to change your life for the better.

Where Did My Alcohol Use Disorder Come From?

Addiction is a chronic disease.

It alters your brain’s chemistry and changes our thoughts and behaviors. The idea that addiction equates to a lack of willpower is a false and damaging one.

Many people have a genetic predisposition to becoming an alcoholic, as alcoholism tends to run in families. It has impacted the lives of millions of families over the years. Growing up in a household that normalizes alcohol abuse makes it even harder to avoid.

Other common contributors to alcoholism rates in America include social and environmental challenges. Stressful careers or relationships, underlying mental health disorders, and trauma are also often linked to alcoholism.

Whether alcoholism runs in your family or other factors have contributed to your addiction, we can help.

A big piece of addiction treatment is understanding why your addiction occurred in the first place. By identifying your concerns, triggers, and temptations, you can effectively address them.

You can choose healthy habits, social networks, and coping mechanisms instead.

Alcoholism and Mental Health

After genetics, mental health disorders are some of the most common causes of alcohol use disorders.

What makes this even more tricky is that alcoholism does not always come first. You may begin drinking to cope with symptoms of a diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health disorder, or your drinking may lead to a mental health disorder.

In either order, this combination can lead to short-term and long-term mental and physical health impairments.

The combination of a mental health disorder and substance abuse disorder is called a dual diagnosis. We offer a specialized program to address this type of disorder.

Some of the most common dual diagnosis combinations include substance abuse and:

  • Generalized anxiety disorders
  • Panic disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorders
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders
  • Psychotic illnesses
  • Borderline personality disorders
  • Antisocial personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia

There are many different possible dual diagnosis combinations.

Whether your mental illness is diagnosed or unconfirmed, we can help. We will see you through from our first phone call to our addiction aftercare services.

Alcohol Addiction Treatments

Many alcohol addiction programs begin with a medically assisted detox. This type of detox will ease your withdrawal symptoms and cravings to make the process easier. Free from temptations and distractions, you will have a safe place to focus on building a happy, healthy, and sober life. This detox will restore your strength and confidence, setting you up for success.

From there, we offer various proven treatment programs and methods. We customize each program based on your needs rather than offering cookie-cutter or unspecific pre-written programs.

We evaluate your addiction with you to ensure we choose the right care settings and methods.

Whether you choose the 24-hour inpatient setting, the flexible outpatient care, or a supplemental program, you will have access to the resources, tools, care, and support you need.

We also help with multiple or polysubstance addictions, underlying mental health disorders, and other complications.

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Paying for Alcohol Rehab

In recent years, it has become easier to find affordable and flexible addiction treatments. Part of this is due to changes in health insurance coverage laws.

Most major health insurance providers now offer coverage for addiction treatments.

You may have partial or full coverage for your alcohol rehab program.

If you are unsure of what your coverage entails, please call our admissions department.

They will review and verify your insurance for you. They will also outline alternative payment options if you do not have insurance.

North Jersey Recovery Center

Your alcoholism can only define you if you allow it to.

If you are ready to take back the reins and regain control of your life, we are ready to help you get there.

We will walk the path to recovery with you.

We will be there every step of the way.

Through proven care methods, individualized treatment programs, and various continued care options, we help you identify and achieve your goals.

Call us today for more information.

Controlled Substances Act and Drug Scheduling North Jersey Recovery - Image of handcuffs, a spoon with white powder in it and a heroin needle.

Controlled Substances Act and Drug Scheduling

What to Know About Controlled Substances

Is alcohol a controlled substance? Is it covered in the Controlled Substances Act?

How are controlled substances classified, and what does the term mean?

These are all common questions people have.

In simplest terms, controlled substances refer to the addictive potential a substance has.

Not all addictive substances are controlled, however.

An Overview of Controlled Substances

Controlled substances are considered illicit drugs that can negatively affect someone’s health and well-being and are covered under the Controlled Substances Act.

If you have a controlled substance and you’re caught by law enforcement, you may face legal penalties, including fines or prison time.

The federal government classifies substances as controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

There are five categories in the Controlled Substance Act, which are often related to the potential for substance abuse to occur.

These categories of controlled substance class are:

  • Schedule I: These substances are considered to have no acceptable medical use in the U.S. and high abuse potential. Examples of Schedule I controlled substances are ecstasy, marijuana, heroin, and LSD.
  • Schedule II: This controlled substance class includes stimulants and narcotics considered to have high abuse potential, but they have medical uses in the U.S. too. Schedule II substances include opioids like methadone, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and stimulants like amphetamine.
  • Schedule III: These substances have less of an abuse potential than substances classified as Schedule I or II, but there is still a risk of psychological and physical dependence. Schedule IV substances include ketamine, anabolic steroids, and medicines with low doses of codeine.
  • Schedule IV: A Schedule IV controlled substance is one with a lower abuse potential than I-III substances. Schedule IV substances include benzodiazepines like Xanax and many prescription sleep aids.
  • Schedule V: A Schedule V drug has a low potential for abuse. Most Schedule V drugs contain a small amount of narcotics, such as cough syrup with codeine.

It is technically illegal to possess any controlled substance, but if you have a prescription and lawfully purchased one, you are exempt from this law.

The government regulates controlled substances because of their addictive and harmful potential effects in manufacturing, distribution, possession, and use.

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Is Alcohol a Controlled Substance?

The brief answer is no; alcohol is not a controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. With that being said, alcohol still has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances around the world.

While alcohol isn’t a controlled substance, it is a regulated one. There are laws regarding the use of alcohol. For example, the legal age to drink alcohol is 21, and you cannot legally drink and drive.

Abuse of Controlled Substances

Since controlled substances are considered to be inherently addictive, they are frequently abused. Opioids are one example of a highly abused controlled substance.

There are both Schedule I and II opioids that are drugs of abuse. Schedule I opioids include heroin, which is entirely illegal. Schedule II opioids include prescription pain relievers. Often, since something is prescribed, there is a misconception that it is somehow safe or not harmful.

Prescription opioids prove otherwise. In addition to being highly addictive, prescription opioids can also lead to fatal overdoses. Some people who abuse prescription opioids they eventually move to other more dangerous types of opioids like heroin or fentanyl.

What starts as legitimate use can spiral into problematic opioid use very quickly.

Mental Illness and Controlled Substances

There are links between mental illnesses and the use of controlled substances. For some people, the use of controlled substances may stem from an attempt to self-medicate and deal with symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions. Controlled substances can also contribute to mental illness.

The links between controlled substances and mental illness are a big reason why addiction treatment relies on therapy. Therapy can be in both a group and individual setting, and it’s a key part of relapse prevention.

Treatment for Abuse of Controlled Substances

If someone is struggling with controlled substance abuse, treatment is available. Treatment can happen in different settings and formats. What is most important is that rehab is personalized to the individual.

The following are some of the types of programs that can treat an addiction to controlled substances.

Medical Detox

When someone regularly uses controlled substances such as opioids, they can become dependent on them. If you’re dependent on a substance and stop using it suddenly, it can cause withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on how long you used the substance, how heavily, and your overall health. Medical detox provides a clinical environment as you go through withdrawal. This can keep you safe and support you.

If necessary, you may receive medications to lessen the symptoms of withdrawal you experience.

Inpatient Rehab

There are varying intensities of inpatient rehab. These programs can last for 28 days, up to several months or more. The commonality between inpatient rehab programs is that you live onsite during your treatment. This helps you leave behind your environment of substance abuse and be in a supportive environment.

You can focus entirely on your recovery in inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment can also include different types of complementary treatments that help you holistically.

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient treatment may be a step down from inpatient care, or if you have a mild or short-term addiction to a controlled substance or alcohol, you could do the outpatient treatment.

Outpatient treatment allows you to work on your sobriety and recovery but continue living at home and keeping up with daily responsibilities. Some outpatient treatment programs require a significant time commitment, while others are fairly limited and informal.

Outpatient rehab can also be something you participate in for an extended time as you re-enter your daily life.

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Can You Use Insurance for Rehab?

If you’re considering rehab for a controlled substance, alcohol, or perhaps both, there are payment options available. At North Jersey Recovery Center, we can likely work with your insurance company.

We can verify your coverage for free, which will help you financially plan for your treatment.

Our admissions team can also help you explore other payment options if needed. Above all else, getting the help you need and deserve should be a priority.

Is Alcohol a Controlled Substance? Final Thoughts

The answer to “is alcohol a controlled substance” is no, but that does not make alcohol any less dangerous or addictive.

Controlled substances include prescription and illicit drugs. Alcohol is a regulated but not controlled substance in the U.S.

Controlled substances addiction and alcohol addiction can occur separately from one another or together.

If you would like to learn more about addiction treatment, reach out to North Jersey Recovery Center.

We offer tailored, effective treatment programs in a serene, private setting.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment North Jersey Recovery - A man who is attending outpatient drug rehab arrives at the drug rehab center after work to start his group therapy session.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment: Recovery Options

Recovery from drug abuse and addiction is a difficult journey.

The first step to sobriety is admitting that drugs have taken over your life, and you need help in your recovery.

Your level of addiction will usually determine the best type of addiction treatment; the two options to consider are inpatient vs. outpatient treatment.

There are several methods to treat drug abuse and addiction.

The most common way to receive treatment is at a drug rehab center.

Drug rehab centers implement different kinds of therapies and treatment methods specific to each person and their addiction.

There are two kinds of treatment programs you can select—inpatient or outpatient treatment.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

There are advantages and disadvantages to both when you look at inpatient vs. outpatient treatment programs.

Despite the differences, both treatment programs will teach you many skills to help you in your recovery.

It will teach you how to become motivated without drugs and the self-discipline it takes to remain sober.

You will not be alone in this process, as you will be around others who are on a similar path to recovery and weigh the options of inpatient vs. outpatient treatment.

Our drug rehab center will offer their recommendation as to what kind of treatment program will be most effective for you.

It is important that you understand the treatment options you have in inpatient vs. outpatient treatment when it comes to your recovery.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment, also known as residential treatment, typically requires a 28-day stay at the drug rehab center as you receive therapies and treatment.

However, this may vary based on your diagnosis, current situation, needs, and your insurance coverage. Inpatient treatment is usually recommended for people who are severely dependent on drugs.

Factors such as physical and mental health are also considered when a drug rehab center recommends your treatment. Staying at a drug rehab center for four weeks will allow you to remove yourself from the environment where you abused drugs.

Like all treatments, there are pros and cons to inpatient treatment.

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Pros

  • You are never alone, which prevents early relapse. You will receive 24-hour supervision by staff, including therapists and physicians.
  • You will build relationships with other people who are on the path to recovery. They will be a support system that you can relate to as you relearn to integrate into a community.
  • You will learn to construct your daily life productively and positively. You will relearn how to adhere to a schedule designed and put in place to address your recovery needs.
  • You are provided with an intensive level of care in a setting that you can grow. Being in a new environment can produce feelings of a new beginning. This can allow you to focus purely on your recovery without outside influence or distractions. Your usual daily activities and routines will be altered for the better.
  • You will spend a lot of your time focusing on your recovery in individual and group therapies. Other life skills will also be taught through various exercises, which will become a key to remaining sober when you are discharged from inpatient treatment.

Cons

  • You are not allowed to leave and come back of your own volition. It is essential that you are supervised at all times during this fragile and difficult process. This might seem invasive or unfair, but inpatient treatment is specifically designed to keep you from leaving to obtain drugs. It is a part of the path to recovery. You must be treated for your drug addiction and learn to cope before you can return to life outside of rehab.
  • You are not allowed to make your schedule. You will be given a routine with the time you wake, eat, and participate in therapies and exercises. You may consider this as a con, but it is one of inpatient treatment’s primary functions. The program is structured to implement a sense of discipline and responsibility that you can bring with you once you complete treatment.
  • If you have children, you will need to find a temporary arrangement for their care when you are in inpatient treatment. This may be difficult to do, not just because you will be away from your children but because it may be difficult to find childcare. If a trusted family member or friend cannot care for them in your absence, it may be an additional cost to pay for a temporary childcare arrangement.
  • Most, if not all, of the time, you will need to take a leave of absence from your job to be admitted into inpatient treatment. Taking this time off may cause some issues with your employer because of the unexpected absence. This may interfere with the overall production of your work, depending on your occupation. However, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 protects you from termination.
  • Many insurance companies will not cover any or all the cost of inpatient treatment. They may only cover outpatient treatment.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment allows you to receive therapies and exercises while still being able to remain in your environment.

It is less invasive than inpatient treatment. Many people choose this option because it is less restrictive. Outpatient treatment is typically designed for people with a mild addiction and who do not have as severe a drug addiction as those who may need 24-hour treatment to remain sober safely.

In this program, you will receive treatment 10 to 12 hours a week in the drug rehab center. It can last three to six months, depending on your needs. You will also receive the same therapies and exercises as you would in inpatient treatment.

As with inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment has its pros and cons.

Pros

  • You can return to your daily schedule because you only attend treatment a few hours a day. This allows you to continue to work or care for your children and still receive the treatment you need.
  • Many of the therapies and exercises are held in the evenings and weekends to accommodate your weekly schedule. You may not have to make alternate arrangements or sacrifices in your routine to receive treatment.
  • You can immediately implement the skills and coping mechanisms outside of treatment. You will have the chance to improve in your real-life environment without having to wait until you complete the entire treatment.
  • Outpatient treatment is often a more affordable recovery option. It is also usually covered by many insurances. This is a great choice if you are unable to pay for outpatient treatment.
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Cons

  • You remain in the environment that you abused drugs. This can lead to an early relapse due to being around the triggers and influences that made you abuse drugs. It can be a great risk during this fragile time of recovery.
  • Without professional supervision, it may be tempting to use drugs again. Being outside of the drug rehab center allows you access to drugs.
  • You do not get to spend much time making relationships with those on the same path to recovery. You may miss out on the opportunity to build a support network within the drug rehab center. Support systems are important, and not having one may make recovery more difficult.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment at North Jersey Recovery

Choosing to recover from drug addiction is challenging, but it is a brave choice.

Being informed of all your options is important so that you know what to expect.

No matter which treatment you choose, inpatient vs. outpatient treatment, rehab can positively change your life. Help is available.

Do not hesitate to reach out to a drug rehab center today. Recovery is one step at a time.