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Addiction is a curious thing.  I am constantly perplexed at how addiction works.  As a licensed clinician, I work with may challeged individuals.  Some are addicted to drugs other to alcohol or both.  I have heard just about every story imaginable about how they plan on stopping or just using occassionally or that they know they can stop when they want.  The fact is, when your an addict, you really can't use when you want.  It's not a something you simply start and stop as you please.  The addiction has a much stronger hold than that.  It's powerful, suductive and dangerous.  When you think you can stop anytime you wish, is when the addiction sneak up on you and takes over.  I've seen it happen time and time again.

So, what is the addict to do?  What are the choices in a world were we are surrounded by alcohol and drugs (yes, even drugs aren't too hard to find).  These simple steps might help steer you in the right direction and help to keep you clean:

The basics:

1. Don't fool yourself into thinking you can have just one drink, one hit, one line or one anything.  It's the biggest scam in an an addicts mind.  You'll just end up rationalizing yourself into a dark place.

2. Surround yourself with people who don't use.  It's might seem simple, but it's really not.  You might have to drop your current friends and make new ones. Not an easy task but necessary.

3. Get outside help.  Most addicts don't want to check in to a treatment program.  Why?  It's expensive and most addicts feel there is a stigma behind it.  There is a reason why treatment exists, because in many cases, it helps.  If your unwilling to get into treament, find a therapist, attend AA meetings and get a sponsor.

4. Get educated!  Alcohol and drug education is key to learning how to better understand how addiction works.