Time and time again I hear people saying, “well he/she has a drug problem, but I’m sure they can have a drink every now and then”, or “I had a problem with drugs, not alcohol.” This is a scary and slippery slope. I feel it is very important for the individual seeking treatment, as well as their friends and family to have a clear understanding of why it is so much safer to be completely abstinent from all substances, including alcohol.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states, “The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.” This in fact, is something I have experienced personally. At 22 years old I had been addicted to heroin and meth for several years. I hit an emotional rock bottom that led me desperate for help and eventually led me to a faith based program where I was shown a new way of life. For the year and a half that I stayed sober, the thought of permanent sobriety filled me with fear and clung to my thoughts and actions like that little red devil you see on the shoulder of a TV actor torn between the “good angel” and the “bad devil”. Eventually the bad devil won. For a month I drank casually, like a lady. I was so proud, and made sure to let everyone know how “well I was doing.” Such times don’t last long for someone like myself whose body and mind is telling them repeatedly that alcohol isn’t cutting it, but a combination of heroin and meth should do the trick. Life got bad, fast. Things got ugly, fast. And I knew that God had something much better in store for me, should I choose to seek it.

Some say that they are grateful for their relapse, or it was exactly what they needed. And unfortunately I can relate. Today I have no reservation that I can drink the way non-alcoholic people drink. As a part of my testimony, I stress the illusion that I faced and how it ended up in less than a month’s time.

Sobriety offers hope, the ability to dream, love, laugh, grow, struggle, opportunity, fellowship, families reunited, and the list goes on. I pray for all who are struggling with addiction, and those who are sober struggling with thoughts from the dark side. I will take good health and a tight relationship with God over a happy hour margarita any day.

By Amber Montgomery