What does surrender mean?

Surrender is one of those terms that is widely used in the recovery movement, normally used in the context of a person surrendering in the sense of admitting that they have a problem with alcohol and/or drugs.

Such an admission that they have a problem is normally also followed by a request for help of some sort.

This may result in the person entering a rehab or treatment center, or going to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

Whatever the context, surrender as a term implies that the person has either given in or given up, and ended up in a rehab or an AA meeting as a result.

It has almost become a bit of a cliché to say that in order to deal with a problem of any sort someone has to acknowledge that problem in the first place.

This admission of a problem is key and may seem fairly obvious, but is a much more difficult process than perhaps might be realised when dealing with alcoholism/drug addiction.

When entering a rehab, an alcoholic will be faced with a number of different emotions.

One of these will most likely be a real sense of trepidation about what is likely to happen in the rehab.

This is not so much at a practical level, as most rehabs have quite well published itineraries and timetables as well as rehab mission statements.

What is more likely to be scary for the alcoholic is the sense of what is likely to happen to them in terms of having surrendered.

The word surrender is in many ways unfortunate. It implies a sense of giving in and being defeated, which can often be followed by a sense of hopelessness.

It is absolutely imperative when a person acknowledges they have a problem with alcohol or drugs and seeks help that they are offered a solution at the same time.

This approach is key to any rehab being effective in terms of helping an alcoholic get sober and stay sober. An admission of a problem should be a liberation, not a message of doom.

A rehab will have many different approaches to dealing with alcoholism.

They will likely have a number of different therapeutic approaches, depending on the type and nature of the rehab.

A rehab will most likely have a programme based on the first five steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, there will likely be group therapy, possibly one-to-one counselling as well as a number of so-called alternative treatments.

When researching the type of rehab, or where a rehab is, it is important to look at the different types of programs that the rehab is offering to see that they are in line with what the alcoholic or whoever is looking for them feels is most appropriate as a way forward.

There are a number of rehabs which follow the basic principles of the 12 step fellowships, while other rehabs do not.

A rehab will sometimes have a specific christian approach or possibly be geared towards one or more different professions.

Whatever the approach of a rehab may be, it is important that the notion of surrender not be seen as defeatist.

Acknowledging a problem over alcohol or drugs is an admission of reality, nothing more nothing less.

That reality should be a platform for freedom that the rehab should be encouraging the alcoholic to take up and embrace.