Today, I take the time to reflect on the First Step and how it applies to my life. I have often heard in the rooms that the First Step is the most important — and the only one that must be worked to perfection. As the old saying goes — “this ain’t my first time at the rodeo” as far as trying to recover by working Steps is concerned. Given that my prior attempts have been unsuccessful in terms of achieving long-term sobriety, I now believe that the importance of the First Step is not underestimated.
Step One: We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction — that our lives had become unmanageable.
It is said that the First Step is the most important of all because it is only when it has been accepted as true for the individual that recovery may begin. Drawing on the wisdom of recovery literature, this article will provide a general overview of the First Step.
According to the World Health Organization, addiction is “a disorder of altered brain function brought on by the use of psychoactive substances.” Recent advances in neuroscience confirm the conclusion of the World Health Organization that addiction is as much a brain disease “as any other neurological or psychiatric illness.” These findings have fundamentally changed the way that addiction is viewed in the scientific and medical communities and will have a great impact on how treatment will be approached.
The Yin and Yang of Science, however, demand that dysfunction cannot truly be comprehended without an understanding of normal function. To this end, Part I of this essay reviews the normal structure and function of the human brain. Then in Part II, the neurological dysfunction of addiction is explained and supported by compelling scientific evidence. In the end, there should be no doubt that addiction is indeed a disease like any other and that it must be treated as such.