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The three circles is an exercise / diagram used by recovering addicts to describe and define behaviors that lead either to a relapse into or recovery from addictive behaviors. Some treatment groups and 12-step recovery programs encourage recovering addicts to complete the three circle exercise to help the addict identify behaviors that promote or endanger their sobriety. The first use of the term is found in a pamphlet publication of Sex Addicts Anonymous, entitled "Three circles: Defining sobriety in S.A.A." Minneapolis, MN: SAA Literature (1991). It has since been republished.
When creating the three circles diagram, the addict draws three concentric circles, one inside the other (like a bull's eye). The addict then lists behaviors in each of the circles that reset, endanger or promote their sobriety.
The addict lists behaviors they want to stop engaging in in the inner-most circle. Engaging in any of these "inner circle" or "bottom-line" behaviors would result in a loss of sobriety for the addict. Addicts typically consider their "sobriety date" to be the last day they engaged in these "inner circle" behaviors.
The addict then lists "middle line" or "boundary behaviors" in the second or "middle circle." These include behaviors that may or may not be appropriate but lead to the bottom line behaviors listed in the inner circle. Examples of middle-circle behaviors include not getting enough sleep, overwork, procrastination, etc.
Finally, the addict list their "top lines" or healthy behaviors in the "outer circle." These "outer circle" behaviors lead the addict away from the objectionable behavior listed in the inner circle. Examples include going to a recovery meeting, calling one's sponsor or other person in the addict's support group, spiritual reading, recovery writing, etc.
This visual image of three circles can help addicts realize when they are in trouble and what they need to do to move closer to their definition of a healthy behavior.
Addicts speak of top lines to prevent approaching doing something which may trigger a slip, relapse or loss of sobriety.
As addicts work with sponsors to help them understand their addiction and the behaviors which trigger their addiction or actions which endanger their sobriety, they form a list of things which tip them off that they are in danger. Top lines are flags on the edge of minefield. The mines are bottom line behaviour.
Bottom line behaviour is any sexual or emotional or physical act which, once engaged in, leads to loss of control of the addictive process.
There are warning signs sometimes called mid-lines, or accessory behaviors, which warn the addict that s/he may be engaging in behaviour which may lead to loss of sobriety.
An example of mid-line behaviour for a Sex Addict might be cruising the streets or looking at the covers of pornographic magazines. These behaviours can lead to loss of sobriety.
Rational Recovery was a commercial vendor of material related to counseling, guidance, and direct instruction for addiction designed as a direct counterpoint to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and twelve-step programs.
Drug rehabilitation is the process of medical or psychotherapeutic treatment for dependency on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and street drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin or amphetamines. The general intent is to enable the patient to confront substance dependence, if present, and stop substance misuse to avoid the psychological, legal, financial, social, and physical consequences that can be caused.
Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) founded in 1979 is one of several twelve-step programs for compulsive sexual behavior based on the original twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. SA takes its place among various twelve-step groups that seek recovery from sexual addiction: Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Sexual Compulsives Anonymous and Sexual Recovery Anonymous. Collectively these groups are referred to as "S" groups since all their acronyms begin with that letter: SA, SAA, SLAA, SCA, SRA.
The life-process model of addiction is the view that addiction is not a disease but rather a habitual response and a source of gratification and security that can be understood only in the context of social relationships and experiences. This model of addiction is in opposition to the disease model of addiction. It was originated and advocated by Stanton Peele in his book The Truth About Addiction and Recovery.
A food or eating addiction is any behavioral addiction that is primarily characterized by the compulsive consumption of palatable food items which markedly activate the reward system in humans and other animals despite adverse consequences.
In internal medicine, relapse or recidivism is a recurrence of a past condition. For example, multiple sclerosis and malaria often exhibit peaks of activity and sometimes very long periods of dormancy, followed by relapse or recrudescence.
Substance dependence, also known as drug dependence, is a biopsychological situation whereby an individual's functionality is dependent on the necessitated re-consumption of a psychoactive substance because of an adaptive state that has developed within the individual from psychoactive substance consumption that results in the experience of withdrawal and that necessitates the re-consumption of the drug. A drug addiction, a distinct concept from substance dependence, is defined as compulsive, out-of-control drug use, despite negative consequences. An addictive drug is a drug which is both rewarding and reinforcing. ΔFosB, a gene transcription factor, is now known to be a critical component and common factor in the development of virtually all forms of behavioral and drug addictions, but not dependence.
Sexual addiction, also known as sex addiction, is a state characterized by compulsive participation or engagement in sexual activity, particularly sexual intercourse, despite negative consequences.
Dry drunk is a colloquial expression that describes an alcoholic who no longer drinks but otherwise maintains the same behavior patterns of an alcoholic. The objective of groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is not just to help their members stop abusing drugs and alcohol. It is acknowledged in these programs that addiction is more systemic than a "bad habit" and is fundamentally caused by self-centeredness. Long term membership in Alcoholics Anonymous has been found to reform pathological narcissism, and those who are sober but retain characteristics associated with addiction are known in AA as dry drunks. The term is used by AA in relation to feelings of anger, depression and resentment.
Gordon Alan Marlatt was a leading American clinical psychologist in the field of addictive behaviors from the 1980s through the 2000s. He conducted pioneering research in harm reduction, brief interventions, and relapse prevention.
Sexual Compulsives Anonymous (SCA) is a twelve-step program for people who want to stop having compulsive sex. SCA founding is attributed variously to 1982 in New York City and to 1973 in Los Angeles. Although the fellowship originally sought to address issues of sexual compulsion among gay and bisexual men, and this is still the fellowships predominant demographic, today the program is LGBT friendly, open to all sexual orientations, and there is an increasing number of women and heterosexual men participating. SCA meetings are most likely to be held in urban areas with larger gay and bisexual male populations. The majority of members are white, but vary in age and socioeconomic background. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop having compulsive sex.
Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) is a twelve-step program founded in 1977 for people who want to stop their addictive sexual behavior. There also exists a group known as COSA, for those who have been impacted by others' sexual addiction.
Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) is a twelve-step program for people recovering from sex addiction and love addiction. SLAA was founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1976, by a member of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Though he had been a member of AA for many years, he repeatedly acted out and was serially unfaithful to his wife. He founded SLAA as an attempt to stop his compulsive sexual and "romantic" behavior. SLAA is also sometimes known as the Augustine Fellowship, because early members saw many of their shared symptoms described by St. Augustine of Hippo in his work Confessions. COSLAA is another twelve-step fellowship created to support the family members and friends of sex and love addicts.
SMART Recovery is an international non-profit organization that provides assistance to individuals seeking abstinence from addiction. SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. The SMART approach is secular and research-based, using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and non-confrontational motivational methods.
LifeRing Secular Recovery is a secular, non-profit organization providing peer-run addiction recovery groups. The organization provides support and assistance to people seeking to recover from alcohol and drug addiction, and also assists partners, family members and friends of addicts or alcoholics. It is an abstinence-based recovery program with three fundamental principles: sobriety, secularity and self-empowerment. The motto of LifeRing is "empower your sober self."
Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS), also known as Save Our Selves, is a non-profit network of autonomous addiction recovery groups. The program stresses the need to place the highest priority on sobriety and uses mutual support to assist members in achieving this goal. The Suggested Guidelines for Sobriety emphasize rational decision-making and are not religious or spiritual in nature. SOS represents an alternative to the spiritually based addiction recovery programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). SOS members may also attend AA meetings, but SOS does not view spirituality or surrendering to a Higher Power as being necessary to maintain abstinence.
Women for Sobriety (WFS) is a non-profit secular addiction recovery group for women with addiction problems. WFS was created by sociologist Jean Kirkpatrick in 1976 as an alternative to twelve-step addiction recovery groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). As of 1998 there were more than 200 WFS groups worldwide. Only women are allowed to attend the organization's meetings as the groups focus specifically on women's issues. WFS is not a radical feminist, anti-male, or anti-AA organization.
Self-administration is, in its medical sense, the process of a subject administering a pharmacological substance to themself. A clinical example of this is the subcutaneous "self-injection" of insulin by a diabetic patient.
Recovery coaching is a form of strengths-based support for people with addictions or in recovery from alcohol, other drugs, codependency, or other addictive behaviors. They work with people who have active addictions, as well as those already in recovery. Recovery coaches are helpful for making decisions about what to do with one's life and the part addiction or recovery plays in it. They help clients find ways to stop addiction (abstinence), or reduce harm associated with addictive behaviors. These coaches can help a client find resources for harm reduction, detox, treatment, family support and education, local or online support groups; or help a client create a change plan to recover on their own.
Caroline suffers from active addiction to a particular substance. Addiction can cause physical, psychological, and emotional harm to those who are affected by it. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as "a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences." In the world of psychology and medicine, there are two models that are commonly used in understanding the psychology behind addiction itself. One model is referred to as the disease model of addiction. The disease model suggests that addiction is a diagnosable disease similar to cancer or diabetes. This model attributes addiction to a chemical imbalance in an individual's brain that could be caused by genetics or environmental factors. The second model is the choice model of addiction, which holds that addiction is a result of voluntary actions rather than some dysfunction of the brain. Through this model, addiction is viewed as a choice and is studied through components of the brain such as reward, stress, and memory. Substance addictions relate to drugs, alcohol, and smoking. Process addictions relate to non-substance-related behaviors such as gambling, spending money, sexual activity, gaming, spending time on the internet, and eating.