What’s in your Toolbox?


Recovery from addictions and maintaining sobriety isn’t an easy process, but the 12-step programs offer practical Tools for Recovery to help us get sober and stay sober. These tools work!

There are four tools we will look at today, in the acronym, HALT, Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired. These four tools help the newcomer as well as the “old timers”.
In active addiction, instant gratification is the driving principle. We want what we want when we want it! It takes a lot of work to be an addict. Planning how to get a drink or finding the money to buy drugs takes time and energy. Self-care is not a priority in active addiction, which results in a malnourished, resentful and exhausted person.

The HALT tool teaches warning signs for possible relapse. Newcomers to recovery are warned, “Don’t get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired.”

“Don’t get too hungry “ is a tool to help us remember to take care of ourselves physically. Many people come into recovery with many multiple physical problems. Maintaining a healthy food plan is an essential tool for recovery.

Anger is usually a result of having resentments against some person, place or thing. The Serenity Prayer, another useful tool, advises to “accept the things we cannot change.” Looking at resentments, we can see how our anger may be over something we just can’t change. By accepting this fact, life becomes easier and more peaceful.

Feeling lonely is a common feeling for most people, not just addicts. A tool for overcoming loneliness is to reach out to others. Perhaps make a phone call to someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time. Go to the local Food Kitchen and give a hand. The best cure for feeling “alone” is to take some action to help another person.

Resting our bodies is also part of physical recovery. Addicts live a frantic life, getting very little rest as they pursue their addictions. Taking time to rest (afternoon naps are a favorite tool for me) even just a five-minute relaxation break, rests our bodies and minds.

Keep these tools in your toolbox for a happy and healthy recovery.

New week I’ll bring you other recovery tools.


Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book . This book written in 1939 by founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Smith is a wonderful book on how to get and stay sober, used by millions of recovering alcoholics.


Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings in Naples, Florida



St. Matthews House Naples & Bonita Springs

In addition to providing 600,000 hot meals last year and housing 300 men, women and children, St. Matt’s provides a free alcohol and drug treatment program that has helped hundreds of people to recovery over the years.


Humane Society of Naples


Habitat for Humanity