The Zero Tolerance Policy, otherwise known as Total Abstinence, is the idea of some type of negative punishment being implemented for breaking a certain rule or standard. In regard to addiction, it is the idea that no exceptions should be made and recovery will then be imminent. While this can sometimes create a stressful and irritating environment, it also provides no alternative to recovery and this is often the appropriate action to take.
When you decide that you want to recover one of the major issues that you, as well as anyone else facing an addiction, will face is the temptation of reverting back to your addiction. Withdraws and temptation often prove too much to handle, but with the Zero Tolerance Policy there is no other option but to complete your recovery and not abuse the substance that you are currently addicted to.
Government and Law often implement Zero Tolerance Policies to reduce drug abuse or to deter possible candidates for addiction to not even try new substances in the first place. Breaking these laws and policies are often followed by sever punishments that create extreme examples of the offenders caught and convicted.
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You can also think of the Zero Tolerance Policy in terms of personal evaluation and making a personal commitment to recovering from addiction or drug abuse. In order to do this you will need to set up some type of consequence that will deter you from going back to addiction in times of temptation and trial. If there is some type of negative repercussions that stand as a consequence for going back to addiction then you are much less likely to go back to the addiction and complete your recovery.
Using the Zero Tolerance Policy can often times even inspire a cold turkey approach to quitting an addiction. If the consequence is sever enough then the addict may be able to focus strongly on the consequence and create a distraction from addiction using the possible consequence.
Some people argue that the Zero Tolerance Policy is too harsh and creates an environment where free will and choice is taken away. While this can be argued, it can also be argued that in the extreme case of addiction, measures such as a Total Abstinence policy need to be taken in order to create a success for the person facing addiction.
The most important part of beginning a Zero Tolerance Program is to abstain completely from any type of substance that could trigger a desire for your addiction and to avoid situations where it is obvious that you will be faced with the decision of reverting back to your addiction or not. Determination helps and the want to quit your addiction, and with that alongside the negative consequences that are evident, quitting is much easier than one might think. Stay determined and reinforce your decision to quit daily, even hourly if you need to. Tell yourself that you are quitting and there is no other option because in all truth there is no other option worth considering.