1)     POSTPONE THE DRINK. You have undoubtedly had character defects such as procrastination, sloth, laziness, denial and fear.  So, USE THEM right now in a constructive way by postponing that drink. You know you can hold off for 10 minutes, an hour, or even more. And, while you are delaying the destroyer, take the remedies listed below:

2)     STAY AWAY FROM ALCOHOL. If you are in a bar or a place where liquor is available to you, go somewhere else where there is no booze for a while, at least.

3)     PRAY. Ask God to keep alcohol from entering your body and to remove the obsession to drink. This action can and should be done repeatedly while you are following the rest of this survival plan.

4)     CALL SOBER PEOPLE. Tell them that you want to take a drink. Give your sponsor a chance to relieve the insanity of taking a drink. Or, call anybody who can help, even Central Office (818) 988-3001. In anticipation of finding a lifeguard, hopefully you have been collecting phone numbers and saving phone lists from meetings. If you are in a strange town, Alcoholics Anonymous is usually listed in the white pages of the phone book.

5)     GO TO AN A.A. PLACE. Head for a meeting or an A.A. gathering place, such as a clubhouse, a sober living house, or an after-meeting hangout. Sometimes a church or a parish will help.

6)     READ A.A. LITERATURE. Try the Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous) chapter 2, the 12&12, pamphlets or other material.

7)     VISIT SOBER.ORG. Download and read step guides. Visit sobriety chat rooms. Go to Google.Com and search on “stay sober” (107K hits), “sobriety” (97.5K hits), or “sober” (344K hits), for example.

8)     WRITE A GRATITUDE LIST. We get so hung up on what we don’t have or want to get rid of, we fail to “count our blessings”, which we have in abundance.

9)     WRITE A HARMS PREDICTION. If you drink, who is going to get hurt? Besides yourself, how about your family, your work, and those who depend upon or respect you?

10) WRITE A "REWARDS" FROM RELAPSE LIST. If you are or might be alcoholic, you have reasons to not drink alcohol. If you are gripped by the desire to drink, put the burden of proof on that drink. What is it going to do for you that is worthwhile? How long will that benefit last? How much are those desired moments of ease and comfort worth? Are you really ready to throw away your sobriety for a drink?


12) [your sponsor’s custom action]


All of the diversions above can be done within a short time of having a serious thought about drinking alcohol. On the reverse side are some things to do that will take a little longer, but they will reduce and eventually eliminate the desire to drink.



a.      LEARN TO PRAY AND MEDITATE. Pray a minimum of three times each day, upon awakening, upon retiring, and before eating. Ask others how they pray. Experiment. Ask your Higher Power how you should pray. Become a student of meditation techniques. Practice the one(s) that work for you.

b.      TAKE THE TWELVE STEPS. Make the 12 steps an integral part of your life. Take steps 10, 11 and 12 every day. Take steps 1 through 9 in order. Try to be well into step nine for your first sober birthday.

c.      LEARN TO TAKE DIRECTION. You got yourself into your drinking pickle. Doing your very best on your own will probably not get yourself out of it and into a quality sober life. Pick a person to take you through the steps and follow their suggestions.

d.      ENJOY THE FELLOWSHIP OF A.A. We have lots of fun in A.A. Introduce yourself to the winners who are making it. Join up with them before and after meetings.

e.      FULFILL A.A. COMMITMENTS. Get to meetings early. Leave late. Take on obligations to do something for A.A., such as bring supplies, setting up/cleaning up the meeting place, making coffee, taking care of literature, greeting at the door, introducing yourself to newcomers, etc.

f.        STUDY THE BIG BOOK, ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. Weekly membership in a Big Book Study or a Step Study is essential.

g.      SPONSOR SOMEBODY. Get out of your own problems and into those of somebody else. Develop a deep understanding of the A.A. message by carrying it.

h.      GET A JOB. Sometimes we have too much idle time on our hands. The truly sober alcoholic is not a burden upon others.

i.        VISIT THE SICK. An alcoholism ward in a public hospital will show you where you might wind up.

j.         PRACTICE THESE PRINCIPLES IN ALL YOUR AFFAIRS. Your family, friends, employer, neighbors and all those you meet should be better off because of you.

k.      [custom actions]








Compliments of the Big Book Bunch,

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