The Sobriety Coin: What and the Why?
Since the early introduction of the addiction treatments, reward methods have been used to encourage such fantastic accomplishments of staying sober and overcoming withdrawal. These commonly include anyone recovering from the following addiction treatments:
- Alcohol addiction
- Drug addiction
- Substance abuse
A sobriety chip is a token (medallion coin) awarded to members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or anyone participating in any other 12 step group members. It represents the time the member has been sober or abstained from substance abuse. It’s important to note that the coin or token symbolizes the commitment given from the group to the individual, rather than the individual to the group. Usually 34 mm in diameter, different chips or tokens are awarded after 1,3,6,9 and 12 months to celebrate commitment to personal recoveries (and then annually). The bronze chip is traditionally given after 1 year. Alongside this, if a member of the group suffers from a relapse, they’re given a white sobriety coin to symbolise either the start of their new journey or when someone has recently relapsed. A full list of each sobriety token and their associated milestones can be found below:
|Starting / Once Relapsed||White|
|30 days / 1 month||Red|
|60 days / 2 months||Gold|
|90 days / 3 months||Green|
|6 months||Dark Blue|
History of the Sobriety Coin
The sobriety chip is thought to have started in 1942 with an AA group in Indianapolis. Other sectors of AA then joined in with the idea. A nun, Sister Ignatia in Akron, worked to assist AA members and gave each of her patients a sacred heart medallion when they were released. Sister Ignatia asked her ex-patients to return the medallion before the first drink was taken. The acceptance of the medallion meant a commitment to God, AA and to making personal recovery.
The chips help to motivate the recipient to carry on with their regime of abstinence from their addiction by providing a visible and tangible reminder of how far they have come on the journey of recovery.
How Effective is the Sobriety Coin?
The effectiveness of the symbolic token can vary from person to person, however studies have shown that keeping these sobriety tokens on your person can help prevent relapses. By acknowledging each sobriety coin represents how far oneself has come in their road to a long-lasting recovery. If you or a loved one is looking for a recovery program from either drugs or alcohol addiction, speak to one of specialist addiction treatment specialists today or visit our program to find out more about our sober living options in San Diego, CA.
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