Habits are super easy to form but painfully hard to break. That explains why the scourge of drug abuse has millions hooked.
But however difficult it may be to break free from the bondage of drug abuse, numerous success stories abound. And if you ask many former addicts what inspired them to quit, sobriety medallions will come up among their top sources of motivation.
Recovery medallions have been used for decades to promote abstinence from alcohol and substance abuse. These highly prized gifts have now permeated our everyday lifestyles, standing as an enduring symbol of beating seemingly insurmountable odds.
Here’s everything you need to know about sobriety medallions and their role in promoting temperance.
Unveiling Sobriety Medallions
Sobriety medallions are tokens of appreciation given to people to celebrate the period they’ve abstained from alcohol and/or drugs. The tokens are typically available as coins, chips, or medals.
Sobriety medallions are also called recovery or anniversary medallions. The latter term symbolizes the recipient celebrating a particular milestone in their recovery journey. In this respect, the tokens serve nearly the same purpose as birthday or wedding anniversary gifts.
NA medallions are the most common anniversary chips you’ll come across. These coins are typically given to people who’ve abstained from drugs for a specified duration. The initials NA represent Narcotics Anonymous, the global network of former drug users.
AA medallions are yet another popular type of anniversary coin. These tokens celebrate the recipient’s abstinence from alcohol, with AA representing the global fellowship of former alcoholics - Alcoholics Anonymous.
How to Get Sobriety Medallions
The fact that NA and AA medallions constitute the most common sobriety tokens suggests that recipients must be members of these abstinence advocacy groups. But that’s not always the case.
You can receive an anniversary medallion even if you’re not in the Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous community.
To qualify for sobriety coins, you only need to participate in an abstinence program that culminates in the issuance of the tokens. Many organizations offer such programs, including entities unaffiliated with either NA or AA.
In fact, you don’t need to be hooked to alcohol or drugs to join a sobriety community. You could enroll in any initiative that encourages temperance. These include programs advocating for healthy eating habits, mindful spending, abstinence from sexual activity, etc.
The Perks of Receiving Sobriety Medallions
The best way to understand the significance of sobriety medallions is to appreciate how difficult it is to break free from substance abuse.
Both alcoholic beverages and narcotic drugs have psychoactive effects. Certain compounds in these substances interfere with the body’s reward system when used over time. The chemicals mimic the effects of natural ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters like dopamine. They eventually reduce the body’s signaling of its neurotransmitters, at which point addiction sets in.
For many people, recovering from chronic substance abuse requires a bit of encouragement to stay on the newfound path. And that’s where sobriety medallions come in. These tokens of appreciation provide the inspiration to press on despite how treacherous the journey might be.
Each sobriety token received serves as an anniversary symbol, marking specific milestones achieved. When used alongside other interventions like mindfulness meditation, recovery chips can make a huge difference in accelerating the often-arduous match to cleanliness.
Beholding an anniversary chip may prevent relapse by nudging you to focus on the strides made. These medallions take your focus away from the drug cues that seem to be ever-present.
It’s even more reassuring to know that there’s a coin for every anniversary, including for people who’ve been sober for only twenty-four hours. Each coin received fuels your drive to earn more extraordinary accomplishments on the road to recovery.
Sobriety coins can also imbue a royal ambiance into your home. Displaying these medallions on your trophy cabinet can transform your interior design. Moreover, it could create a lasting impression on your guests, particularly those still grappling with substance abuse. They may reckon that if being sober comes with so many accolades, then it’s probably best to make the painful decision to quit alcohol or drugs.
Recovery Medallions for Different Anniversaries
Achieving total abstinence from drugs is often a long-drawn process. Fortunately, there’s a recovery medallion to celebrate every anniversary. Whether you’ve been sober for only 24 hours or years, you will surely find a coin that speaks to your accomplishments.
Sobriety coins for 24-hour abstinence are typically silver. Red and gold are used for one month and two months of abstinence, respectively.
Former addicts who’ve been sober for three months receive green coins, with purple chips awarded for five months of abstinence. The medallion colors from the sixth to the twelfth month include dark blue, copper, red, purple, gold, green, and bronze.
Bronze is the common color of most anniversary chips issued after one year of sobriety.
Cleaning and Maintaining Anniversary Medallions
Each anniversary medallion should have a cleaning and maintenance routine. Along with proper storage, cleaning prolongs the coins’ longevity while preserving their brilliance.
Fortunately, cleaning sobriety chips follows nearly the same procedure as other medallions.
Start by assembling your supplies. These mainly entail warm, soapy water and a cleaning brush. Your regular dishwashing liquid would suffice. As for the brush, insist on those with soft bristles. You may need a polish, especially for anniversary medallions designed from or plated with precious metals like gold.
Once you have your supplies ready, proceed as follows;
Place your anniversary coin in soapy water and use a soft-bristle brush to thoroughly clean it of any debris or residues.
However, be gentle to avoid scratching the medal.
Polish the medallion using a soft sponge and a prescribed polish.
Rinse the chip under cold water.
Avoid rubbing the coin’s surface to keep the polish intact.
Dry the medal using a soft cloth to remove excess polish.
Finally, polish the dry coin with a prescribed piece of cloth.
Proper handling is another critical aspect of anniversary medallion maintenance. Experts recommend handling these coins at their edges as the chemicals in your hands might damage their surface.
Also, while regular cleaning is paramount, only clean your sobriety medallions when covered in visible dust or residue. Frequent rubbing might blemish the chips.
Anniversary medallions are an enduring symbol of resilience. These coins are a reliable source of inspiration for recovering addicts, encouraging them to proceed along their newfound paths. They can also imbue a sense of prestige into your life by portraying you as an achiever in an area where millions often falter.
So, if not for anything else, the assurance of being conferred with a sobriety medallion is enough incentive to quit substance abuse.
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