Addiction Exercise

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Addiction Exercise: The 4 Ls – Liver Lover Livelihood Law

The topic at a glance

  • What do we mean when we say “We are powerless over our addiction”? – a definition

  • What do the 4 Ls stand for and how they affect our lives

  • Addiction exercise around the 4 Ls

by Dylan Kerr

ABC exercise in the Workbook at Hope RehabAddiction can be when our life is out of control and in chaos but we cannot stop, and some cannot even see the gravity of the situation. We are literally powerless to do anything about our life-threatening situation. The American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defines this as:

The profound drive or craving to use substances underscores the compulsive or avolitional aspect of the disease.

Powerlessness: Imagine for a moment trying to drive a car whilst someone else is sitting at the wheel; this is how powerlessness works.

Addiction Exercise based on the 4 Ls

Here is a brief addiction exercise we do at Hope Rehab to break down how our addiction is affecting our lives, it is known as the 4 L’s.

Liver: This represents our health both emotional and physical.

Lover: This our relationships with friends and family.

Livelihood: Our career or education, financial problems.

Law: The trouble we get into everywhere.

The principle of this addiction exercise is honesty; here we admit to examples of our addiction. We also accept and surrender to the idea that our way has not worked; this promotes Ego deflation. Surrender means moving over to the winning side. Only through self-assessment, using the headings below, can this process begin to work. These are our bottom lines.


  • Affecting health—both physical and mental.

  • Causing ill feelings of guilt, depression, agony.


  • Destroying relationships with loved ones.

  • Lack of trust.

  • Isolation.


  • Loss of employment.

  • Difficulty in employment.

  • Loss of wealth.

  • Lack of meaningful occupation or education.


  • Trouble with the police.

  • Involvement in reckless activity.

  • Living outside the law.

  • Risking everything to get a fix/drink.

Many people who have addiction have seen the symptoms manifest in their lives. Addiction always impedes on one of the following 4 L’s: Using the 4 L’s, where have you paid the cost for your addiction?

  • Mentally – Impaired thinking, loss of memory.

  • Physically – illness, high-risk behaviour.

  • Relationships – hurting others, isolation.

  • Legally – criminal, dealing, drink drive.

  • Financially – debt, loss of income.

This addiction exercise is very simple and will help clarify whether you have an alcohol or drug addiction issue, very quickly. If you do then do not hesitate to contact someone to get help, this includes your doctor, friends, family or Hope.

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