Addiction-Free Ceremony

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It is a powerful journey to be able to let go of an addiction.

Items you will need:

Have something that represents your addiction that you can bury in the earth that will not be toxic to the earth.  For example if your addiction was cigarettes bring a bit of tobacco, for alcohol bring water, juice or tea. For Crystal Meth – salt.


Ask each person to bring a small stone on which they have written the way they will support you in your new addiction free life.  Have a basket to place stones in.


Collect a small bundle of sticks.  On each stick write a negative impact of your previous addiction.


Gather friends and family in a place where you can have a bonfire. Near the location of the bonfire, dig a small hole to contain the item that represents the addiction.


Addiction Free Ceremony

As we gather together this afternoon may we be open to the words of wisdom that will be spoken today. We are here to honour one among us who has followed their dream to release the chains of addiction. It is a good day to be free.

“Let us open our minds and hearts to the place of quiet, to the silent prayer for the healing of pain, and the soft, gentle coming of love.” 

Welcome to this gathering of family and friends to celebrate a remarkable accomplishment. To give up an addiction is nearly an impossibility.  Doctors now characterize addiction as a medical condition, which can be thought of as a disease which leads to compulsive behaviours (Wikipedia) – and _______ has found the fortitude to set down their addiction.

This is no small feat. Famous Author Edgar Allan Poe said of addiction “I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”

Doom, loneliness, escape – are three reasons for addiction, there is also pain, desire, and emptiness. Each a powerful force that takes the strength of mountains to overcome. Sometimes we can not and look to substances or habits to get us through a low patch, as an escape and then before we know it we are in the vice grip of addiction.

It is gatherings like today that remind us that the courage of the human spirit can conquer our cravings, our obsessions and our compulsions.

Invite people to make a circle around the fire – tell people that we will create a welcome circle – as we take the person’s hand that is to our right we will welcome them into the circle by saying “welcome”.

Leader starts by taking their right hand and holding the hand of the person beside them, turning to them sand saying “welcome”, then that person takes the hand of the person beside them and says “welcome” – until the entire group is holding hands.  Once everyone is holding hands – tell people – on the count of three we will all say “welcome” together. 1,2,3 … “WELCOME!” Invite people to release hands.

Addiction is a very common ailment; most people have a habit they would like to be able to kick. It is only a very few, exceptionally strong people who are able to overcome an addiction, never to have it rule them again.  While it might haunt us, it will never control us.

The Eagles said it well in their song “Hotel California”

“Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said ‘We are all just prisoners here, of our own device’”

We do become prisoners to our addictions. Today, however, ______ is releasing themselves from addiction.


___________ has brought __________ to represent their addiction and we are going to bury it in the earth. Let _______ (what addicted to) now be as nothing to ______ (person).

Say as covering the substance with earth.  We consign this addiction to the earth.  Earth take this substance and by removing it from ____________’s life help them transform and grow into all that they can be.

As friends and family we are here to support you ______ as you publically let go of your addiction.

As _______ gets ready to burn all of pain around addiction this poem by American Rock singer and song writer Aimee Mann speaks to the draw of addiction like a moth to a flame:

“The Moth don’t care when he sees The Flame.
He might get burned, but he’s in the game.
And once he’s in, he can’t go back, he’ll
Beat his wings ’til he burns them black…
No, The Moth don’t care when he sees The Flame. . .
The Moth don’t care if The Flame is real,
‘Cause Flame and Moth got a sweetheart deal.
And nothing fuels a good flirtation,
Like Need and Anger and Desperation…
No, The Moth don’t care if The Flame is real. . . ”
______  has written on sticks all of negative impacts of addiction in their life. We are going to read them out and through them into the fire. (Either person the ceremony is for or the leader can read these out.) After each one is read it is thrown into the fire. As the leader you can clap and encourage others to clap as each stick is given to the fire.

Once all of the sticks are in the fire..

Each of those reasons to quit has now been consumed by the fire, helping to release ______ from all of the negativity associated with their addiction.

Now we will find our stones and one by one read the words on them and tell _________ how we will support them to be free of their addiction in the coming hours, weeks, months and decades.

Invite people to hold their stone – tell ________ how they will walk the walk with them and place the stone in ________’s hands. (____ can then place stones in the basket after each person has presented their stone.  Take all the time here that is needed for people to speak what is in their hearts and for ____________ to receive these blessings of strength and courage.)


American Singer Fergie said when giving up crystal methamphetamines “It was the hardest boyfriend I ever had to break up with.”

This journey has been a hard one for __________ and we are here to support you and walk with you as you set down that which was harming you.
We are all works in progress.  Trying to better ourselves and grow into all of the possibilities that the future holds for us.  By quitting the addictions that have a hold on us we free up the energy to be stronger, better people.  More of our authentic selves than ever before.  Congratulations ___________ you are an ex-_________ main you gain fortitude with each day that you are addiction free.


To end – holding hands around the fire say:

“The courage of the early morning’s dawning,

And the strength of the rolling hills,

And the peace of the evening’s twilight

And the love of our community

Be in our hearts.”