by jluster

They can help you

in Links / Other Resources / Psychology / Social Issues

Sat, 24 Jan 2004, 15:59

You know, you are drinking too much, maybe you even fear or know you are addicted to alcohol? This is a weblog, a personal journal kept by a few individuals who are in the process of quitting alcohol, or have in the past. While we are always willing to help, there are local organizations right around the corner from you, who might be a better first step.

If you know someone, who is addicted, and would like to know what you can do, to help, read on down, I have some resources for you, too.

If you want to quit - do yourself, and your body a favor: See your doctor. Your primary physician is a great resource. And here's why:


  • Your doctor is obligated to keep quiet. No gossip, no rumors. Just you, and him/her.
  • Your doctor knows you. He can help you right now, right there. He can also help you, once you kicked the habit, to rebuild what is lost.
  • Believe it, or not :), but you're not the only one who has this problem. Your doctor knows the resources that are available in the area, has heard good and bad stories about them, and will help you find the best, fastest, least resistance, way out.

If you don't have a primary care physician, you should get one. Who else will tell you, how much healthier you are, in a few weeks? :) If you've seen a doctor, find a group of people. The biggest, and best known, self-help organization is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). I've assembled a few links below. AA is a faith-based organization, which might not be your cup of tea. If that is the case, ask your doctor for a local secular self-help group or recovery program.

Please understand, that we assembled this list as an initial step for you. Things on the Internet may change, or organizations may close or move. We're not experts in alcohol recovery, we're just someone like you, ready to kick the habit or hoping a loved one, will.

Alcoholics Anonymous is the best known Alcohol Rehabilitation and Recovery organization. There is an AA in virtually every town, so it's a very easily accessible program. AA is usually free (donations accepted), protects your privacy and openly welcomes new members. AA is a faith based recovery program, which does not (and can not) prescribe medications. It is also run by volunteer laymen, not professional counselors.

Friends and families of Alcoholics may find help and resources at the local Al-Anon/Alateen chapter. Like AA, both are free of charge (donations accepted), and use the AA twelve-step program. Alateen is also helping teenage alcoholics with tools and sessions designed for younger addicts. Al-Anon meetings are held in 115 countries. There are over 24,000 Al-Anon and over 2,300 Alateen groups worldwide.

Alcoholics Victorious is a Christian faith-based organization. AV uses the twelve steps like AA, but in a Christian, not spiritual, context.

A.R.T.S is a twelve-step (faith-based) program for artists.

JACS is the Jewish equivalent to AV.

DRA is a twelve-step program, but it also offers psychological disorder treatments. Psychological or psychiatric disorders are not seldom causes or supporting causes of alcohol addiction.

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Jan 24, 2004 4:46:31 PM
medmusings

Among the many interesting folks i met at Bloggercon were Frank Paynter, Halley Suitt, and Joi Ito. They recently decided to quit drinking alcohol and start a group weblog about their journey with some other abstaining friends: We Quit Drinking. In tod...

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Comments

Jan 25, 2004 2:01:48 PM

Good post. I was reminded of a group on the West coast, an atheist AA group. Now AA uses "the serenity prayer" which goes like this:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Some groups start their meetings with this prayer and it usually goes like this: the leader says "God..." and the group repeats that first word and then they all continue to recite the prayer together. So you have this single voice "God..." then in unison, "God, grant me the servenity...".

Well, at this atheist gathering they naturally were a little chary about using the word "God," but the concept was still good. So in this group, the leader would prompt: "Grant..." and the group would join in, "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...." They called it "praying to Grant."

I dunno. It seemed pretty funny at the time.

Jan 26, 2004 7:45:40 PM
2 - Ed

Its funny alright. I wonder aloud how they handle the second step.

Jan 27, 2004 1:28:49 PM
3 - fp

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." That second step certainly provides a foundation for a spiritual program of recovery. It also speaks simply of there being a power greater than myself. If I think about this, I have to acknowledge that the cop on the corner with his gun and his club and the authority we have given him is a power greater than me. Questions of god aside, I think that when I acknowledged that I could use the mentoring from a "sponsor" I was working on the second step.

Maybe humbling oneself in a group is acknowledging a higher power... I know some AA people who tell me that GOD stands for Group Of Drunks. I guess we all get there in different ways. For the very "rational" people in that atheist group, it was important to not admit a metaphysical dimension.

Jan 28, 2004 8:36:33 PM
4 - Ed

That does seem to be the way its heading. Some will tell you that it is diluting the program and is a reason why there is a lower success rate nowadays(I don't know if there is a lower success rate or not, but that is what people say). They arent really going through the steps, more like checking them off and getting the help of a fellowship. They're not really alcoholics in that then dont NEED to go through the steps to quit. If they were alcoholics, not accepting God as the only path to sobriety would be a recipe for guaranteed failure. I'm sure that it is very helpful to have the support of the fellowship. I find inspiration in listening to the speaches at xa-speeches.org that someone here mentioned. But then, I'm not an alcoholic. I actually like the way alcoholics explain how they worked through that second step. Men and women without an ounce of spirituality who found a way to git sum. Some will say that as soon as you give a definition to God, it becomes inaccurate. Not knowing what kind of spiritual higher power exists is not an obstacle to believing in One. This is the kind of philosophy that I think would help all kinds of people, alcoholic or not, and would help us all get in touch with a spirituality that has been jaded by modern religious practices....ooops, I'm ranting. I actually do not believe in a God and I am not an alcoholic, but I think how the program was originally intended, many would say that that group of athiests are not alcoholics either and thats the only way they get away with not truly performing that second step. Either way, it is an interesting debate.

Feb 17, 2004 8:27:23 AM

I enjoyed the post, but I particularly enjoyed the comments as I am a non-believer (in the Judeo-Christian sense of the word) who has been thinking about joining AA. Unfortunately, I'm living in a smallish city in Taiwan right now, so I'll have to wait a few months...

Feb 28, 2004 9:48:54 PM
6 - Marijo

I came here to ask why you picked DRA as one of your links, and then I find all of these comments on atheism. Well, well. I am an atheist in AA, and I am dually diagnosed and host a DRA meeting at a treatment center every week. It seems odd to me that you would link to DRA and not NA, but, you know, more power and all.

As an atheist, I work the second step by thinking of the powers in nature-- especially the power in my body to heal itself from sickness or wounds, as long as I don't do anything to make it stay sick. And, speaking of NA, the literature in the NA book is probably more accepting of non-Christian perspectives than the AA lit., if only because it was written by addicts in the 70's instead of by Christians in the 30's. Definitely worth a look if the god thing is interfering with your recovery, (and even if it isn't) although the AA lit. has a pizazz that you won't find elsewhere: (Feeling "restless, irritable, and discontent"? Go to a meeting and get some "experience, strength, and hope". You'll be "happy, joyous, and free" in no time!)

Mar 11, 2004 3:39:54 AM
7 - brian

Is this an AA conference approved site? I didn't know Alateen was for helping teenage alcoholics. The Alateen I know helps the family or teens of alcoholics recover. I do not believe they are alcoholic.

Mar 11, 2004 11:22:40 AM
8 - maureen

I 'm new here but need to make a change in my life.

Mar 15, 2004 8:00:34 PM
9 - rstr

this whole God thing can scare a lot of people. i'll let others score cleanliness the way that works for them and i'll do whatever I must to stay clean. I personally have a strong spiritual belief system, but it is mine.
recovery literature states that anything can be a higher power. The collective experience/strength/hope of the fellowship can be quite a bit greater than an individual's. I use meetings to find things that work and things that don't work as well. apparently some things are working and my way wasn't. also, if you think a substance, non-sentient and inanimate, is the problem; stick around and discover other manifestations of our disorder. The entire world is be getting loaded on some"thing" or other. The obsessive compulsive root of our problem really isn't ours exclusively. To me, god is the whole universe. It is changing and shifting, unboxable and uncontrollable.
through my inability to accept change and try to control my universe i opened the door an obsessive search for joy. I was so busy future and past tripping, that i could not enjoy the eternal, changing moment.
that's been my focus in recovery lately and its working.

Feb 15, 2005 10:21:02 PM
10 - bob

im bob and im an alcoholic

Feb 15, 2005 10:24:49 PM
11 - antony

im antony and i have serious alcohol related problems in my nether regions

Feb 15, 2005 10:28:39 PM
12 - tim

im have problems in my growth down below

Apr 9, 2005 4:35:53 PM
13 - Tim

I need help staying "quit." I've done it so many times it gets harder each time. I quit smoking, so why is alcohol so much harder? Thanks for any help or suggestions.

Tim

Apr 9, 2005 4:36:26 PM
14 - Tim

I need help staying "quit." I've done it so many times it gets harder each time. I quit smoking, so why is alcohol so much harder? Thanks for any help or suggestions.

Tim

Jun 22, 2006 10:59:43 PM
15 - angie

hi i am new to all of this, but i have a boyfriend that is a alcoholic, and i nedd to find a way to help him. many of the programs out there are so exspensive that it makes it hard for those that want to quit! any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, god bless you all.
angie.

Feb 3, 2010 1:27:31 PM

Excellent information to many people like to read articles to learn about these issues of great interest.

Apr 26, 2011 8:24:39 PM

I quit a few months ago and my feeling is better.