For the alcoholic or addict, there are a number of places to turn for finding help. For those whose lives are affected by the alcoholic or addict, there are only a limited number of resources, depending upon the kind of help you are seeking. Much depends on your particular situation.
When I went looking help, my goal was simple. I wanted my alcoholic addict to stop drinking and drugging. What I found was that there was little out there that was right for me. In fact, that is one of the reasons that I developed this web site. I wanted to share what I learned in the tradition of paying forward lessons that others had shared with me.
Where can I find help for my alcoholic or addict?
This is an interesting question. Is your alcoholic or addict interested in finding help? Or are you trying to find a way to force help upon them? Like I tried with mine? With little success.
If your alcoholic or addict is truly interested in finding help, there are a number of resources. I’ve identified some of the resources for alcoholics here and here. For drug abusers I’ve identified some of the resources here. In addition to these, here is a list of Hot Lines that you or your alcoholic addict can call.
I encourage you to encourage your alcoholic or addict to explore these options. It is their responsibility to deal with their problem. If they are not ready to find answers for themselves, they are probably not ready to actually do anything about their substance abuse.
If you are looking for a way to force your alcoholic addict to quit drinking and drugging, there is one primary approach – intervention. If you decide to do this, keep in mind that there are serious risks and no guarantees of success. You can find information about interventions here.
Where can I find help for me?
This question indicates that you are not assuming that the only way to address your alcoholic addict’s affect on your life is to change your alcoholic addict. Good for you. We cannot really control our alcoholic or addict’s behavior. All we have any control of is our own life, and even there we often have limited control.
Along with this and some other web sites, there are a few books that address this topic. But reading web sites and books are not enough. They can give you ideas, but we all do better when we talk to other people about our problems and out plans for dealing with them. Some people turn to friends, others to counselors or spiritual leaders. Others turn to groups of people with similar problems.
When I was looking for solutions, I tried talking to friends but soon found that they did not have much in the way of useful insights. For the most part they were willing to listen for a little while, but eventually got bored with my whining and complaining.
I tried counseling, and that helped some. However, I found most of the substance abuse counselors that I met were better suited for helping the alcoholic addict than they were for helping those that were in a relationship with an alcoholic addict. Later in the process I found that more mainstream counseling was very helpful.
In the early stages of coming to terms with my alcoholic addict marriage, I found a group of people who were dealing with alcoholics in their lives. They had a lot of useful information and lessons for me. The group was Al-Anon.
I participated in Al-Anon for some years. In time I realized that as helpful as Al-Anon was to get me started down a path of dealing with my alcoholic addict relationship, it was not enough. There were questions about my personal development and alcoholic addict relationship that Al-Anon was not able to answer. So I went looking further.
Eventually I found Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA).
Between Al-Anon and CoDA my life and my ability to deal with my alcoholic addict relationship improved greatly. The last thing I did to address my alcoholic addict marriage was to get weekly counseling for the best part of a year.
It took me a while to find a counselor that suited me. Being very reluctant to talk about my feelings in the first place, finding a counselor that I trusted and respected was a challenge. Most counselors I saw only once, realizing that their approach to helping me was not a good fit for me. Or maybe I was just not ready to actually talk about my fears and feelings of weakness, worthlessness and inadequacy. Fortunately I eventually found a counselor that connected and I made great progress with her assistance.
Normally, counseling sessions are 50 minutes long. I found that didn’t work very well for me. I often found that I was just getting to the point of making some progress in the dialogue with the counselor when the session was over. I convinced the counselor to schedule 90-minute sessions for me. It cost extra but it made a big difference. By the time 90 minutes were done, I had usually worked through that week’s barriers and had made added progress towards addressing my personal issues.
As part of your work with your alcoholic / addict relationship, I strongly recommend finding a counselor. Counselors bring a lot of skills to the table. In my opinion their most valuable skill is challenging you whenever they catch you lying to yourself.
There are a few other group therapy resources for those involved with alcoholic addicts. These include Alateen, ACOA and Nar-Anon.
Alateen is an organization similar to Al-Anon intended for teenagers who have family members for are alcoholics. There structure, meetings and objectives are similar to those of Al-Anon. Often there will be an adult that acts as a guide.
Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA)
ACOA is an association of people who grew up in alcoholic families. Children who are raised in alcoholic families often have emotional and behavioral issues resulting from their dysfunctional upbringing. As they reach adulthood, many have difficulty forming healthy relationships. ACOA is a twelve-step program intended to provide such people an opportunity to jointly address their common issues.
As Al-Anon is a complementary program to Alcoholic Anonymous, Nar-Anon is a complementary program to Narcotics Anonymous. Nar-Anon is intended to provide a place for those who are affected by the drug use of someone they care about to come together and support each other in dealing with their common problem.
These and other groups have Hot Lines that you can call. If you have questions, call them, or visit their web sites.
Every thought that we have, every feeling that follows, every decision we make, every action we take and every result that we experience is a direct result of what we believe aboutourselves. For more information on how self-esteem is connected to addiction go to this website:
http://www.self-esteem-the-simple-truth.com/addiction.html (Opens a new window)
Often people who drink too much or abuse drugs think about suicide. If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, the suicide-do-not-kill-your-self.com site may help you. (Opens a new window)
I encourage you to reach out for help. It can be frightening, embarrassing, difficult and confusing. However, if you work at it, the help that is available from counselors or self-help groups can have a remarkable effect on your life, both in terms of dealing with your alcoholic addict problems but also in dealing with the problems in your life that are unrelated to your alcoholic addict’s behavior.
If you are looking for help that you can't find on this site, feel free to contact me and ask me any questions you want.
Here is a summary of the links to resources identified in this page.
Alcoholism Treatment Options
Drug Abuse Treatment Options
Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA)
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