Alcohol Addiction Treatment; The 3 Main Steps

January 31, 2007 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

By David Richards

In alcohol addiction treatment programs there are three major steps that are included whatever treatment philosophy they have. These are; stop drinking or alcohol intervention, alcohol detoxification and alcoholism rehabilitation.

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When Do You Need Alcohol Addiction Treatment?

January 18, 2007 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

By David Richards

Most of us like to drink and have a good time. ‘Partying’ is just a harmless recreational use of drinking. But, when is it too much? How can you tell if you are addicted? And when should you consider alcohol addiction treatment?

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How Helpful is that Helpline? – A Guide to Finding Addiction Help on the Internet

January 16, 2007 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

By Anita Edge

Where do you go? How do you know what is right for your situation? Many different resources exist; and good advice can make a big difference.

Here is a brief outline of available resources on the Internet:

1. The SAMHSA facility locator – A searchable government database of over 10,000 treatment facilities. You can use this yourself to locate treatment centers that meet your criteria, but there are no reviews or success statistics to help you with your decision.

2. Free Referral services and hotlines (found through search engines, directories, and links) – There are many of these, with varying levels of service, and can usually be contacted by phone or email:

– Government agency hotline (such as the SAMHSA help line). These generally search the SAMHSA database for you and give you several facilities to contact.

– Basic help line. Like the SAMHSA help line, many referral lines search the SAMHSA database for you and offer little additional guidance. These are often non-profit organizations and may be specifically geared toward substance abuse issues or may deal with a wide range of social services.

– Affiliated help line. Many help lines are actually affiliated with a particular treatment center. They generally have the goal of determining if your needs and characteristics fit their target public. If so they will direct and perhaps help you get the addict into treatment at their facility. If not, they may refer you to another facility in SAMHSA database.

-Independent help line*. There are referral services not connected with a particular treatment center that will spend some time trying to direct you to the right service for your particular needs. How much time without charging you? It varies and may depend on your particular needs. Getting an addict into treatment can be difficult and time-consuming, and a referral service may recommend bringing in a paid interventionist.

3. Intervention services (look under “Intervention” in your local directory on this site) – A professional interventionist can help you get the addict into treatment, usually not an easy task. Expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for an intervention.

4. Counseling services – Limited counseling services are available for free, and there are many paid services. The most effective treatments for addiction generally are residential treatment programs that include counseling.

Which is for you?

– First, we suggest taking part in support groups such as AA, NA, Al-Anon, etc. and talk to others about their experiences. You will hear recommendations as well as trials, tribulations, and defeats. Keep in mind that others may have different needs from yours, and a treatment center may be well-suited to one person and not another.

– Talk to some referral services. They may or may not be able to help, but are typically manned by people dedicated to helping others get off drugs. You can expect them to have far more experience and understanding of handling addiction than you do.

– With recommendations or programs through work or your insurance, you may want to go directly to a treatment center or counseling service.

How do I find a referral service?

At this time, we are not aware of any directories specifically for referral. If you search using Google, Yahoo, MSN, or another search engine for “drug rehab”, “drug treatment referral”, “alcoholism treatment”, etc., you will find many referral organizations.

How do I tell what kind of referral service it is?

You can’t. If you look at the web sites for referral organizations, they generally look similar. They say “Get Help Now! Call this phone number!” and you may be getting a government-funded organization, an independent organization, or a referral service that is part of a treatment facility. Many web sites have domain names and organization names completely different from the organization they belong to. Many have multiple referral web sites. This is a very common marketing practice on the Internet. All we can suggest is that you ask questions when you talk to them and see how comfortable you feel with their approach.

Can I trust them?

At this time, we are not aware of any scams related to treatment referral. When dealing with anyone over the Internet, there are certain precautions you should always take (due to the anonymity it provides):

– Never give your social security number, credit card, or bank account numbers over the Internet without extensive verification of who the other party is.

– You usually do not need to give full contact information. You can typically give first name only, phone number, and email. It often helps to give information on how you can best be contacted.

– Many households have tensions and conflicts at home. Addiction professionals are aware of this and may be cautious about leaving phone messages. Let them know how to contact you and what to avoid.

– Talk to them and see how helpful they seem. If you feel uncomfortable, try another.

Don’t give up. There is help out there. Just remember, handling addiction is difficult.

For a comprehensive guide to addiction resources, go to

Article Source:

Can Online Counseling for Drug and Alcohol Addiction Problems Be Effective

December 12, 2006 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

By Jan Edward Williams

The answer to the question in the title of this article is: “Yes, but with the need to understand the limits of online help.”


The words “alcohol dependence” or “addiction” are often used without definition. So, let’s first define some terms. As used in this article, alcohol or drug addiction means that a person’s alcohol or other drug use has reached the point that the person cannot use without loss of control over use of the substance and/or cannot use without producing adverse consequences in significant life areas. The addicted person has developed a psychological and/or physical dependence upon the substance. An addicted person will continue to use the substance in the face of adverse consequences.

The term alcohol or drug dependence is often used interchangeably with addiction, but here I use the term dependence to mean physical dependence on a substance, meaning that stopping use of the substance will result in withdrawal symptoms. A person can develop dependence on a substance without developing addiction; the best example of this physical dependence would be the person who takes a narcotic analgesic (pain killer such as oxycodone or morphine) as prescribed by a doctor long enough to be physically dependent on the drug, a natural, inevitable consequence of chronic use of such a drug. Under these circumstances, abruptly stopping use of the substance will result in the withdrawal syndrome typical for the class of substance involved. Most persons with addiction (for ex., alcoholism) are NOT physically dependent on their drug and will not experience the full blown physical withdrawal for the substance. They will, however, experience cravings, sleeplessness, and other symptoms caused by their psychological dependence on the drug.


Alcohol or other drug problems fall within two diagnostic categories: abuse or addiction (as I said, often called dependence). Abuse basically means the person has developed a pattern of use of the substance in the face of adverse consequences in significant life areas (medically, financially, legally, problems in relationships). Addiction is summarized in the first paragraph of this article.


Alcoholism and other drug addictions are devastating disorders which negatively impact affected individuals and all who care about them, physically, emotionally and mentally, and spiritually. For persons diagnosed with full blown addiction, I favor an abstinence based treatment model, meaning a model whose basic ultimate (it may take a while to get there) goal is abstinence from use of alcohol or other drugs. This model should include education, cognitive behavioral counseling, and use of Twelve Step (for ex., AA) spiritually based principles. Online addiction treatment can be helpful in itself and/or as part of a comprehensive treatment program that includes traditional face-to-face counseling and other treatment interventions.

Treatment of Severe Addiction

Successful treatment of persons with full blown alcohol or other drug addiction may require a comprehensive treatment program, with services provided by professionals face-to-face. This treatment would be beyond that offered by online addiction treatment. Such a comprehensive program should be staffed by helping professionals from many disciplines. Staff should include physicians to address medical issues such as withdrawal, mental health professionals such as psychiatrists or psychologists, to treat co- or pre-existing psychiatric disorders that may be present, and last but not least, certified, licensed addiction counselors, preferably a significant number of whom are in recovery themselves. Such a Treatment Program should also provide individual and group counseling, educational groups, and, as important as any of the treatments, access to Twelve Step self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon and Nar-Anon (for loved ones), and ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics), to name but a few.

An evaluation will reveal the extent of the treatment required. This evaluation can be performed online by a qualified addictions counselor.

Online Treatment or Counseling

Online help for persons with full blown addiction problems can be helpful, but the comprehensive programs outlined under Treatment of Severe Addiction may be necessary depending upon the seriousness of the problem. A comprehensive evaluation of the addicted person is needed. Such an evaluation can be done online, leading to recommendations for the appropriate treatment. Persons who are already involved in any stage (intensive outpatient, continuing care, aftercare) of traditional treatment programs can use online services as a supplement to their treatment and to Twelve Step Program attendance. Persons who have completed traditional treatment can also benefit from these services.

Loved Ones of an Addicted Person

Spouses, lovers, friends, co-workers, parents, brothers, sisters, and sons and daughters, to name a few, can be concerned that the person they care about may have an alcohol or other drug problem. When adult children are concerned about use by a parent, the term “Adult Child of an Alcoholic or Addict” (ACOA) may apply. Persons close to an individual with a drug or alcohol need help for their natural feelings of confusion, hurt, anger, and loneliness. Online services can provide support, education, and recommendations for these concerned persons.


Persons with serious emotional or psychiatric conditions (such as, but not limited to, eating disorder, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia), not stabilized through traditional treatment by a qualified mental health professional are not appropriate for the help offered online and should seek help from such professionals before accessing online services. These patients can, when stabilized by appropriate treatment, benefit from online counseling. Persons who are depressed and thinking of harming themselves or others are also not appropriate for online help and should get help immediately by calling a crisis line, going to the Emergency Room of a hospital, or seeking other immediate help. These patients can, when stabilized by appropriate treatment, also benefit from online counseling Persons who have a pattern of using addictive substances on a daily or almost daily basis need to access face-to-face evaluation and treatment service providers to address possible medical and other problems associated with withdrawal that may accompany physical dependence, before using online services available here.

Limitations 1. By its nature, internet counseling can be interrupted by technological difficulties beyond the control of either the counselor or the client. Before services are provided, the client will be given suggestions for alternative methods for contacting the counselor should disruptions in the client’s service occur (for ex., a public library). The counselor should pledge that should technical difficulties result from his/her personal computer or other internet access, the counselor will have alternative internet access readily available. 2. The visual and auditory cues available during face-to-face counseling are, of course, not available in internet counseling. Therefore, it is vital that both the client and the counselor be diligent in seeking clarification of any communications, as needed. 3. The addictions counselor must at the outset of the counseling relationship help the client to identify local therapists and other treatment providers, including crisis services. 4. The addictions counselor must include safeguards to keep client information confidential and protected from unauthorized access. Client information, including history, diagnosis, treatment recommendations, and progress notes, should be for the counselor’s eyes only. No one else must have access to this information. The information should be retained on a safeguarded CD for one year after the counseling relationship has ended, or for a longer or shorter period of time dictated by the client.

Under the circumstances outlined in this article, online counseling of persons with drug or alcohol abuse or addictions can be effective.

In addition to his law degree, Jan Edward Williams has a Master of Science degree in pastoral counseling, and is a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor. He has personal and professional experience to aid him in helping persons with alcohol and other drug problems. He is in recovery himself, with over 29 years of continuous sobriety, and has been working in the drug and alcohol field for 27 years. Recently Jan has developed an online drug and alcohol abuse counseling service, called AlcoholDrugSOS Services. This service is aimed at helping persons with drug abuse or addiction problems or alcohol abuse or addiction (alcoholism) problems. His web site is, and his e-mail is

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Alcoholism Recovery: 12 Steps to Stay Sober Over the Christmas Holidays

November 30, 2006 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

By Larry Smith

One of the most difficult times of the year for those recovering from alcoholism is the Christmas holidays. If you find yourself struggling during the Christmas season, please remember that you are not alone. Help is only a phone call or a meeting away! Here are some helpful and practical tips to keep you from taking that first drink.

1. Plan Each and Every Day of Your Holiday

Plan to spend the majority of your time with friends and family who are supportive of your recovery. If you are required to be present for a social gathering where alcohol is being served, bring a fellow AA member with you. Plan fun events and outings to replace your old drinking rituals.

2. Find an “Alkathon” in Your Area

During the Christmas season, some AA groups hold a marathon of meetings called an “Alkathon.” It is a time when the members of Alcoholics Anonymous gather together to celebrate their recovery from alcohol addiction. Many AA groups have meetings on the hour every hour to share their experience, strength and hope. If you are a member of the fellowship or think that you might have a problem with alcohol, you are welcome to attend. Check the local papers for an “Alkathon” in your area.

3. Ask for Support from Your Family and Friends

Those who are truly supportive of your recovery will be happy to help you throughout the holidays. Be up front and tell them your concerns.

4. Have a List of at Least Ten People you can call if you feel the Urge to Drink

Make a list and check it twice. Carry your cell phone and your list of names at all times. The urge to drink is very powerful and can happen at any time.

5. Don’t Forget about Regular Exercise

Regular exercise is an essential component of any balanced recovery program. If you have extra time on your hands, it is a great idea to get out and exercise. Examples include running, skating, cross country skiing, stretching, yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates or water aerobics. Instead of napping on the couch after dinner, go for a walk around the block.

6. Stay Away from Slippery Places

There is absolutely no reason to ever check out your former favorite drinking establishments. It is very likely that your old drinking buddies are still there and are still telling the same old stories.

7. Create New Traditions to replace your Old Drinking Patterns

Try something totally different during the holidays. Buy a new board game; take the family on a sleigh ride; prepare a family power point presentation. Use you imagination, be creative and have fun.

8. Write out a Daily Gratitude List

The quickest cure to get you out of the holiday blues is by counting your blessings. Be grateful for what you have by writing out a gratitude list every morning. Don’t stop writing until you have at least 10 items on your list.

9. Volunteer your Services to a Charitable Organization

There are many people in your community who are homeless and hungry. Why not volunteer to work at a soup kitchen or at a special Christmas dinner for those less fortunate than you? You will be helping not only the needy but yourself!

10. Write a Letter to yourself. How I Stayed Sober over Christmas.

The act of writing your ideas on paper is very powerful. Write down all the activities and events that will help you have healthy happy sober Christmas. Now take action on them and make this letter come true!

11. Avoid H.A.L.T.

H.A.L.T. stands for:

• Hungry

• Angry

• Lonely

• Tired

There are very simple solutions for all of the above items. If you are hungry, get something to eat. If you are angry, talk to somebody about it. If you are lonely, go to a meeting or call a friend. If you are tired, get a good night’s sleep.

12. Live One Day at a time and Enjoy your Sobriety!

Stay in the moment. Have present time consciousness. Be in the now. These are all different ways of telling you to live 1 day at a time. Never mind about what happened or what could happen. Enjoy today. Live today. Celebrate your sobriety!

If you follow these simple steps, it is totally feasible to stay sober over the Christmas Holidays. Take action now! Print out this article and plan a Happy and Healthy holiday season.

Dr. Larry Smith Chiropractor and Author of:

Embrace the Journey of Recovery: From Tragedy to Triumph!

Are You Recovering From Alcohol or Drug Addiction?

“If your answer is yes, then this book is for you!”

Embrace the Journey of Recovery will passionately reignite your spirit and teach you how to confront, conquer and powerfully triumph over addiction, cancer or any other life threatening illness! Is addiction a genuine life threatening illness like cancer? If so, then why is it concealed behind a wall of shame and denial?

Discover the answer and experience the remarkable story of two courageous yet ordinary individuals and their astonishing recoveries from heartbreaking tragedy. Find out how a cancer survivor and an alcoholic mutually support each other and passionately embrace the journey of recovery.

Their message is simple. They transformed their lives and you can too!

To find out more about this exciting new book click here:

Article Source:

TOPIC OF THE DAY: Battling addiction

June 21, 2006 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

Increase funds for treatment

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-New Jersey fully supports Parent to Parent’s “Just A Nickel a Gallon” campaign to dedicate $10 million from Gov. Corzine’s expected $15 million increase in alcohol tax revenue to the Alcohol Education Rehabilitation and Enforcement Fund. This fund disburses $11 million annually to counties for addiction prevention and treatment and drunken driving enforcement efforts. This amount has not changed since 1992.


Consumers of beer, wine and liquor would experience a very slight increase as a result of Corzine’s proposal, paying 11 cents more per case of beer and pennies more per liter of wine or liquor. This amounts to $5.85 more per year for the beer drinker who consumes a case of beer per week and $5.20 more per year for individuals who consume a gallon of wine or liquor per week.


$5.85 more PER YEAR for the beer drinker who consumes a CASE A BEER PER WEEK? Hmmmm..


Coming clean

June 9, 2006 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

“One night I hear this scratch, scratch, scratch at the door and I open it up. It is my cat, come back after one month.

“I hugged that cat and cried and then I knew. I knew what it was like for my husband when I’d run off and do crack.”


For the first time in a struggle that has taken half of her life, she will have additional help from a newly expanded detox system in Toronto, which, if successful, will become the blueprint for the rest of Ontario.

It is designed to support addicts beyond the acute withdrawal phase until they get into treatment or are stabilized at home. Hospital administrators have added some new tricks like acupuncture, neighbourhood groups and home visits. For the past 30 years, detox has meant five or so days of residential care and then the addict was back out the door.

MORE: – Coming clean

Metallica Avoiding Battles On New Album

May 5, 2006 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

… Things have changed for Hetfield, who has been sober for nearly five years. On May 12, he will receive an honor he says he is more proud of than any career achievement. The MusiCares MAP Fund, a non-profit organization aimed at helping music industry professionals with addiction recovery treatment, will present Hetfield with the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award for his “devotion to helping other addicts with the recovery process” during its second annual benefit concert at the Music Box/Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood.

“I don’t believe that you have to walk straight into the fire to know how hot it is,” Hetfield says. “That was my path. The biggest awareness is that you’re not alone and that there is some help. When people get so far into it, where they feel their life isn’t worth anything, that’s too far. But, you can survive it. That’s important to know.”

[MORE: Metallica Avoiding Battles On New Album]

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.