Written by Carey Davis
It’s not easy to recognize that you may have a problem with alcoholism. In many cases, alcoholics tend to think of themselves as “social drinkers”, and it typically takes a staged intervention of family and friends to make the person aware of their drinking problem.
There are many programs out there designed to help alcoholics quit their addiction. Once you have come to terms with the fact that you need a rehabilitation program, it’s time to locate a reputable program that will aid you on your path to recovery. There are quite a few ways to choose a rehabilitation program. You could always pick up a phone book and begin searching, but you’ll likely find dozens of programs, and each will claim top efficiency and high recovery rates.
It can all be a little bit overwhelming. Knowing how difficult it can be to find a reputable recovery program, we’ve assembled a list of resources to help alcoholics seeking aid.
To help alcoholics beat their addiction, there are a number of people you can turn to right away. Church ministers are usually an excellent resource for finding the help that you need in your personal life. Ministers typically treat your conversations as confidential and, due to the nature of their profession, will usually have your best interest at heart. Ministers tend to be at the center of community events and will likely have knowledge of programs that can expedite your recovery process.
Another excellent resource is your family physician. Your doctor will likely be able to provide you with a list of good rehabilitation programs and their locations. Even if your doctor doesn’t have the information on hand, they should be able to direct you to the right resources, people, hospitals, or recovery centers.
While on the subject of recovery centers, your local hospital is another excellent resource. Most hospitals offer some form of recovery support, though the level of support you’ll receive varies from hospital to hospital. Alcoholism is a common enough problem that most hospitals will either offer recovery programs or provide the resources that will refer to another rehabilitation program.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a group run by individuals who have struggled with alcohol addiction themselves. AA teaches its members how to achieve long term sobriety. AA is an excellent place if you’re looking for a support group of people who lean upon one another for strength in times of weakness. AA is known for its 12 traditions and 12 steps that provide the knowledge and support needed for any recovering alcoholic during the recovery process. The organization has chapters located all over the United States as well as internationally, and opens its door to recovering addicts from all walks of life.
Al-Anon and Alateen
Al-Anon and Alateen was created to provide support for the family and friends of recovering alcoholics. Family and friends can attend meetings in person, via phone, or online to discuss the issues that they’re facing on a daily basis. Members support each other with encouragement and provide advice on how to help a loved one who is struggling with an alcohol addiction.
SMART is a multifaceted support group that’s geared towards helping people who struggle with different types of addiction (not just alcoholism). Just like AA, SMART members can have face-to-face meetings all over the world. They also have access to online resources such as online meetings, message boards, and chat rooms. SMART uses a 4-point system to empower recovering alcoholics to overcome their addiction and instills the skills needed to live a balanced addiction free life.
Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS)
Secular Organizations for Sobriety is another group that’s similar to AA. SOS offers meetings that alcoholics can attend to help overcome their addiction. SOS meetings take place all over the United States. There are also online meet ups for those who can’t make the in-person meetings. On top of helping recovering alcoholics, SOS also supports those who suffer from compulsive eating disorders and drug abuse.
This website is an excellent educational resource for recovering alcoholics and their loved ones. WYW2B educates its users about excessive drinking, alcohol prevention, and treatment options. The topics on the site outline alcohol related statistics, the effects that alcohol has on the human body, and all of the risk factors involved when consuming alcohol. You can also find toolkits, videos, and fact sheets that explain how you can recognize if you have an alcohol problem and where to go to seek help.
Women For Sobriety
As the name implies, the Women For Sobriety was formed to help women who suffer from alcohol abuse and other damaging addictions. As is the theme with all of the other support groups in this article, there are meet ups that allow members to lean upon one another for support. Women for sobriety follow a Thirteen Statement Program which is also referred to as the “new life” acceptance program. To become a member, you must make a pledge to stay committed to abstinence. As a member, you’ll receive tools that will help in your personal development and recovery such as online forums, booklets, conferences, and DVDs.
Unfortunately, the road to freeing yourself from alcoholism isn’t always free. Often, you’ll find fees associated with support groups and treatment programs. If you lack the financial resources to pay for a treatment program, there are a number of options that you should take into consideration. For instance, public health offices tend to offer lists of programs that are funded. However, you must meet specific economic criteria before qualifying.
Outside of funding from the government, you should seek community organizations such as NGOs (non-governmental organizations) who work with lower income families and individuals. Be mindful that NGOs also have guidelines in place for those seeking aid for therapeutic purposes. Finally, never count out asking your family and friends for the funds you need. If you explain that the money is for your recovery from alcoholism, don’t be surprised if you receive an out pouring of love and financial support.
For those who have Medicare, know that your insurance provides you access to drug and alcohol treatments. Medicare can be divided into two parts concerning treatment options for substance abuse – Part A covers drug and alcohol treatment received in a hospital. This includes meals, room, nursing and other services. Part B covers services provided by specialists who offer drug and alcohol treatment services. These include lab tests, outpatient therapies, and partial hospitalizations. Medicare does not cover individual “packages” such as a defined amount in exchange for a specific set of services. For example, your Medicare won’t cover a $1,200 package that involves a counselor, treatment center, support groups, and a spa. It will instead cover a portion of the health care that you receive in relation to alcoholism as long as the services are medically necessary and reasonable according to the written standards laid out by Medicare.
To verify whether or not your Medicare will cover the treatment or services that you seek, you should either consult with your doctor or call 1-800-MEDICARE. Make sure that you check with your Medicare before utilizing a new treatment as you might not be covered. Medicare doesn’t pre-authorize any services or treatment, so make sure that you’re covered before signing any paperwork.
Also, keep in mind that Medicare does not cover the entire cost of most treatments and services. Thus, Medicare recipients are required to pay co-payments and deductibles. If you have access to Medical Assistance (MA) as well as Medicare, your MA can be used to cover the co-payments and deductibles. If you have both Medicare and MA your provider must accept their coverage as the full payment for their services. You cannot be personally billed for covered services.
Your private health insurance may or may not cover any drug and alcohol treatments depending on whether or not it’s an ERISA or non-ERISA plan. The Employee Retirement and Income Security Act is a federal law that sets standards for specific health plans offered by an employer. If you receive benefits through your employer, ask if your plan is an ERISA or non-ERISA plan. ERISA plans may cover any services related to drug or alcohol recovery though it is not required to do so. Make sure to ask your employer if your plan does indeed cover these services. NON-ERISA plans are required to cover at least the following services
If you’re struggling with alcoholism, know that there are resources out there designed to help you. There are support groups, treatments, and services designed to help recovering alcoholics kick the habit. For individuals who don’t’ have the funds needed to seek the help that they need there are funding options available which can range from seeking out community programs or asking family members to Medicare insurance and government assistance. The road to recovery starts with a self-promise to abstain from alcoholism. Once that commitment has been made, you’ll find yourself on the path to recovery.