If you are new to recovery, or considering taking the plunge into sobriety, you might be wondering what sorts of supports are available to you. In fact, there are numerous resources to help you cope with your alcoholism, and they are likely thriving right under your nose. The first step to making contact with a real-world resource is by perusing a few websites. With the list of alcoholism resources below, you'll be able to determine where you are along the alcoholism spectrum, where to get help if you need it, and more about the disease of alcoholism and addiction generally.
Alcoholism support groups
Recovery from any addiction cannot happen without support, and alcoholism is no different. Some say that these disorders arise as a result of isolation. Once isolated, alcoholics seek to break out with the use of drinking and drug use. Thus, when you enter a recovery phase, you will need the support of like-minded people who have not only been there, but who have recovered. There's more to living sober than simply white-knuckling through a craving. Your peers will support you and show the way to a happier, healthier life.
The founders of Alcoholics Anonymous devised a practical program of action that has helped millions of honest, open, and willing problem drinkers. Meetings are filled with men and women who have accepted that they cannot live life as they were. There are sure to be meetings in your area, and there is a good chance that a meeting is starting soon. Attendance is free.
AA Online Resources
AA makes its literature available through its website. You can also find a search tool that will help you find a local meeting, or meetings in unfamiliar towns when you are traveling.
Al-Anon was founded with the wives and family in mind. Meetings often include alcoholics themselves who may have grown up with parents who drank, or who are currently struggling for sobriety with a still-drinking spouse or partner. Al-Anon was founded around the same time as AA, so it has a deep history of support.
Adult Children of Alcoholics
Many alcoholics were raised in alcoholic families and even if you did not develop a drinking problem, the scars of alcohol abuse are surely with you. ACA seeks to help heal those wounds through a 12-step program that will lead you to accept your past and live in a healthier, happier present-day.
Self-Management and Recovery Training, SMART, is an organization that claims a science based approach to recovery. They have a staff of trained professionals who lead meetings and who seek to keep the meetings focused on your present-day, forward-looking recovery. Like AA, SMART does not charge for meetings, but does pass a hat for donations at the end of each meeting.
Secular organizations for sobriety
Many balk at AA's use of the word God in its literature, and the religious influence many individuals bring to meetings. In response, SOS was founded to provide recovery resources to alcoholics who would rather keep religion separate from sobriety. SOS has online groups in case you can't find one nearby. SOS also provides services for other sorts of problems, including drug addiction, eating disorders, and more.
This organization seeks to stem the cycle of drug and alcohol abuse among teenagers. This organization also addresses social and mental health issues common among teens. They address body issues, violence/bullying, sex, and many other inner conflicts with social expectations that may result in alcoholic behaviors. If you are a teen seeking to address depression, anxiety, issues around sex, or anything at all, this organization is one you want to seek out.
Women for Sobriety
Women face specific issues in their drinking and in getting sober. Very frequently sexual assault and simple poor choices are involved in one's drinking career. Women for Sobriety seeks to address these issues. Their recovery model involves making peace with the past, as well as lingering poor coping mechanisms. While their approach is similar to the 12-step model in many ways, Women for Sobriety is secular and focuses solely on women.
If you have questions about your drinking, your primary care physician will have answers for you. She can help you assess your drinking and whether or not you have a problem that needs intervention. If you do need real help, she can direct you to community rehab centers, counselors, and more.
Alcoholism research and media organizations
Scientific research into alcoholism and addiction continues to uncover more and more interesting truths. The genetics and physiology of the problem continue to unlock more insights. Social scientists are also looking into demographic patterns of abuse as a means of learning even more about the disease, from a macro scale. Though science will not get you sober, it is interesting to keep abreast of the latest discoveries.
American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP)
AAAP is continually seeking to promote science in how alcoholism is screened, diagnosed, and treated. They provide continuing education for addictions professionals, and they seek to prevent addiction problems across the human lifespan. If you are like many who have overcome an addiction or alcoholism, you might want to dedicate your career to helping others. The AAAP will provide you with numerous resources, including trainings, so that you can best help others.
American Psychological Association (APA)
The APA is more than a professional organization that helps its own. Its website includes a number of supports for those who struggle with mental health maladies. They can help you with your stress levels, which can often contribute to heavy drinking or drug use. Take a look at their YouTube videos for interactive insights into managing stress and connect with them on Twitter to receive up-to-date information from their Help Center.
American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
Addiction medicine is a growing field and ASAM is at the vanguard. Through their website, you can find news on the specialty, and webinars that offer up-to-date, evidence-based, information on topics such as drug testing, pharmacological interventions, diagnosis/screening, and many more. The patient resources portion of their website is a wealth of information if you are new, or returning, to recovery.
The Fix is an internet magazine dedicated to covering addiction in America. Often, The Fix will cover scientific breakthroughs, but also legislative actions that impact addiction and alcoholism. You can find articles that will help you assess your drinking and inspiring personal stories from those who have achieved long-term sobriety. Even more philosophical issues, such as forgiveness and gratitude, are covered by writers who have been there. If it relates to alcoholism, The Fix covers it.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
The NIAAA focuses solely on alcoholism. As such, it is a vital resource for those wishing to learn more about this disease/disorder. They provide brochures and fact sheets that you can download and print for your own education or to help others. For instance, if you are sponsoring someone in AA, you might use some of their literature to help a sponsee learn more about her problem. Their Beyond Hangovers brochure is valuable reading for anyone who imbibes from time to time – or more.
These days, we are turning to sites like WebMD to diagnose all sorts of ailments. Alcoholism is no different. The medical website offers thorough coverage of alcoholism. They also cover prescription drug abuse and recreational cannabis. If you are considering action regarding your drinking or if you are well on the sobriety path, WebMD is a valuable website to bookmark and utilize for any and all questions.
The esteemed Mayo Clinic maintains a robust online presence that includes comprehensive information on alcoholism and addiction. Seek their Alcohol Use Disorder page for tabs that cover symptoms/causes, diagnosis/treatment, and current scientific research into alcohol use disorder and related problems.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
The CDC does comprehensive research on most any disease or public health problem known to humanity. They maintain a page titled Alcohol and Public Health, for instance, that provides fact sheets, research, media resources, and frequently asked questions that may help you further understand Alcohol Use Disorder and/or alcoholism.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
NIMH is a branch of the National Institute of Health. They study and help professionals address problems related to Alcohol Use Disorder, and more. Their website includes a self-assessment questionnaire. They provide a thorough breakdown of the issue that will help you find help with all of the information you need. They discuss various treatments, the professionals involved, and how to select the treatment path that is best for you.
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides endless resources for those suffering with an alcoholic problem as well as the professionals that seek to help. You can find information related to the broad spectrum of mental health, including: criminal behavior, drug/alcohol use, behavioral treatment, homelessness, trauma, and recovery. If you need treatment that addresses your specific needs, SAMHSA can help direct you in the right direction. For instance, people in special populations, such as LGBTQ or Native Americans, can find the resources and information they need. The SAMHSA website will also point you to grants related to treatment and recovery.