Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Healing Power of Music

'My music helps healing'

Dr Ian Gilchrist says music can be cathartic

GP Dr Ian Gilchrist is a firm believer in the power of music.
He plays the piano, flute, guitar, saxophone and Celtic whistles.

Once he dreamt of becoming a conductor or pianist.

But now he uses his music to help heal his patients, having long been interested in music as a healing tool.


He believes music can prove cathartic for some patients with emotional problems, stress and grief.

And if his patients prove responsive to the idea of music therapy, the Liverpool GP offers to give them a copy of his Celtic influenced CD "Journey from Slavery".

I am a very conventional doctor, but I do like to use other sources for emotional problems where conventional medicine has little to offer

Dr Ian Gilchrist

Sometimes, for patients he knows well and with whom he has built up a level of trust, he even plays live.

"I do give CDs away to patients if I feel it is appropriate, after I have done some probing to see if music is important to them."

But Dr Gilchrist said he did not use music therapy to replace medicine.

"I use it as an adjunct.

"I am a very conventional doctor, but I do like to use other sources for emotional problems where conventional medicine has little to offer.


"Music can unlock emotional problems. It is particularly helpful with grief where people can find music very cathartic.

"Generally the responses have been very positive, particularly where a person is sensitive to music.

"I think that these sort of people have responded very positively, some of them have found it very cathartic and it has released a lot of tears."

Dr Gilchrist's partners are also all musical and play clips from his CD on the practice's 'on-hold' system.

Dr Gilchrist said they had all been very supportive to him.

"They understand I am not using it exclusively or going off the rails and realise that I am not thinking that my music is all that is needed to sort people out."

Dr Gilchrist even composed a piece especially for the opening of their new surgery.


The CD has already produced some positive feedback, both from surgery patients and others.

Jason, an inner city teacher, said: "I'd used all the skills I could muster to engage a rebellious child who caused so much bedlam and heartache.

"I had your CD and threw it on......for the first time in months he worked independently with concentration, discipline, even a smile!

"Who says music is on its way out in the curriculum?"

Joe, who has cancer, said: "Thank you for the gift of your wonderful CD. I have played it through several times and been enthralled by it. I will treasure it for the rest of my time."

Anyone logging into Dr Gilchrist's website can hear segments from the CD.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cross Addiction

Cross addiction
Substance Addiction tends not to be confined to a particular mood altering drug.....when you have one addiction, you get the whole set thrown in for free - even before you have experienced the other drugs.

An addict I knew had a bad relapse. We couldn't figure out why. A reason may have been his use (not abuse) of an over the counter flu medication. It contained codeine, which is obtained from opium or prepared from morphine. He was a recovering heroin addict and the codeine sparked cravings. His flu nearly cost him his life.

The many pills and potions I was prescribed in hospital to treat my depression and anxiety, I became addicted to. To this day, I still crave Valium and Chloryl Hydrate on occasions - just out of the blue. But luckily those feelings are just flashes now, but they still serve as a warning.

Many alcoholics/addicts who go into recovery, never actually do. They simply swap one drug of dependence for another. An example would be someone who gives up alcohol and then is using valium long term for their "nerves". The "nerves" are actually protracted withdrawals, their bodies are never given a chance to actually start recovering. This is called cross-addiction. These drugs are usually prescribed to addicts in the first twelve months of recovery. Way too soon in most cases. The brain doesn't seem to differentiate between drugs.

I am a heavy tobacco smoker. I tried giving it up a couple of years ago by chewing nicorettes. Now I smoke and chew nicorettes. My caffeine consumption amazes people. There has been months where I consumed no other fluids apart from caffeinated drinks. So I guess if it really boils down to it, you could consider me not "recovered". But I am happy where I am at, and tobacco and caffeine does not seem to spark cravings for other drugs. It seems to be the exception to the rule. What are your views on this?... I'd be interested to know. Maybe I'll give up some day, maybe I won't, it's not an issue for me at the moment. Cigarettes and coffee have never caused me do the things I did whilst under the influence of other drugs and they definitely do not make my life unmanageable.

This may anger the non-smokers out there, but giving up tobacco and coffee early in recovery after giving up alcohol and/or other drugs can be quite dangerous. The body can go into overload, and you can end up right back where you started. And no, I'm not rationalizing, I'm serious.

I've got a feeling I may get a lot of email on this subject................

I take no other drugs. I am very careful not to. No liqueur chocolates, no medications containing codeine. I was very scared when I had to have a general anesthetic that I would wake up with withdrawals, or worse still, wake up during the operation because of my tolerance to that class of drugs. I discussed it with my doctor, who I was lucky to have - he understood addiction and he bumped up the levels of anesthetic. I regained consciousness fairly quickly, but at least not while I had the scalpel in me! And yes, I did suffer from mild withdrawals....

These are the things that an addict needs to keep in mind going through day to day life. A great many things that others take for granted, we can't have - or they have higher risks associated with them. It's as simple as that. Remember to carefully read the labels of any medication you are taking and find a doctor who understands your circumstances and the disease of addiction. At this point, I would like to state that I have no professional medical qualifications and I do not wish to turn anyone from their doctor prescribed treatments. I am only suggesting that you be aware of the dangers of cross-addiction by questioning any prescription or treatment you are given.

If you are not sure about the medication you are currently taking, a good source of information is . It has a huge listing of medications and associated issues. If your medications have a warning label on them that says "may cause drowsiness", you can bet that it contains some sort of MAS (Mood Altering Substance). Sometimes these medications will be necessary, but please, handle with care.

We are on the road to recovery and numerous emotions boil over in us. They can be quite overwhelming, we aren't used to dealing with them "straight". The most prevalent ones are depression and anxiety. Some doctors approach these conditions with the prescription of anti-depressants and tranquilizers. Does that seem right to you?

Doctors abide by what is known as the Hippocratic Oath. The oath had its origins from Hippocrates who is considered to be the Father of modern medicine. He also stated "It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has." This has special bearing in the case of anxiety and depression in the recovering addict. If your doctor is unaware that you have a substance abuse issue, he/she may prescribe totally unsuitable medications that could ultimately bring about your undoing. I came across a scenario like this only a few weeks ago. A close friend of mine who previously had cocaine problems was prescribed a tranquilizer - it had some undesirable effects.

Once again, these medications have their place, but not so much in recovery. The emotions you will experience are normal, they will pass. Anti-depressants and tranquilizers may act as a thin bandage over a gaping wound and may worsen the damage already done. Part of recovery is about dealing with emotions and problems without the use of drugs or "medicines". Medication does play an important part in the initial withdrawal stages, as detoxing can be potentially fatal. If you are currently taking anti-depressants and/or tranquilizers and decide you want to try to get along without them, ensure you discuss it with a qualified health professional first. Sudden cessation of the medication can be dangerous, and there are cases where they are necessary.

Well, my ash-tray is overflowing and my coffee cup is empty....I better go get another!

Michael Bloch

Copyright information.... This article is free for reproduction but must be reproduced in its entirety along with the authors' name and web site link. This copyright statement must be also be included. (c) 2001 - 2007 Michael Bloch, World Wide,. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Make a Happy Holiday

Making a happy holiday season...

The holidays can be a real challenge to our sobriety
--families and social gatherings are harder to avoid
--there are more opportunities for lapsing,
--and alcohol seems to be everywhere.

While sobriety often involves avoiding situations where alcohol is present, that may be much more difficult due to our jobs or family obligations.
But successful sobriety involves planning for urges, and much of the distress can be of our own making. Hence, we can make a happy holiday if we plan for urges and focus our thoughts.

Plan and prepare for urges.
--Having allies as you plan for the holiday parties can make it easier to develop exit strategies for parties.
--BYOB--bring your own special beverages.
--Do some role playing so you are prepared for the drink offers.

But remember that most people don't really care if you are drinking, so you're unlikely to have to defend yourself.
Anxiety about not drinking in public seems to be a common reason for lapses! "No, thanks" is really all the answer anyone needs--though dense folks may need to hear it a couple of times.

Our own families can seem to be an obstacle to sobriety, but 'seem' is the operative word and our own beliefs and expectations are the real problem.
--Avoid self-fulfilling prophecies: 'she always gets to me', 'he's going to drive me nuts'.
--Try to be aware of our own absolute and demanding thoughts. Then it's easier to see how we set ourselves up for distress.

The underlying belief in most cases is a demand we are making that everything be perfect, that there be no disharmony or conflict…in other words, that people not be human, and that they live up to an ideal we've constructed for how the holidays 'should' go!

Recognize happy moments when they are occurring.
Some people spend so much time planning for happy events that they forget to notice when the happiness is happening! It isn't that golden moment when you all sit down at the Norman Rockwell table and Grandpa carves the turkey--it's the laughter an hour before when the kids were 'helping' in the kitchen.

As we plan for an idealized holiday, we may be building unrealistic expectations, creating anxiety about imperfections, and magnifying flaws. If we are more rigid in our thinking, we may become more and more brittle as the time passes and all the flaws seem to mount….
Taking a step back and seeing when people are genuinely enjoying spontaneous moments can make those imperfections seem trivial.

Be realistic about the past.
We use our own subjective and highly imperfect memories of how it 'used to be'--implying, in this belief, that something has changed. Or the memories of 'bad' holidays past may be clouding the happiness of this one.
These anxieties and distresses can be real triggers. How realistic are those memories, good or bad, and why are we allowing them to impinge on this year?
If we spend our time planning for perfection and remembering perfection--is that the measure of happiness during the holiday?

Taking a step back to pick out the moments and images of beauty, with our newly sober and sharper minds, can give us a perspective that we missed when we were drinking.

Taking a moment to recognize the things we appreciate about this season--the beginnings of the longer days, the stark beauty of the winter, the colorful and joyous things that have been assembled by those who have come together--taking those moments can help provide a balance and serenity.

And seeing the humor in the madness and folly of seasonal travel and family gatherings can help us tolerate even the most ill-minded folks!

You can't change other people. But you can change how you react to them, and create reasonable expectations.

We can plan to avoid lapses. And we can keep to an unshakable belief that there is no aspect of this season that drinking would make better.

Make a happy holiday!

Copied with permission from Don S at

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Journey of Self-Discovery

The journey of self discovery begins with the immediacy of your freedom from what you are not and with the being of who you already are.

It does not begin from within the illusion of your imagination, from the place of you believing yourself to be who you think you are. It does not begin from the place of seeking or thinking, or what you customarily know as "spirituality." Your persistence in who you think you are has you not realising who you are.

This journey of self discovery begins with you consciously aligning your attention to that, to who you already are - essence - which is already flowing through your mindbody, flowing through your very eyes right now.

Self is not something that you can look at. You cannot perceive it like all other perceivables. You cannot look directly down its throat. This self is not something that stands apart from who you are. It is who you are.

You can only be the self that you are.

And when you do begin this journey of discovering your self, discovering just what your heart is, you begin acquiring the taste of - and for – home.

Self discovery is an "endless" journey of revelation of how rich the heart - who you are – is.

The alignment of your conscious attention to this "motion of seeing" that is flowing through your eyes right now and your coming to rest as this "aliveness" is your immediate freedom from what you are not and of your being this one that has always been true of you.

No amount of thinking, concepts, attempting to do it from the disposition of who you think you are, is going to be of any help to you. There is no getting around the fact that you have to surrender and let go of who you think you are.

The "central point" of self, as it is flowing through this mindbody that you drive around through, must be aligned to and come to rest as by you - and you can because it is who you are.

It is so damn simple that you "western male mind"ers will simply not grok this nor do it - even though it is not a "doing." You will not let go of who you think you are to be what has always been true of you. But even you will finally come home to the heart of your self, eventually. No one can not come home to who they already are - it is the destiny of all to be who you are. How long you may take is an entirely different story though.

Through being at rest as this one that is flowing through your very eyes right here right now, where you are immediately no longer entrapped and bound by who you think you are - this mindbody that you find yourself travelling around through, you find yourself with no where to go and no thing to do. Who you are is already here and all things are arising in this one that is who you are.

There is nothing that is not already who you are. Whatever you attempt to "go for" is already in who you are.

You become established as this one that is already who you are.

Through being at rest as this one - self, the heart - and "going" no where to gain what is already arising in who you are, you begin to realize the enormity of this one that is who you are, energetically, intrinsically.

Who you are already is.

You can be who you are because you already are who you are - however, it is not who you think you are and this must be surrendered for you to come to rest as the one that is already true of you.

The surrendering is in you focusing your attention to something other than your accustomed place of residence. Coming to rest as the very "thing" that is who you are.

Being at rest as this one that is who you are, not doing anything else, simply free as the heart. Through abiding here, the mindbody that you are travelling around through begins to unravel its "bondage" of you. You find more free attention and energy to simply be this one that is who you are. As this occurs - not through you trying to do anything or manipulate anything - you realize more of what it is that is who you are.

This journey of self discovery is the most wondrous of journeys.

Why? Because it is one in which you are being who you already are - at home in the heart - not you being who you think you are - lost in the illusion of who you are not.

Friday, November 23, 2007

When to seek medical care

When to Seek Medical Care

People who drink alcohol to the point that it interferes with their social life, professional life, or health should contact a doctor to discuss the problem. The great difficulty lies in the fact that denial plays a large part in alcoholism. Consequently, alcoholics rarely seek professional help voluntarily.

Often a family member or employer convinces or forces the alcoholic to seek medical treatment. Even if an alcoholic accepts treatment because of pressure from family, an employer, or a medical professional, he or she can benefit from it. Treatment may help this person develop motivation to change the alcohol problem.

Several alcohol-related conditions require immediate evaluation in a hospital's Emergency Department.

Alcohol is involved in greater than 50% of motor vehicle deaths, 67% of drownings, 70-80% of fire-related deaths, and 67% of murders. It is imperative that emergency care be sought immediately when alcohol has contributed to an injury. This is very important because someone who is intoxicated may not be able to reliably assess the severity of the injury they have sustained or inflicted. An intoxicated person may, for example, not notice that they have a fractured neck vertebra (broken neck) until it is too late (that is, paralysis has occurred).

* Alcohol withdrawal requires emergency treatment. When withdrawing from alcohol, a person classically goes through 4 phases: tremulousness (the shakes), seizures, hallucinations, and delirium tremens (DTs). These stages are described in further detail:

o During the tremulous stage, the person will exhibit a tremor of his or her hands and legs. This can be seen if the person extends his or her hand and tries to hold it still. This symptom is often accompanied by anxiety and restlessness.

o Seizures often follow the tremulous stage. They are commonly generalized seizures during which the entire body shakes uncontrollably and the person loses consciousness. Seizures occur in up to 25% of people withdrawing from alcohol. If you see someone having a seizure, attempt to lay the person on one side so they don't inhale any vomit or secretions into their lungs. If possible, protect the person's head or other body parts from knocking uncontrollably onto the floor or against other potentially harmful objects. Do not place anything inside the person's mouth while they are having a seizure.

o Hallucinations affect about 25% of people undergoing major alcohol withdrawal. Visual hallucinations are the most common type of hallucination experienced during alcohol withdrawal. People will classically "see" insects or worms crawling on walls or over their skin. Often this is associated with tactile (feeling) hallucinations in which alcoholics think they feel insects crawling on their skin. This phenomenon is called formication. Auditory (hearing) hallucinations can also occur during withdrawal, although less commonly than the other types of hallucinations.

o The most dangerous stage of alcohol withdrawal is called delirium tremens (DTs). About 5% of people withdrawing from alcohol experience DTs. This condition occurs about 48-72 hours after drinking stops. The hallmark of this stage is profound delirium (confusion). People are awake, but thoroughly confused. This is accompanied by agitation, delusions, sweating, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, and high blood pressure. This is a true emergency. Studies have shown that death will occur in about 35% of these people if they are not treated promptly. Even with appropriate medical treatment, this condition is associated with a high death rate.

* Alcoholic ketoacidosis (AKA) is another condition for which emergency medical treatment should be sought. AKA often starts within 2-4 days after an alcoholic has stopped consuming alcohol, fluids, and food, often because of gastritis or pancreatitis. Not uncommonly, AKA and alcohol withdrawal syndromes are seen at the same time. AKA is characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dehydration, and an acetone-like odor on the person's breath. This occurs when the alcoholic has become depleted of carbohydrate fuel stores and water. Therefore, the body begins to metabolize fat and protein into ketone bodies for energy. Ketone bodies are acids that accumulate in the blood changing its acidity and causing the person to feel even sicker, thus perpetuating a vicious cycle.

* Alcoholism is often associated with other psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychosis. This psychiatric illness, often combined with a reduced level of sound judgment while intoxicated, leads to suicides, suicide attempts, and suicidal gestures by alcoholics. Obviously, a person who has attempted suicide, or is believed to be in serious or imminent danger of committing suicide, should be taken quickly to the Emergency Department.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Emotional Pain

We feel emotional pain when we do not get what we want, need, or expect. We might feel hurt, rejection, bitterness, abuse, injustice or simply emotional pain.

In such cases, we have not received the behavior or outcomes we expected or believed we deserved.

We feel this kind of feel pain in cases when * people * do not behave to us in the ways that we had expected as well as in situations where * life * does not give us what we feel we need or deserve.

We believe, "I cannot feel happy unless I get that which I believe I need."

We have associated our security, satisfaction, self-worth or freedom with something that we are not getting from persons, society, God, or life as a whole.

Some examples might be when:
1. Others lie to or deceive us.
2. They do not support us when we need them.
3. They reject or criticize us.
4. We fail at some task, which we feel that we should have succeeded at.
5. We loose a loved one.
6. Our loved one shows preference to another.
7. People important to us do not show us the respect we expect.
8. Others do harm to us or our loved ones.
9. We are accused of doing or saying something we did not do.
10. When are falsely suspected of having ulterior motives.
11. "Friends" gossip about us behind our backs.
12. We are not given the raise of promotion we believe we deserve at work.
13. Others do not keep their agreements with us.
14. We are robbed.
15. We lose our fortune in some way.

You can add many more situations in which we feel hurt because we have not received the respect, love, affection, loyalty, truth, kindness and justice that we were expecting.

*** Positive Alternatives to Feeling Hurt ***

Positive alternatives to feeling hurt, bitterness and injustice could be:

1. * We can have Faith * in divine wisdom and justice.

We are all in a process of evolution and nothing can happen to us, which is not exactly what we need in order to learn our next lesson. So rather than be overwhelmed by negative feelings, we can seek to discover what we can learn through this experience.

Our lessons usually have to do with discovering the strength, security and self-worth, which are within us. As souls in the process of evolution, we are constantly being directed to contact and bring to the surface our spiritual self.

This means realizing that we are whole within and can feel safe, worthy and fulfilled regardless of what is happening around us.

Thus, every event which might cause us to feel pain is also a great opportunity to contact our inner spiritual self and move on and beyond this pain.

2. We are the sole creators of our reality.

We as souls create our reality through:

a. Our past choices, thoughts, words and actions.
b. Our present conscious and subconscious beliefs, feelings and needs.
c. The lessons we have chosen to learn at this stage of our evolutionary process.
d. How we subjectively interpret what is happening.

Thus others are simply actors in the scenarios of our life the script of which we have written. We can create a happier reality by:

a. Transforming our conscious and subconscious beliefs.
b. Learning our life lessons.
c. Interpreting events in a different way – as opportunities for growth rather than as injustices.

2. Forgiving and forgetting the past.

In light of what we have said above, others are not responsible for our reality and thus can easily be forgive. Such forgiveness frees us from negative feelings and allows us to transcend pain.

Thus we can overcome emotional pain by:

1. Realizing that every event is exactly what we need for our evolutionary process.
2. Learn the lessons involved.
3. Forgive others and ourselves.

We feel emotional pain when we do not get what we want, need, or expect. We might feel hurt, rejection, bitterness, abuse, injustice or simply emotional pain.

In such cases, we have not received the behavior or outcomes we expected or believed we deserved.

We feel this kind of feel pain in cases when * people * do not behave to us in the ways that we had expected as well as in situations where * life * does not give us what we feel we need or deserve.

We believe, "I cannot feel happy unless I get that which I believe I need."

We have associated our security, satisfaction, self-worth or freedom with something that we are not getting from persons, society, God, or life as a whole.

Some examples might be when:
1. Others lie to or deceive us.
2. They do not support us when we need them.
3. They reject or criticize us.
4. We fail at some task, which we feel that we should have succeeded at.
5. We loose a loved one.
6. Our loved one shows preference to another.
7. People important to us do not show us the respect we expect.
8. Others do harm to us or our loved ones.
9. We are accused of doing or saying something we did not do.
10. When are falsely suspected of having ulterior motives.
11. "Friends" gossip about us behind our backs.
12. We are not given the raise of promotion we believe we deserve at work.

Author: Robert Elias Najemy

Saturday, November 17, 2007

What is Recovery?

ScienceDaily (Nov. 2, 2007) — Abstinence from alcohol and drugs is just the starting point in defining "recovery" for people with substance abuse disorders, according to a new article.

According to an initial definition developed by a panel of experts from the Betty Ford Institute, recovery is "a voluntarily maintained lifestyle characterized by sobriety, personal health, and citizenship." The panel's report appears as part of a special section of JSAT devoted to Defining and Measuring Recovery.

Although "recovery" is widely recognized as the goal of treatment for substance abuse disorders, there has been no widely accepted definition of what the term actually means. "Recovery may be the best word to summarize all the positive benefits to physical, mental, and social health that can happen when alcohol- and other drug-dependent individuals get the help they need," the expert panel writes.

The panel's report outlines some of the thinking behind key components of the definition. Sobriety--meaning complete abstinence from alcohol and all other nonprescribed drugs--is regarded as necessary, but not in itself sufficient for recovery. The panel suggests a classification to define the duration of sobriety: "early" sobriety between one month and one year; "sustained" sobriety, between one and five years; and "stable" sobriety, five years or longer. People in "stable" recovery are thought to be at lower risk of relapse.

Personal health is included as a component of recovery that may be of special importance to substance abusers and their families, as well as to society. In this context, personal health refers not only to physical and mental health, but also to social health--ie, participation in social roles and supports. Citizenship refers to "giving back" to community and society. While acknowledging the need refine this part of the definition, the panel felt is was important to recognize the traditional place of citizenship as a key element of recovery.

The panel members hope their definition will help in overcoming some of the remaining obstacles to substance abuse treatment--including the stigma associated with being in recovery. They liken being "in recovery" to being a "cancer survivor"--a term reflecting research evidence that the risk of relapse is significantly reduced for patients who are cancer-free after five years.

"Public discussion of survival rates has increased the proportion of individuals willing to get early screening for [cancer] and to take preventive measures," the experts write. They hope that their new definition of recovery "might be the beginning of a similar course of events in the addiction field. If recovery can be effectively captured, distilled, and communicated, it can come to be expectable by those now suffering from addiction." This in turn could promote more realistic perceptions of recovery, and its true worth from social and economic standpoint.

The article appears in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, October 2007.

Adapted from materials provided by Elsevier.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Alcoholism Treatment Methods

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Alcohol abuse knows no age or economic barriers. People from all walks of life struggles with their addiction to alcohol that can ruin families and careers. Thanks to innovative new treatment options for alcoholism more and more people are finding the strength to put down the drink and regain control over their lives.

Most people take for granted that they know what alcoholism really is. They have an image in their back-head that almost automatically appears each time they hear this word. But can we really be sure that our perception is right? Before we elaborate any further about treatment methods, let's make sure that we are on the same page. To accomplish this, lets take a closer look at the definition of alcoholism:

"A disorder characterized by the excessive consumption of and dependence on alcoholic beverages, leading to physical and psychological harm and impaired social and vocational functioning. Also called alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence.
1. The compulsive consumption of and psychophysiological dependence on alcoholic beverages.
2. A chronic, progressive pathological condition, mainly affecting the nervous and digestive systems, caused by the excessive and habitual consumption of alcohol. Also called chronic alcoholism.
3. Temporary mental disturbance and muscular incoordination caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. Also called acute alcoholism. "

With this definition from The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary as a basis, we can know take a closer look at treatment methods.

Treatment for alcohol problems has been around almost as long as alcohol itself has been a part of our culture. Centuries ago treatment consisted of barbaric methods of imprisonment and starvation in attempts to help cure those who were in a constant state of drunkenness. Today, a variety of programs exists that help people understand why they are drinking and help them find ways to put down the bottle and enjoy their life naturally. Many programs operate with dedicated support groups that will stay the person seeking treatment for the rest of their lives. These support groups are there to help them overcome temptations and to find alternative ways of dealing with problems or stress other than using alcohol.

A vast majority of people who have a dependence on liquor don't realize they have it. Intervention is an important part of many alcohol abuse programs. The first step often isn't taken by the alcoholic but rather by friends, family or co-workers who are concerned for their health and well-being and seek out treatment options.

If you know anyone who has a problem with alcohol help them take the first step. Seek out treatment options and discuss them with the person. Most importantly, remember that they need your help now more than ever and your intervention no matter how hard they may resist it may be the single most important event that ever takes place in their lives.