Friday, May 2, 2008

Understanding Alcoholics Anonymous

Understanding Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholism can be defined as the person’s uncontrollable urge to drink alcohol. Alcoholics feel that they cannot live without drinking booze. For normal people, water is a vital drink to live; where as for alcoholics, liquor, booze, beer, (whatever name you call it) is their “h20 in life.” Alcoholism is made up of four elements:

A strong craving for a drink
Physical Dependence wherein withdrawal symptoms are demonstrated: anxiety, shakiness, nausea, and sweating once drinking has stopped for quite a period of time
The inability of the person to stop himself/herself from drinking once the said person has started
Alcohol Tolerance wherein the person feels that drinking is needed to be able to feel better or to be “happy.”

There is still hope for alcoholism to be eradicated little by little. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was developed for this purpose. It is a society that holds informal meetings among alcoholics for them to have all the help they can get in order to attain sobriety as well as help other people like themselves become sober. Here, the members share their experiences as well as give hope to one another and strengthen themselves from the temptations of drinking through their so called twelve step program.

Alcoholics Anonymous was founded by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith who were both alcoholics who found sobriety through spirituality. Alcoholics Anonymous became known through word of mouth. As soon as the count of members reached a hundred, the twelve-step program was included in a book that was published, speaking about the program and the main stages of the treatment and they are: admitting that one has become powerless, moral inventory, and recognizing that there is a higher power where people should ask help from.

An AA survey made in the year 2004 covering more than 7500 members based in the United States and Canada showed that the average sobriety rate for members is eight years and most of the members who became sober received counseling and spiritual therapies from the outside and that these outside treatments helped them stay sober.

A newly developed network for alcoholics that is similar to Alcoholics Anonymous is the Sober Sources Network which was established just last year (2007). It is a network that gives support to alcoholic people and those with harmful addictions. It was a response to the forums developed (The Sober Village and the Sober Teens Online) discussing and giving information to the said topics.

The Sober Sources Network was formed through the observation that there are only a number of websites that give complete information and resources that are extremely useful to people wanting help for their addictions.

It is good that Alcoholism can be treated even though at a slow rate through Alcoholics Anonymous. It is also amazing that the Sober Sources Network has been designed to give quick and easy online support to alcoholics and drug addicts who wouldn’t really know where to ask help from especially because of the fact that alcoholism and substance abuse is a delicate subject. Sober forums are also there not only to give support to the alcoholics but also to give vital information and support to parents, family members and friends who are affected when a loved one is under the power of alcoholism.

Copyright 2008 C.King, M.Ed., Sober Sources Network- may be reproduced with proper acknowledgments.