The complete abolition from alcoholism is not just the release of craving for alcohol, but the return to a normal life. But this is impossible without integration into society and adaptation. Therefore, abroad and now in our country, the movement of Alcoholics Anonymous had been created to support people being treated from alcohol dependence. In such societies, people are assisted in social problems resolving.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a public organization consisting of separate groups of mutual aid for those people who have pernicious dependence on alcohol and want to get rid of it. Alcoholics Anonymous groups are formed by the participants in order to help themselves and other people suffering from alcoholism, to return to a normal life, where there is no place for intoxication.
These groups are open to all comers, who have seriously decided to stop drinking. Typically, the group consists of 30 — 50 people, who have a confidential communication in between.
People who come to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, have nothing to hide from each other because they have the same problem, and the consciousness of one’s own helplessness in its resolving brings these people even more together. There the man gets uttered, reveals to his «brothers in misfortune», and feels much better because the members of Alcoholics Anonymous understand him like no other.
«12 steps» program
The Alcoholics Anonymous society was created in the US in 1935. It was founded by William Wilson and Robert Smith. In the basis of the work of the community laid the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Its main idea is human repentance and change in his way of thinking. Without this the work within the 12-step program is impossible.
This program has won recognition from people suffering from alcoholism, and specialists around the world who are treating the alcohol dependence. We can say that the people involved in this program are going through rehabilitation, where they act as «therapists» themselves. In Alcoholics Anonymous the 12-step program solves the main problem in the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction – the full spiritual reorientation of the dependent person.
In July 1953 the Narcotics Anonymous society was formed, which is also basing its work on the 12-step program. The movements of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (AN) soon have spread throughout the world. Today, there are more than 100,000 of such groups in more than 200 countries around the world, and every day thousands and thousands of new participants become their members. More than 2 million people, who have lost everything in life because of alcohol and drug addiction and were abandoned by society and their families, have returned to a normal life, thanks to these societies. They have found a happy and meaningful sobriety and gained a new perspective view on the world, other people and the relationships.
The Association of Alcoholics Anonymous is using three main components in its method:
• Appeal to the spiritual consciousness of man;
• Interaction between the group members;
• Getting out their messages to people who need help.
In the Soviet Union the 12-step program was not welcomed because it is based on the spiritual feelings of people. Though, it does not require an obligatory belief in God. Since the late ’70s, the first groups of AA and AN began to appear in Russia; every year they grew and got stronger. At present, there are nearly 300 AA groups in which thousands of people have found support and became able to return to a sober life.
An important point in the 12-step program is that every step begins with the pronoun «WE». This approach allows a person to identify oneself with the group and to overcome the feeling of loneliness in one’s problems and misunderstandings. It is very important for people trying to recover from alcoholism. The program had been so effective that it had started to be applied to successfully overcome other addictions. Many rehabilitation centres and clinics use in their work the 12-steps program.
Everyone in the city can find a club of Alcoholics Anonymous, and attend it to adapt to a normal life after years of alcoholism. Many such groups and clubs have a website of Alcoholics Anonymous, where visitors can learn the real life histories of people who abused alcohol, find out how they got rid of this problem, and chat with the «colleagues in misfortune», as they are.
Anonymous help to alcoholics
If you have recognized that you’re suffering from alcoholism, and it has already began to control your life, then you are not indifferent to your future and are not willing to leave the problems take their course. And this is already the first step to the victory over a pathological addiction. Without such an understanding it’s not possible to cure alcoholism. What shall the person do if he has decided to get rid of alcohol addiction?
There are two ways of solving the problem:
1) to ask a professional help of narcologist;
2) to come into the centre of Alcoholics Anonymous.
In what cases the treatment by the method of Alcoholics Anonymous will be effective?
In the case where, again, the man himself recognized that he is sick. Though, this is not enough. The patient should take an active role in his own life, that is, to struggle for sobriety every day, and have the willpower to refrain from the temptation to take alcohol. If one had found the help and support from the family and friends in misfortune, with whom one will not be ashamed to discuss all the problems associated with alcoholism, the treatment will be effective. Indeed, it is known that the narcologists also use in their work the psychotherapy and group methods of influence on the alcoholic.
But alcoholism is a very difficult and complex disease of the soul and body, so in the treatment process of Alcoholics Anonymous various problems impeding progress towards a sober life may appear. The main thing in this case is to keep it up!
In the clinical picture of such a disease as alcoholism, there are three stages. They flow into one another very smoothly, significantly affecting the physical and mental state of the diseased.
As a rule, alcoholism starts with good things — meetings, celebrations, anniversaries, which never go without alcoholic beverages. Gradually the quality of alcoholic drinks and the company to drink with stop to matter at all. But a person still does not realize that he is dependent on alcohol. He would find the «iron» excuses and arguments for all comments about the changes in his behavior. At this very stage the conversations, active persuasion and influence of community can help to radically change the situation and turn it in the opposite direction.
But in most cases the time turns out to be lost. The patient and his inner circle prefer not to notice the problem with alcohol, or not to attach much significance to it. As a result of continuous drinking, there comes the second stage of alcoholism, which means that now the patient has to regularly drink alcohol to fight with a constant hangover. The alcohol gets embedded in the metabolic processes of the organism and becomes its integral part. Less and less frequently the patient can be seen sober, and if the periods of sobriety occur, they are very short.
When the disease reaches its third stage, an alcoholic already has severely damaged internal organs and systems of life. But the heaviest consequence of continuous drinking alcohol is the degradation of the patient’s personality.
Obviously, psychotherapeutic methods will have low efficiency for anonymous alcoholics yet at the second stage of alcoholism. Therefore, when there are clear symptoms of 2-3 stages of alcohol dependence, it is necessary to apply to specialists, i.e. to start the treatment of the patient in the A-clinic.
Why such a treatment is more universal than the use of the method of Alcoholics Anonymous? Because the narcologist has not only psychiatric methods available; so he treats not only with the help of words. After all, everybody knows that alcohol is a toxic poison that in addition to pathological changes in the human mentality is also destroying ones brain, liver and other organs.
We can say that both methods of treatment of alcoholism are feasible, but one should choose the best in each case of the disease. Some alcoholics need a good moral support to recover, while others perceive the physical component of the treatment of alcohol dependence. Though it’s difficult to choose an appropriate method of alcoholism treatment independently, one should start to fight with alcohol dependence after the consultation with a narcologist, who will assess the severity of the disease and make recommendations regarding the treatment.