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Support Programs & Groups for Alcoholism

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  • 0:00 Alcoholism After Treatment
  • 1:20 Short-Term Support
  • 1:55 Long-Term Support
  • 3:15 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lisa Roundy

Lisa has taught at all levels from kindergarten to college and has a master's degree in human relations.

Alcoholism is a chronic condition, meaning that after treatment, the alcoholic will need ongoing support to prevent re-lapse. This lesson will discuss support programs that are available to help alcoholics after treatment.

Alcoholism after Treatment

Alcoholism is a medical condition typically signified by a physical compulsion to drink. Treatment is necessary for an alcoholic's initial recovery, but alcoholism is a chronic problem. How does an alcoholic prevent a relapse?

Imagine you're a soccer player. During a game, you slip and twist your knee. You're carried off the field on a stretcher. The doctors examine your injury and provide the proper treatment. When you finally get back on the field, you wear a knee brace. This knee brace helps you keep your knee stable the next time you slip to prevent a re-injury. Like the knee brace can help stabilize the knee to prevent the soccer player from re-injuring it, support programs can benefit people recovering from alcoholism after the initial treatment has taken place.

Support programs involve connecting those recovering from alcohol abuse or alcoholism to people with common experiences and concerns that provide emotional and moral support. Support programs are not responsible for treatment, but they play a vital role in the successful recovery of a person suffering from alcoholism. These support programs can be short-term or long-term.

Short-Term Support

Short-term support programs for alcoholics are typically used to help them transition to the real world after the completion of a treatment program. An example of a short-term support program would be a sober living facility. A sober living facility is a place where recovering alcoholics can live with one another in an alcohol-free environment after a treatment program.

The lack of a stable, alcohol-free living environment can be a serious obstacle to successful addiction recovery. Short-term support programs like this are helpful for those who have nowhere to go or do not feel that they are ready to return home.

Long-Term Support

Long-term support programs exist to help recovering alcoholics maintain their sobriety. Alcoholics Anonymous is the most well-known example of a long-term support program. Alcoholics Anonymous is an organization made up of people who have a drinking problem with the purpose of staying sober and helping others with drinking problems recover. Alcoholics Anonymous utilizes a 12-step program. This consists of a set of guiding principles that are used to overcome problems such as alcoholism.

Research has shown that active involvement in support programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, significantly improves a person's chances of long-term recovery from alcohol problems. While Alcoholics Anonymous is the most well-known long-term support, alternative programs do exist. For instance, secular support groups focus on the use of communication and science to rationalize sobriety.

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