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Lifestyle:  Support Groups, Organizations & Recovery Programs

Following are a variety of groups, organizations and programs to aid in addiction recovery. They are listed in no particular order of importance.

Alcoholics Anonymous www.alcoholics-anonymous.org
- This is a group whose primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety. Their site has lots of helpful information and a section with local links for more targeted help in each state of the USA and in Canada.

Street Address:
Alcoholics Anonymous
475 Riverside Drive
11th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10115

Mailing Address:
Alcoholics Anonymous
Grand Central Station
P.O. Box 459
New York, N.Y. 10163

Al-Anon & Alateen www.al-anon.alateen.org
- This is the support group for friends and family of alcoholics. Their site, in English and Spanish, offers support meetings, surveys, literature and more. Contact them at:
Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.       Tel: (757) 563-1600
1600 Corporate Landing Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5617

Gamblers Anonymous
International Service Office
P.O. Box 17173
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone (213) 386-8789

Cocaine Anonymous www.ca.org
Narcotics Anonymous www.na.org
World Service Office in Los Angeles
PO Box 9999
Van Nuys, California 91409 USA
Phone (818) 773-9999

National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Service (800) 729-4357

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) www.nida.nih.gov
Part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Their site contains prevention, treatment, and other information on drugs and abuse for researchers, educators, parents and other interested parties. Subscribe free to their email notification list and keep updated.

Quit Smoking Now
Overeaters Anonymous
Improve Self Confidence eBook
Build Self Esteem eBook

Healthy Living Tips and Online Help

Healthier living is a choice. And here are some choice tips towards a healthier approach to life.

For help 24 / 7, reach out via the World Wide Web. A variety of chat boards, list groups, email pals, message boards and other means of cyber-communications can help link people up for fellowship during their recovery. And some programs, like 12-steps, offer online meetings for those unable to attend in person. Used in a safe and sensible manner, these online communication systems can offer healing interaction among fellow addiction fighters.

Here are some general guidelines to follow for safe, healthy and effective communications. First, depending upon the means of communication, most generally offer the user to key or type in comments, questions, share ideas, ask for help, cry on cyber-shoulders, etc. pretty much instantly. And those places with archived posts allow for browsing and in-depth reading for those wanting to learn more on their own. Take time to look around and learn the system and setup. Ask the moderator or person in charge of the site (usually listed on the Contact Us page) for help.

Second, when typing responses, do not use all capital letters. That means shouting to some people and they may take offense.

And third, be leery of sharing images. They can be altered and re-used by anyone. Scenic shots might be fine to share, like of recovery places to visit (public parks, scenic drives, etc.) However, think twice before sharing family photos online with strangers. Ask permission if others are in the shots, too, before sharing. If you donít have their permission, donít share - - general rule of thumb.

Online Safety Tips
Donít disclose personal information or anything that makes you uncomfortable. Many people feel they have the right to ask anything and plunge right on in. Ignore them, use your delete button or simply say that you are not comfortable discussing ďthatĒ right now.

Try not to be rude, even if the other inquiring person is, and try to keep out of cyber-fights. If you need help, seek out the moderator or webmaster (usually linked on the bottom of the website pages.) If all else fails, move on to another forum, message board or other cyber-location, and leave that one alone for awhile. If and when things calm down, you can always revisit, see how things are and try again.

Donít lie.
Part of recovery is facing denial and no more lies. So if you are not comfortable telling the truth, stop. Donít lie, just stop. Return to healing and recovery resources that you ARE comfortable with and donít harm yourself. Realize that all kinds of people of all ages jump on the Internet, many healthy, but many unhealthy. So not every place is a healthy environment for you at all times. Nothing personal, itís just life. Period. And itís not your fault; thereís nothing you can do. Instead, seek healthier recovery activities and keep healing!

Avoid topics that can trigger bad episodes, especially those that could possibly mean returning to past addiction Ėrelated issues. Hereís a visual way to explain this, as shared at some recovery 12-step meetings:

  • One of Lifeís Paths
    A man walks down the sidewalk and falls into a hole. He picks himself up, dusts himself off, climbs out of the hole and moves on.
    Next time this same man walks down that same sidewalk, he sees the hole up ahead and decides to go around it. However, just as he skirts the edge of the hole, he accidentally falls in again. As before, he picks himself up, dusts himself off, climbs out of the hole and moves on.
    A third time going down the same sidewalk, this same man walks a little farther away from the hole, trying to by-pass it. However, he trips over a rock in the path and falls in again anyway. And as before, he picks himself up, dusts himself off, climbs out of the hole and moves on.
    The forth time - - the same man chooses a DIFFERENT sidewalk and enjoys his walk. The hole isnít there; he doesnít fall; thereís no need to climb out. Success!
    Moral of the story: choose your paths wisely!
NEXT: Healthy Living Tips, Overcoming Addiction Ideas

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