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Recovery From Alcoholism

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If you suspect you may be an alcoholic - or know that you are - there are several ways you can get help and begin your recovery.

Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the most popular ways to begin and maintain sobriety. Members attend meetings where they and their peers admit they're powerless over alcohol, and they seek help from a higher power and from their community to beat their addiction. They follow twelve steps of sobriety, as outlined in the "Big Book," a guide written by founding member Bill W. The 12 steps include taking moral inventory of themselves; turning their will over to a higher power; making amends to those they have hurt through their alcoholism; and carrying the message of AA to other alcoholics. Members receive chips for the number of days they've been sober. Members also sponsor one another: AA members who have more days of sobriety usually mentor the newly sober and help support them in their journey to get well.

Rehab is also a way for alcoholics to recover, especially if they have physical withdrawal symptoms, which can be very dangerous to manage without a doctor's care. If an alcoholic has the shakes in the morning, or becomes sick if he or she doesn't drink alcohol, rehab is a good place to begin recovery safely.

Doctors and addicts alike agree that community support is key in beating alcohol addiction. In addition to group meetings, an alcoholic can choose to begin one-on-one therapy with a psychologist or psychiatrist. In these sessions, an addict can explore the reasons for his or her dependence on alcohol, and start building an arsenal of coping tools to prevent slipping back into addiction.

It's also important for recovering alcoholics to be of service to others. The Alcoholics Anonymous logo is often shown with three words surrounding the three sides of its triangle symbol: unity, recovery, and service. One way AA members are of service is through sponsorship or mentorship of other alcoholics. Recovering alcoholics can also choose to help others through volunteer work or other donations of time and energy to other addicts or the less fortunate.