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How Do I Choose the Best Alcoholism Support Group?

D. Nelson
D. Nelson

An alcoholism support group is a tool that alcoholics can use to meet with others who are suffering from similar problems. Individuals who join these groups share their feelings, anxieties, fears, and experiences with others, with the goal of guiding each other into a recovery process. To choose the best alcoholism support group, you should think about what kind of group might make you feel most comfortable. For example, an individual who belongs to a church or who has strong religious beliefs might want to choose a group associated with a religious institution. Others might choose secular groups that are overseen by health professionals who have no religious affiliations.

A good first step for anyone considering an alcoholism support group is to consult a trained medical professional. If you have a physician or counselor with whom you are comfortable and whose opinion you trust, you should consult him or her. Keep in mind that stopping drinking can cause many potentially dangerous symptoms. It is important that you work with a doctor, who can help reduce risks and improve your chances of success.

Drinking becomes a problem as soon as it negatively affects a person's life and relationships.
Drinking becomes a problem as soon as it negatively affects a person's life and relationships.

If you are currently staying in an alcohol rehabilitation clinic, then chances are that you have access to an alcoholism support group. This group might be made up of others who are are taking advantage of in-patient or out-patient services. In many cases, attendance at such groups is mandatory for all individuals participating in treatment; it becomes part of patients' daily routines.

Doctors may be able to recommend the best alcoholism support groups for patients.
Doctors may be able to recommend the best alcoholism support groups for patients.

For people who have decided to stop drinking without inpatient alcohol rehabilitation, it's important to find an alcoholism support group that makes you feel comfortable and safe sharing your experiences. For example, individuals who benefit from structure might join groups based on 12-step programs. It is important to remember, however, that benefiting from an alcoholism support group is not easy, so you should not expect to feel changed immediately.

The most popular alcoholism support groups are based on the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The most popular alcoholism support groups are based on the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

An alcoholism support group can also be helpful for individuals who have close friends or family members with drinking problems. For example, a group designed for children of alcoholic parents might enable individuals to discuss traumas from childhood, and to develop strategies to navigate adult relationships. To find these groups, you should consult counselors or use informational resources provided by community health centers.

Members of a support group often encourage each other to make better life choices.
Members of a support group often encourage each other to make better life choices.

Individuals who are not sure whether they need to attend an alcohol support group should seek the advice of medical or mental health professionals. These groups often appeal to people who feel that their drinking habits interfere with their ability to be happy or to achieve their goals. In some cases, individuals with drinking problems may decide to join groups after being confronted by loved ones about their need for treatment. No matter what brings you to an alcohol support group, you will be able to find one that fits your needs.

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    • Drinking becomes a problem as soon as it negatively affects a person's life and relationships.
      By: kmiragaya
      Drinking becomes a problem as soon as it negatively affects a person's life and relationships.
    • Doctors may be able to recommend the best alcoholism support groups for patients.
      By: Igor Mojzes
      Doctors may be able to recommend the best alcoholism support groups for patients.
    • The most popular alcoholism support groups are based on the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
      By: Photobank
      The most popular alcoholism support groups are based on the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
    • Members of a support group often encourage each other to make better life choices.
      By: gstockstudio
      Members of a support group often encourage each other to make better life choices.