In the capital of Alaska, just like across the nation, drug and alcohol abuse remains a leading cause of death, a contributor to community blight, and a source of untold misery. Alcohol alone kills 88,000 people each year, and drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental deaths in the U.S. If you or someone you love abuse drugs – including prescription medications – you aren't alone. Addiction is a powerful disease, not a personal failing or private choice. Rehab is the treatment of choice for drug and alcohol addiction, offering you hope not only to get sober, but also to begin getting your life back under control.
Rehab isn't right for everyone, though. Maybe you want to try going it alone first. Perhaps you've already been to rehab and just need some assistance brushing up on the skills you learned while there. Or maybe, like thousands of others across the U.S., you want to try combining multiple strategies at the same time. No matter your motivation, support groups can prove invaluable in the fight against drug and alcohol addiction.
Sometimes the most useful source of recovery information is someone who has been there. Alcoholics Anonymous relies on a peer support model for recovery, and has become the most popular and most successful recovery program in the world. Participants work through the program's 12 steps to make amends, achieve sobriety, and steadily put their lies back together. You can find an Alcoholics Anonymous group near you by clicking here. Links to a few other local programs include:
Narcotics Anonymous is almost indistinguishable from AA, except for its focus on drugs. NA members work to overcome a wide variety of drug addictions, including prescription pills and co-occurring drug and alcohol addictions. NA also offers drug-specific programs like Marijuana Anonymous and Pills Anonymous. To find a local NA meeting, click here. Other local resources to consider include:
Addiction is a social disease, which means it doesn't just hurt addicts. People who love an addict can suffer immensely, and often find themselves victimized by the addicts they love. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon offer support to people who care about an addict, and can help you learn to cope even if the addict in your life never chooses to get sober.
Al-Anon and Nar-Anon also gave rise to two spin-off programs. Alateen and Narateen work to help teenagers who have a loved one struggling with the disease of addiction.
You can find local Nar-Anon family groups by following this link.
NA is not a directly religious program, but many meetings take place in churches, and groups frequently pray. Moreover, the group asks members to place their faith in a “higher power.” While some people interpret this higher power in a secular fashion, others prefer to pursue exclusively secular recovery programs. SMART Recovery offers a secular recovery model, and you can find a meeting near your home here.
Addiction is a disease that you didn't cause or can't control. You can, however, control how you react to the disease of addiction. Today is always the best time to seek help, since addiction does not cure itself and will not get better on its own.