Free and Low-Cost Help for Alcohol Addiction

March 31, 2014

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, sponsored by the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD). The theme of this year’s Alcohol Awareness Month is “Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow,” which highlights the impact that alcoholism has on young people and their friends, families, and communities. NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month also aims to address underage drinking, an important topic to talk about as prom and graduation season approaches.

Eye-opening statistics from the NCADD:

  • Over 18 million Americans (8.5% of the population) suffer from alcohol-use disorders, with countless others experiencing the effects of another person’s alcohol problem.
  • 25% of children in the United States have been exposed to alcohol-use disorders in their family.
  • Each day, 7,000 kids in the United States under the age of 16 take their first drink.
  • Those who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who begin at age 21.
  • More than 1,700 college students in the U.S. are killed each year—over 4 each day—as a result of alcohol-related injuries.
  • Underage alcohol use costs the nation an estimated $62 billion annually.

 

Resources for help

Education and prevention are crucial to reducing alcohol-related problems. However, many people mistakenly believe that resources for help are out of their price range. Check into these free and low-cost places and organizations that you or a loved one can turn to for support and help regarding alcohol addiction and recovery.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) resources:

Support groups:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous–For alcoholics and recovering alcoholics who are seeking support.  Includes a meeting finder to locate AA meetings in your area.
  • Al-Anon and Alateen–For those whose lives have been affected by a loved one’s alcoholism.  Learn what to expect at your first meeting, and find meetings in your area.
  • Narcotics Anonymous–For those who are addicted to narcotics.  Includes a meeting finder as well as links to recovery literature.

Other helpful information:

  • The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence–includes resources for people in recovery, for parents, for youths, and news articles regarding addiction and recovery.
  • The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism–includes articles about how alcohol affects your health, how alcohol affects teens, college drinking prevention, and more.
  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse–features addiction and recovery resources for young adults, parents, teachers, and medical professionals.  Also offers information on clinical trials.

For more free and low-cost health resources, visit www.HealthcareSurvivalGuide.com.  Also, check with your employer to see if your employee benefits package includes an advocacy service such as Health Advocate (if not, you can check out Health Advocate’s consumer division, Health Proponent).  An advocacy service can help connect you to medical providers, such as primary care physicians or mental health specialists, who can help with addiction-related issues.


Free and Low-Cost Help for Addiction

July 25, 2013

If you or someone you love are battling a drug or alcohol addiction, you are not alone.  According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there are roughly 20 million Americans currently suffering from behavioral or addictive disorders. Of these people, less than 10 percent are actively in treatment.

When dealing with a drug or alcohol addiction, the road is never easy—especially if you’re concerned about costs. For those who have health insurance, many health insurance plans offer drug and alcohol treatment provisions, but coverage and details vary from one insurance company and policy to the next. If you have health insurance, you need to be informed about what is and is not covered under your specific plan.  But what about people who don’t have health insurance? Luckily, there are many state- and privately-funded organizations dedicated to helping people overcome their fight with addiction. Read on to find out more about resources and other free and low-cost places and organizations that you or a loved one can turn to for support and help regarding recovery.

Resources from The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD):

  • NCADD: Get Help—Learn how seeking help is not only the first step, but the most important step.
  • If you are looking for help or information but don’t know where to turn locally, use the NCADD affiliate finder.
  • The NCADD also has a lot of information about both confronting and coping with drug and alcohol addictions.

Support groups:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous–For alcoholics and recovering alcoholics who are seeking support. Includes a meeting finder to locate AA meetings in your area.
  • Al-Anon and Alateen–For those whose lives have been affected by a loved one’s alcoholism.  Learn what to expect at your first meeting, and find meetings in your area.
  • Narcotics Anonymous–For those who are addicted to narcotics.  Includes a meeting finder as well as links to recovery literature.

Other places to turn for help:

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse–includes resources for people in recovery, parents, and youths, plus news articles regarding addiction and recovery.
  • The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism–includes articles about how alcohol affects your health, how alcohol affects teens, college drinking prevention, and more.
  • Your employer—ask your Human Resources team if you have access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through your company.  If so, you may be able to receive telephonic counseling that can help you with addiction-related issues.

For more free and low-cost health resources, visit www.HealthcareSurvivalGuide.com.  Also, check with your employer to see if your employee benefits package includes an advocacy service such as Health Advocate (if not, you can check out Health Advocate’s consumer division, Health Proponent).  An advocacy service can help connect you to medical providers, such as primary care physicians or mental health specialists, who can help with addiction-related issues.


Free and low-cost resources for help with drug and alcohol addiction

September 19, 2011

September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.  While any time of the year is the right time to get help for yourself or a loved one who is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has put together a comprehensive website with a multitude of helpful resources.  Read on to find out more about SAMHSA’s resources and other free and low-cost places and organizations that you or a loved one can turn to for support and help regarding recovery.

SAMSHA resources:

Support groups:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous–For alcoholics and recovering alcoholics who are seeking support.  Includes a meeting finder to locate AA meetings in your area.
  • Al-Anon and Alateen–For those whose lives have been affected by a loved one’s alcoholism.  Learn what to expect at your first meeting, and find meetings in your area.
  • Narcotics Anonymous–For those who are addicted to narcotics.  Includes a meeting finder as well as links to recovery literature.

Other helpful information:

  • The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence–includes resources for people in recovery, for parents, for youths, and news articles regarding addiction and recovery.
  • The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism–includes articles about how alcohol affects your health, how alcohol affects teens, college drinking prevention, and more.
  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse–features addiction and recovery resources for young adults, parents, teachers, and medical professionals.  Also offers information on clinical trials.

For more free and low-cost health resources, visit www.HealthcareSurvivalGuide.com.  Also, check with your employer to see if your employee benefits package includes an advocacy service such as Health Advocate (if not, you can check out Health Advocate’s consumer division, Health Proponent).  An advocacy service can help connect you to medical providers, such as primary care physicians or mental health specialists, who can help with addiction-related issues.  Click here to learn about other ways that advocacy can help you.

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Check out our sister blog, run by Health Advocate–it’s packed with handy and helpful tips on good nutrition, safe storage of medications, finding eldercare facilities, and so much more!


Free and low-cost resources for help with addiction

July 25, 2011

This past weekend, singer Amy Winehouse died at the age of 27.  While her cause of death is currently unknown, there has been much speculation that her death is in some way tied to her well-documented drug and alcohol addiction problems.  Although it’s always shocking when someone famous dies, instead of focusing on the shock and obsessing over all the details the tabloids are reporting, it’s more helpful to focus on the lessons that we can learn from this.   Addiction is an equal-opportunity disease, and it can affect anyone–rich or poor, young or old, famous or not well-known at all.  Addiction is not a disease that should be taken lightly; those suffering from addiction need help. 

Although making an addict understand that they need help is not always the easiest task, finding resources for them to get help is often quite simple in comparison.  Resources are available for people of all walks of life and are readily available around the country.  Read on to learn about a few of the major free and low-cost programs available to help those who suffer from addiction.

Alcoholics Anonymous: This organization aims to help those suffering from alcohol addiction.  No-cost meetings are held nationwide; the AA website has an interactive map that can help locate the most convenient meetings to attend.  Meetings are open to the public, and regularly attending them allows recovering alcoholics to develop a support system of people who understand what they’re going through.  Recovering alcoholics can also find a sponsor through these meetings; a sponsor is someone who has been in the program for a longer time and acts as a mentor to the recovering addict as they work through their twelve steps. 

Al-Anon/Alateen: The recovering alcoholic is not the only one who suffers as a result of alcoholism.  Often, family, friends, and significant others of recovering alcoholics are also trying to deal with how the alcoholic’s disease affects them.  Al-Anon and Alateen can help.  These groups provide free meetings, phone support, and online support for people who are living with alcoholics and/or are affected by someone’s addiction.

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Facilities Administration: Sometimes an addict needs more help than what attending meetings can provide.  In these instances, seeking treatment at substance abuse facilities can be helpful.  The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Facilities Administration offers a comprehensive website that includes a searchable treatment facility locator, a 24-hour help line, and other resources.

If you know someone who is suffering from an alcohol or drug addiction, the sooner they can get the help and support they need, the better.  Let them know that there are programs available to help them at little to no cost, whether they have insurance or not.  Encourage them to take advantage of these programs.  Let them know that they don’t have to deal with their addiction alone.  Not only can they start forming a support system at these meetings and facilities, but often non-addicts are welcome to accompany the recovering alcoholic to meetings to provide further support (when searching the AA website for meetings to attend, those designated as “open” generally allow the recovering alcoholic to bring along a loved one).