If you are seeking help with changing your relationship with alcohol, then there are factors which make that quest more apt to succeed:

  • Individual – not group;
  • Outcome based – your choice, not dictated;
  • Research based – not cult indoctrination;
  • Age related (I’m over 70, Mary Ellen, 60 and we rarely take clients under 45);
  • Safe (not exposed to abuse or blackmail);
  • Self-pay, not insurance (medical insurance records are not confidential);

There are other factors, of course, but these are a few of the biggies.

Let’s take a closer look at one of the most important: Confidentiality.

If you want to escape the permanent stigma of the “alcoholic” label, then you can’t afford to expose yourself in groups, settings, or, frequently, friends and family. Spouses/partners may be the only exception unless they are planning on using the label against you.

You can’t use insurance. Insurance records are not confidential;

You probably can’t seek medical aids like Naltrexone through your regular doctor who will add it to your permanent record.

Same with your usual pharmacy.

While confidential services are critical for medical professionals, and many other licensed professionals, it is also important if someone is apt to use the fact that you sought help against you. This includes divorce and child custody issues.

As we note, we only keep records for a brief period of time and then, at your request, destroy them. Should someone, or some entity, come looking to us, we are pleased to note that we are older and our memories just aren’t what they used to be.

Wrapping this up, we see a number of clients whose spouses, families and colleagues never knew they were here. And never will. Confidentiality issues need not keep you from accessing the short term assistance that will keep you from succumbing to a long term curse.

The Holidays

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Super Bowl parties are upon us – four major “super spreader” events. What are you going to do?

We hear a lot about family pressure to maintain old family traditional get togethers despite Covid. Pressure ranges from “it’s a hoax,” “Families like ours don’t get ‘diseases’ like that, “but it might be XXXX’s last time,” to “but now there’s a vaccine!”

These are all patently irrelevant but it doesn’t keep people from attempting to guilt and manipulate people into doing things that no one with an informed opinion would do.

We always note that fixing an alcohol related problem before or during the holidays is a good idea. Among other things, it means that you won’t spend months wondering about how you will manage the holidays without alcohol next year.

This year you have a double opportunity – you have good reason to avoid gatherings which means time to get a handle on you self-medication issue.

Yes, the vaccine is a blessing, and it seems likely that by next fall we will be back to something that looks like normal, whatever that is. At least it may mean that we can celebrate holidays and events again and attend gathering no matter how modest.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have survived the inconvenience of isolation and had it pay off in avoiding the plague, to blow it up by doing something stupid here in the late innings. I’d like to stick around to enjoy the benefits of what we’ve all been through.

Personally, I will be “sheltering in place,” working via Zoom, and doubling up on my physical therapy. Baking is nearly done and holiday boxes will start going out in two weeks. That’s my plan – what’s yours?