Google tells us, occasionally, what phrases people use to find our website and “Confidentiality in AA” appeared on the list this week.

The bad news is that there isn’t any. Not even 30 years ago when the joke around Minnesota was that AA had gone from being Alcoholics Anonymous to being AU, Alcoholics Unanimous.

The rest of the bad news is that treatment programs aren’t confidential either; groups aren’t; insurance payments aren’t; and if you are quietly seeking help, you need to be very very careful what you sign up for.

Allowing yourself to be labeled an “alcoholic” or “alcohol dependent” can negatively affect you for the rest of your life whether it’s true or not. So can going to treatment programs where that’s the label you’ll be saddled with.

Remember, virtually all treatment programs don’t care what your problem is – they only care about labeling you and slotting you into their one-size-fits-all model.

Thinking of using your medical insurance to cover part of the cost of getting help? Insurance records aren’t confidential and are being shared with other insurance carriers, and are starting to show up in credit reports, employment screenings, mortgage applications, and political campaigns.

Needless to say, they’re already a factor in divorce proceedings.

If you want truly anonymous help, instead of life and career wrecking labels, we suggest you read our Confidentiality page and then give us a call.

Please! 85% of the people seeking treatment abuse alcohol. You aren’t alcohol dependent or an “alcoholic” – whatever that is. Don’t handicap yourself, but don’t be afraid to get the short term help and guidance you want and deserve.

We don’t label; we don’t report; we don’t share; we don’t expose.

No other program can make those claims.

Procrastination: Waiting for an optimal time to do something when there’s no such thing.

We’ve all been there.

Remember high school and breaking up with the boy or girl friend? Not til after Christmas; after New Years; after Valentines Day; after my birthday; ….

The same goes for losing weight, quitting smoking, making a budget, getting some exercise, and/or fixing alcohol related problems.

Let’s face it, we put things off because we don’t like the immediate consequences of change. We don’t like giving up our old habits.

So we keep them until they create more problems than they solve.

With alcohol abuse there’s an additional problem. How do you fix it without the “cure” being worse than the “disease”? That question would give any intelligent person pause.

You don’t want to be labeled, railroaded, demeaned, and consigned to a lifetime of “recovery”. Good for you. That means you have a far better chance of recovering!

Can you do it on your own? Possibly – many people do. But if you want, or need help, choose carefully. Read through the material we put together in Finding the Right Program For You.

Then, if you need more information, or a referral, give us a call. We’ll help you with resources that enhance your life.

A Reader’s Comment

Dear Mary Ellen and Ed,

Thank you as always for a sane newsletter.

So far I am successfully abstinent. I occasionally run into patients from the recovery house, and their tales of other ‘s relapsing and returning to the 21 day “Rehab program” at the VA, make me happy I chose the CBT model to quit drinking.

No more revolving doors for me!
Thank you,

As always, for information or just to talk, one of us answers the phone personally from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time, Monday – Thursday, unless we are with clients, or from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

If we don’t answer, leave your name and number and one of us will usually be able to get back to you within an hour.