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Help for an Alcoholic Struggling with Addiction for 25 Years

15 Jul

Do you have any programs that would help an alcoholic attempting to stop his addiction of 25 years and he is having a difficult time.

JJ

Dear JJ,

Thanks for the question.  I'll try to answer, but I need to start with a few questions of my own.  For instance:

  • What, if anything, has he tried in the past?  
  • Has he ever tried AA or any other kind of recovery program or peer support group?  
  • Has he ever been in residential treatment? Been evaluated by a CAC (Certified Alcoholism Counselor)?
  • Of the things he may have tried, has anything ever worked, even for a little while, and if so, what?  
  • Have you ever sought help for yourself for an assist in dealing with this - a program like Al-Anon or personal counseling?

But in the meantime, absent answers to these questions, I'll respond in ways that I can.  The bottom line:  yes, we do potentially have some good resources to help this man.  Given what you describe, it's likely he'll need other kinds of treatment and support as well, but our tools can help, either by themselves or as part of a whole regimen.   

We have my guided imagery for Recovery from Alcohol & Other Drugs that gets good feedback from the recovery community.

In addition, there's a wonderful 2-CD set of guided meditations to go with each of the 12 steps of recovery, designed by experts in the field, Charles & Patti Leviton, that I highly recommend.  It's called Inward Peace, Outward Power.  

Those are the two most targeted resources we have for this challenge.  But another title that a lot of people struggling with addiction really seem to appreciate and respond well to is Nurturing Your Inner Child by William DeFoore, also an excellent piece of work.

But I wouldn't load him up with all three at first. Better to start with one and see if he likes guided imagery as an approach.  If so, he can work with one for a while before adding something else.  

But chances are, he's going to need more than just audio recordings for help with this, at least initially, so if he can get a good evaluation - from a therapist or counselor who is experienced with chemical dependency, please!! – as well as some good support from a program, that would be good. 

And keep in mind, he may need to start out in residential treatment to get properly launched into abstinence - and sometimes it takes more than one stay!

Best wishes,
Belleruth

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award