Guidance For Questions Regarding AA, Detox, Rehab, & Sober Living

A Brief Summary of Types of Recovery Support Programs, Detox, Rehab & Sober Living

I'm blown away and truly humbled at the response my blog has generated! Thank you so much, y'all! Over the course of several posts, I've received a few questions and figured it would be important to address some of these concerns publicly. I believe this information will be helpful to anyone struggling with understanding the different types of support out there or how to go about entering a detox or treatment (rehab) facility. Imma touch on sober living, too.

There is a smorgasbord of recovery support groups out there, but I can only speak from my experience, so I will be covering Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART Recovery), and Celebrate Recovery (CR). You know, just a couple.

The Anyonymous's are friggin' life-changing programs, y'all! The sense of community and support is overwhelming, and often a welcome reprieve from the hostility alcoholics and addicts are accustomed to receiving. In those Halls, you can find it all. Doctors, lawyers, cashiers, teachers, bankers, chefs, and workers of the night. But all that is set aside during a meeting. For that hour or hour and a half, it is simply a room of fellow drunks and addicts, sharing advice and providing empathy. They are beautiful programs, honestly, and we are so lucky to have them.

Now, I will give a short overview of The Anonymous's I have attended.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

I thoroughly enjoy AA, and attending meetings brings me great comfort. It is a 12 Step Program, meaning there are a set of steps that you work to help understand your drinking, so that you may abstain from it in the future. There is an amazing book, simply titled Alcoholics Anonymous, but referred to as The Big Book in meetings, that changed my life. Seriously, it is an inspiring read for anyone suffering from internal conflict. You can visit their website here for more information. I think most cities are back to in-person meetings, but if you'd still rather not, there are online options. It's not a cult, there's no religious pressure, and it really does save lives. It is where I learned how to identify as an alcoholic, which is vital to your recovery.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

I also thoroughly enjoy NA, AA's cousin for my addict friends. NA is a 12 Step Program, as well, however, it is more specific to narcotics; rather than referencing liquor and blackouts, it is more geared toward drug use and being high. NA has its own book, Narcotics Anonymous, called The Basic Text in meetings, and guides those suffering from drug addiction to recovery. Here is their website for more information. As with AA, you can attend meetings either in-person or online.

Cocaine Anonymous (CA)

Of all my Anonymous meetings, I have never laughed harder than when attending a CA meeting. There's just something about the atmosphere. They're still serious meetings, but everything feels a bit more laid back than AA or NA. I think they're great. In my experience, CA uses AA's book as their basic text, while interspersing some other texts from AA and NA. You can visit their website here. As with AA and NA, you can attend meetings in-person or online.

I would also like to mention Al-Anon, a program created for the families and friends of alcoholics and addicts. I have not attended these meetings myself, but I know that my Dad and Aunt have gone to one or two and found the experience very rewarding. They were able to identify with others, air some grievances of their own, and I am very grateful for this program. You can find more information on their website, which is here.

If The Anonymous's aren't quite your thing, there's also SMART Recovery, which I attended off and on for a couple of years. I found it to be very enlightening and thought-provoking and would recommend it to anyone searching for a cerebral approach to recovery.

Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART Recovery)

SMART Recovery uses CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) in a group setting to help you process and understand your drinking from a scientific approach, using their 4-Point Program. There is a workbook and online community you can join. I attended in-person meetings, but with SMART Recovery there is literally an online world that you can join. Their presence is massive and astounding and you can find more information on their website: here ya go.

If neither of those feels like a good fit, you could try Celebrate Recovery.

Celebrate Recovery (CR)

CR makes me feel warm and fuzzy. It is a Christian-based, 12 Step Program for those afflicted by any form of pain, hurt, or addiction. I know many friends that combine CR with specific Bible Study Groups, creating an amazing support network. If you're more interested in a Christian approach to recovery, I would check out CR. Their website is right here.

Onto detox and treatment (rehab). Now, I've spoken a bit about detox and treatment before, but it's worth repeating: I am not a doctor, psychiatrist, therapist, or anything of the sort. I am also not in the insurance industry, as I will be writing on that, as well. So, that's that.

You will know if detox or treatment is right for you. This is a heavy decision but one that your heart will tell you, and you should listen, my friends. I understand cost and insurance coverage are great, valid concerns, but this is your life at stake. Fight for it like you fight for that bottle, pipe, or needle.

As for insurance, I would suggest calling the phone number on the back of your insurance card and asking them to advise you of facilities that accept your coverage. You can also search for facilities and centers on Google, and the most credible ones will list their accepted insurances on their websites. Make sure you do your research before entering a facility or center.

On the flip side, if you do not have insurance, all you need to do is call these facilities and centers. Tell them you don't have insurance and ask if they offer any sort of assistance program, know of any assistance programs, or can provide any guidance. They're in the business of helping alcoholics and addicts and can be a wealth of knowledge if only you'll take the time to reach out.

Detox Facilities

Once I began to experience serious physical withdrawal symptoms, I knew it was important for me to detox under the care of medical providers. I have done it on my own and would not recommend it. Detoxing by yourself is extremely dangerous, especially if you're an alcoholic or ate a lot of Xanax. Be smart and be safe, your pride be damned. There are many comfortable facilities out there, do your research and let them take care of you. They provide medicine to aid with adverse withdrawal symptoms, counselors, and therapy sessions. There is no shame in going to detox, y'all.

Treatment Centers

Treatment centers are beginning to have a more positive portrayal due to the hyper-focus of the opioid epidemic. Just as there is no shame in going to detox, you should not feel negative about yourself upon choosing to enter treatment. I realize we usually enter treatment at the lowest point in our lives, so naturally, you're going to feel negative about yourself, but don't let this compound it. Entering treatment shows a desire and willingness to change. Be proud of yourself for taking the next right step. Do the work, have emotional breakdowns, make lasting connections that will hold you accountable. I'm a huge advocate for treatment, and I cover it quite extensively in my memoir.

As I've said, do your research. Find a couple of centers you like and call them. Ask questions, even the silly ones. Believe me, I asked some crazy, entitled, bougie questions in my drunken haze and they were always happy to answer.

If you choose to enter treatment, they will most likely speak with you about sober living. Honestly, sober living is an excellent tool that I utilized for nearly 2 years. It's tough, oh yes, but it most certainly holds you accountable.

Sober Living

This is where things get a bit tricky. You see, in most states, insurance isn't supposed to pay for sober living. It's a whole scam thing if they do, and a sheisty living situation that you should avoid. And I'll just be upfront, sober living is expensive. However, do not let this deter you. There are many viable, earnest, cost-effective, awesome sober living facilities out there. Again, I'm going to suggest searching Google, doing your homework, asking questions, and finding the best fit for yourself. If this is not an option, and you're on the streets, find somewhere to go and surrender to their program. At this point, you need it, and don't you be ashamed of yourself, either! They most likely have an assistance program, though. Call and ask. Take the first step, be brave. I know you can do it, because I did it. I will post more, at a later date, on sober living. For now, just know that I'm also an advocate of sober living.

Alright, y'all. If you need more specific information, please reach out to me. And, as always, until next time, have fun!


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