Are You Tired of Being a Spectator in Your Life?

Really, that’s what alcohol abuse reduces us to. Instead of being active participants, we become spectators, numbing our disappointments and nursing our regrets when we aren’t imagining grandiose successes that we’re never going to achieve as long as alcohol is our teammate.

I grew up in a western Pennsylvania steel town where high school football was king. When the industry collapsed, a friend took over the family bar and collected 20 years of old high school 8mm game films. He’s made a good living replaying these nightly for former high school heros, out of work and gone to seed, reliving their glory days, and avoiding doing anything about the present or future.

Now it’s too late for them.

But for most of us there’s still time to get up off the bench, or the bar stool, or the recliner, and do something else. Or to leave a family member to their alcohol companion and get a life of our own.

Regardless of your situation, you really can choose to alter your life for the better. That requires no one’s permission or cooperation but your own.

You don’t need to join a cult, confess your sins, label yourself, or have a spiritual awakening. You can simply begin to make the small day-to-day changes that lead to a much better life.

That’s what we help people do: stabilize, prioritize, plan, and execute with anti-craving meds, CBT, good counseling, followed up with 12 weeks of thorough and personal short term support and all adding up to excellent results.

Over two thirds of our clients are leading far better and happier lives two years later than when they came to see us. Many of the rest are still headed in that direction. That’s far better than the 12 Step programs 5% – 10% (and usually less) rate.

Ready? We were. We got off our benches and are actively living our lives. So are our clients.

Joining us, and them, starts with a phone call. Make the new year a really “new year”.

We’re pleased to reprint the following commentary from our friend and colleague, Dr. Stanton Peele: “Addiction, Recovery, And American Health Policy”

“America is a country that worships personal tales of redemption. If public figures are caught out drunk or on drugs, cheating on their wives, then they quickly head off to Betty Ford or Hazelden, apologize to their families and constituents, and promise not to stray or drink again. And we forgive them.

This process derives from America’s revival tradition. At the revival meeting, people rise and denounce the evil of their former ways, declare themselves saved, and commit themselves to God.

This was the format of the Temperance lecture that dominated the nineteenth century American landscape. And the Temperance confession is still with us in the form of Alcoholics Anonymous. For those of you who have been missing your 12-step meetings, here are selected steps to practice at home (note the presence of God, and the absence of alcohol):

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Although such penitence is repeated nightly around the country, these stories conflict with rational public policy. According to the latest government research (called NESARC), 30 percent of Americans at some point in their lives qualify for an “alcohol use disorder.” But, within four years, 70 percent recover without AA’s or Betty Ford’s help.

Others take longer. But only 1 percent of Americans fit the model of the AA members whose drinking carries them to the doors of hell and from which only God can rescue them. Among 300,000,000 Americans, that’s 3 million people. But 90 million Americans develop a different sort of drinking problem.

Many entertainment figures had bad drinking periods (Bing Crosby, Robert Redford, Steve Martin, Joe Scarborough) and cut back – the typical problem-drinking profile. We don’t hear much about them because they – and millions of others with similar stories – don’t go on lecture tours to tell their tales. Craig Ferguson’s compelling testimony about his dead-end alcoholism on You Tube, on the other hand, has had a million-and-a-half
views. How can you top that?

Nonetheless, for the first time – due to the NESARC research – government officials are questioning received opinion. Dr. Mark Willenbring, director of treatment and recovery research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, declared: alcoholism “can be a chronic, relapsing disease. But it isn’t usually.” Thus, intensive treatment addresses a minuscule part of America’s substance abuse problems.”

******

Frankly, we’ve been providing services on that basis for years. In so doing we do several things no one else does:

We honestly assess you and your situation and give a rational prognosis. Can you moderate? We don’t know because we don’t know you. But we can quickly figure it out.

We tell you what we think is the likeliest outcome for you, but we don’t dictate. You tell us what you want and we’ll tell you the odds and help you find the best way for you to maximize the chances.

Success rates? For us that based on how many clients report achieving what they set out to achieve. Not the industry standard of “wasn’t noticeably intoxicated while here” or the even more cynical “their check cleared”.

Yes, you may well be able to adapt on your own. But, like Ed, it may take you years rather than weeks. Can you really afford the time and the increased personal, family, and professional damage?

If not, we offer effective, confidential, permanent, and liberating solutions. No cults, no steps, no labels, no life long meetings, no groups, and no degradation.

Your alcohol abuse has been an understandable choice. Now’s the time to make a better and even more understandable choice.

Call us and let’s get started: 888-541-6340 (In L.A. and Alaska: 310-541-6350).

Please?

Whatever the degree of your alcohol problem, we can help you sort out your options.

So, with 2010 fast approaching, why not let us help make 2009 the year you left your alcohol troubles behind?

Whether you need to abstain or cut back, we’re here to help.

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 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.