This information is for both people who may have a drinking problem and for those in contact with people who have, or are suspected of having a problem.

Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have a drinking problem. It is a nonprofessional, self-supporting, nondenominational, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

Pre-Certification.Depending on the severity of the addiction problem, in some cases the person may be required to go thru a detox and/or 30 day in patient treatment program. Your local hospitals, Primary Care Physicians and even you insurance carriers can refer you. Most insurance companies do provide coverage for substance abuse, but it is requires to check with the carrier prior to checking in for pre-certification. This will save on a lot of billing errors, hassles and aggravation later.

Identify whether you have a problem of drinking.

1. Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple days?
2. Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking – stop telling you what to do?
3. Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting drunk?
4. Have you ever had to have an eye-opener upon awakening during the past year? A drink to get you started or to stop shaking?
5. Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?
6. Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?
7. Has your drinking caused trouble at home?
8. Do you ever try to get “extra” drinks at a party because you do not get enough?
9. Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk when you don’t mean to?
10. Have you missed day of work or school because of drinking?
11. Do you have “blackouts”?
12. Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink?

If you answered yes four or more times you are probably in trouble with alcohol. However, only you can decide if AA is for you. Remember, Alcoholism and drug addiction are a disease.