What's New - May 15, 1999

Support Systems - Part I
The next few installments of WOA's "What's New" will focus on support systems. Sometimes for a while, sometimes for life, people utilize various community based support systems to assist with recovery from addiction. We think that the community support networks that exist worldwide are incredibly good examples of people helping themselves and helping each other. In many cases, there is little or no cost connected with these services - you can take advantage even if you're broke. What you will tend to find in most if not all of these resources is caring people who have been where you are and done what you did, and can show by example how to "loosen the grip" of addiction.

A Wealth of Resources
We will examine all of the best known support systems for recovering people (and their family and friends). SOS, Rational Recovery, Women for Sobriety, Al-Anon, even Moderation Management will be covered. If you are interested in finding a support group, you should find help here. To kick things off we want to visit the on-line world of Alcoholics Anonymous.

A Good Place to Start
Alcoholics Anonymous is a great place to start; it is, after all, one of the historically oldest and most widely used support systems in the world. And it is a world-wide organization, and well represented on the Web. Searching for the term "Alcoholics Anonymous" on some of the more popular search engines brings up 718 documents on Thunderstone, 120 references at Yahoo!, a whopping 1,320 links from Webcrawler, and an amazing 33,301 hits from Alta Vista. Obviously, we won't be sharing all of these connections with you, but hopefully you will find some information you can really use. The AA Central Office maintains a website that would have to be considered the official home on the Internet for AA. You can access the site in English, Spanish or French. Several of AA's most widely read pamphlets are available here, including Is AA for You?, and A Message to Teenagers. These are two, twelve question surveys to help you determine if AA might be a good place for you to be. You can also find information for professionals, advance notice of AA's millenium conference in Minnesota, and basic guidelines on anonymity.

Not Just an Organization
Alcoholics Anonymous is the name of the organization, but it's also the name of the text that decribes how the program works. Alcoholics Anonymous has been the basic recovery text for thousands and thousands of alcoholics, and other addicts as well. The text is widely known by its more familiar appelation "The Big Book", and TBB is on-line in a variety of formats. www.recovery.org has TBB divided into all of its chapters, stories, and appendix, and also takes you to some hightlighted spots like The Promises. Another version of TBB resides on the University of Texas server. A copy of the book with a search engine attached is available from Anonymous Press. There is even an online Big Book discussion group!
A concordance is an accompanying text that provides an exhaustive reference to words, phrases, and concepts in a book. For an example of a concordance for TBB, try this site from Roy Y. Another concordance covering the first 164 pages of the book, is provided by AA in San Antonio.
Of course, the basis of AA has to be the 12 Steps and the 12 Traditions, and many versions of these guidelines can be found online as well.

Find a Meeting On-Line
The Anonymous Press lists telephone numbers for contacting AA from around the world. There are 10 different numbers in 9 different cities in Iceland, for example! It would be hard to say you couldn't find a meeting with a list like this available. Our friend Buddy T. at The Mining Company provides a state-by-state rundown of AA meeting lists on the internet. Another listing of meetings by state is maintained by Soberspace. 12stepmeetings.com, as its name implies, lists not only AA meetings world-wide but also NA, CA, Debtors Anonymous and many other 12-step support groups.

Find an On-Line Meeting
The corollary to the above involves finding an online meeting. There are a large number of meetings that occur in realtime and online so you can hook up with Cyber and Sober friends almost any time of the day or night. Some of our favorite resources for this include:

More To Come!
Don't forget, over the next several weeks we will post more information on recovery options of all types. Bookmark this page and check back frequently!

New Links

MSNBC takes an in-depth look at addiction. Be sure to visit this one!
Caron Foundation - who's slogan is "Excellence In Treatment" shows us some excellence in web site development as well.
The National Gambling Impact Study Commission puts announcements, minutes and other pertinent information on the 'net.
Here's something guaranteed to sober you up - the Drug War Clock tells you how much money is being spent trying to win the war on drugs. It updates while you watch. Not for the faint of heart or pocketbook.

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The Web of Addictions pages Copyright © 1999 by Andrew L. Homer Ph.D. andDick Dillon. All rights reserved.

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