Resolving addiction in the new year

Addiction Rehabilitation
Addiction Rehabilitation(MGN)
Published: Dec. 27, 2022 at 4:38 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The new year is an opportunity for change and Alcoholics Anonymous sees an influx of people in early January for that reason.

Some join a local group for resources to quit their addiction, some are seeking the support of people who have experienced the same challenges and others are there because a loved one is concerned with their dependency.

A local recovered alcoholic, Joe (no last name to preserve his anonymity) shared his story with us – he has not only conquered his alcohol addiction, but now serves as a mentor for others, and is a pillar in his community. Joe has seen all stages of alcohol addiction in our community.

“A lot of times we know we have a problem before others do. The difference is, when you start drinking, you can’t stop.”

Joe says trust is fundamental which is why people are able to attend meetings without being worried they’ll be exposed in their everyday life – they can move through the steps without judgement. He says AA maintains anonymity and privacy at a personal level, but as an organization, they want to get the word out that they can help people ready to confront their addiction.

For Joe though, his friends and family know about his dependency and he has every day reminders to keep him on track, like plaques on his living room wall of AA tenets. “If you see somebody in the meeting that you know, you have to remember that they’re there for the same reason. I didn’t try to hide it every time I went into the liquor store so I don’t hide it whenever I try to go to get help.”

For those not ready to share their identity, Joe says it will be protected as a part of the mission of the organization. And, he says, it’s important to break the stigma of what kind of people deal with addiction, many of whom are successful in other areas of their lives, they may be your family members or friends.

“You can be an alcoholic or have a drinking problem if you have a job and you keep a job, and you have a nice house and 2 cars in the garage. I go to meetings with doctors and lawyers and members of different professional communities, with elected officials and we’re also just there to help.”

And he wants people to know that there is help available when you decide you’re ready to receive it. “Our meetings are open to anyone and they can come and sit and listen. They essentially have to figure out on their own, do I have a problem.”>

There are many resources in the Ozarks for those who think they may have an addiction.

-Alcoholics Anonymous Springfield Missouri

-Various inpatient and outpatient centers for rehab

-Cox Health and Mercy have their own rehabilitation and addiction services

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