When you're finally able to admit that you have a problem with alcohol, you'll hopefully be at a point that you realize you need help. While going to a treatment facility should be on your radar, this can be a big step — especially if you've never sought help in the past. You might start by joining an online forum dedicated to helping people quit drinking. While this isn't a true alternative to a properly structured treatment program, it may be a key step in getting you into treatment. Keep these dos and don'ts in mind.
Do: Ask for Help
While it can be tempting to simply "lurk" in the forum and read peoples posts, you'll get the most out of this experience by asking for help. Don't be afraid to start a new thread in which you provide details about your drinking problem, how it has affected your life, and more. Ask for advice from those who have been in your shoes and evaluate how the various pieces of advice might benefit you.
Don't: Confuse Forum Members with Professionals
There's no denying that addiction forum members may offer thoughts that are helpful to you. For example, someone may talk about a way of thinking that shifted his or her alcoholism, you this may prompt you to explore this mindset. You need to stop short of confusing your forum peers with professionals, though. While you can listen to their comments and pull value from them, you need to remember that this isn't the same as going to a treatment program.
Do: Try to Help Others
Online forums are communities in which people can exchange ideas. Even if you're seeking out this community for the help that you hope it can provide, you shouldn't shy away from sharing your experiences in the hope that they might help others. Word your statements carefully, using terms such as, "I've found some success with this idea in the past" rather than phrases such as, "I guarantee this will work for you."
Don't: Forget that the Forum Doesn't Replace Treatment
If you get some helpful ideas from your forum peers, you may notice that you're able to get a handle on your alcoholism to some degree. This isn't the time to think that your addiction is fixed, though. Relapses are highly common with alcoholism, and unless you visit a structured treatment program, you may struggle to stay clean. An addiction forum can definitely be a good first step in moving toward help, but it's not a replacement for a proper program. Contact local alcohol rehab counseling services to learn how you can use traditional treatment and your newfound online community to overcome your addiction for good.
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