I must say, "Thank you" to my professor of our Addictions & Disorders course. She knew that reading books and hearing lectures are not going to cut it. It is best to throw yourself in the mix and hear stories and meet people who have problems with alcohol - and other addictive behaviours. You always hear jokes about, "I'm Bob, I'm an alcoholic." "Hi Bob" Then Bob goes on to tell his story. Well - it ain't no joke. That sentence takes a TON of guts and many many years to say. I am proud of the folks who can say that and who are making an improvement in their life. As an improvement in their life is a direct improvement in their loved one's - and their immediate circle of friends. One man today said that he was sober for 9 months - he was shaking while telling his story this morning. He was a proud father for the first time in years. He took his son skiing yesterday. That's fantastic. Another young woman got her 3 kids back - lost her husband but she said she didn't want him back anyway. It was interesting to hear how they all said they just flat out lied to the doctors about drinking. I can see that and expected it - but to hear it from person after person after person makes me very aware of the strength of addictions. When a patient comes into my office, it isn't about asking the right questions. It is more about being aware and sensing what is going on in their life. I don't want to be lied to. I want to provide assistance to someone who is at the point of admitting there may be a problem. You can bet I will have the Alcoholic Anonymous flyers and meetings in my clinic readily available - and sent in a Welcome Packet to all patients. We all know an alcoholic. If we don't, we're blind. Open your eyes. Offer assistance if you feel they are ready for it. The assistance is finding another alcoholic that is now sober and having that suffering individual speak with them. You ability to help is not as strong as a person who has been there and struggled with it - they bond strongly. I recommend Alchololics Anonymous. I am impressed. A great family support group for many many people. If you suffer from a drinking problem - or should I say - if you drink more than 3 drinks a day, 3 or more times a week, go visit an AA meeting. Just listen. You don't have to say a word. Just go, sit down, drink coffee, eat donuts and listen.