Alcoholics have been the stuff of movies, novels, television shows, plays, even children’s cartoons, for as long as those media have existed. Innumerable movies focus on alcoholics and their problems: The Upside of Anger, Lost Weekend, Barfly, Leaving Las Vegas, Days of Wine and Roses, Bad Santa, Arthur and scores more.

Television has brought a long list of drunks into our homes every week: Norm on Cheers, Barney Gumble on The Simpsons, Otis Campbell, the “town drunk” on The Andy Griffith Show. Foster Brooks, a comedian from the 1970s, built a considerable part of his career on playing a drunk in a night club. There was even a Bugs Bunny cartoon from 1959 in which a stork gets drunk after drinking congratulatory rounds for each baby delivery and then loses the last baby he is to deliver.

It might be easy to forget that alcoholism is tragic and painful. Definitely, some books and movies show the downside of alcoholism, such as the delirium tremens (DTs) suffered by Ray Milland in Lost Weekend. But in the end, books, movies, cartoons and television shows are entertainments that don’t have to be taken seriously.

However, anyone who has lived with or loved a person with an alcohol problem knows that this situation is about the least entertaining way to live.

An alcoholic, by definition, has lost the ability to control his or her drinking. Once that drink is placed in front of him, he won’t stop until the alcohol is gone. Families may adjust to the behavior of members who are alcoholic, compensating for their actions or shielding them from harm. But the only action to take is to get the alcoholic into a treatment program that actually handles the alcoholism.

Plenty of people go into drunk tanks to dry out, go before the judge on a DUI, get suspended licenses, maybe even spend some time in jail. These actions are attempts to protect society from harm at the hands of an alcoholic but they are not effective ways of helping the alcoholic achieve a sober, productive life.

Alcoholics who have been through a number of short-term rehabs or even long-term ones who were not able to stay sober afterwards may feel that nothing can help them recover from their alcoholism. But they have not tried the innovative alcohol recovery program at Narconon Arrowhead.

From the first moment a person enters the program, it’s obvious that this alcohol recovery facility is different. No one is handing out medication for alcohol treatment, there are no discussion meetings. There is no attitude that addiction has to be a lasting condition. It’s assumed from the time the person walks in that recovery is going to happen and it can be complete. Alcoholism and drug addiction can be a thing of the past, not something haunting that walks with you every step of the way for the rest of your life.

That first step in the Narconon program, Withdrawal, consists of gentle reorientation exercises, one-on-one with the staff, physical assists to calm the body as it goes through its initial detoxification and nutritional support to help the body recover from the abuse it took during the addiction.

Once this initial detoxification is done, each person has a chance to rid themselves of stored toxins that have been shown in thousands of cases to be involved in triggering cravings. When drugs or alcohol are consumed, some of the parts of the drug that are broken down by the body are stored in the fatty tissues of the body. They tend to stay right there until perhaps heavy exercise or stress release them, at which point they may help trigger a craving for another drink. When these residues are flushed out using vitamin supplements, minerals, healthy oils, exercise and a dry heat sauna, recovering addicts have a chance to think clearly again, to recover an ability to feel emotions, to enjoy life, that all might have been lost in the addicted years.

Further alcohol recovery is accomplished by helping each person correct the damage done during their addiction. This is accomplished by helping each recovering addict restore their life skills, sober living decision-making skills. The steps include classes with theory and practice on skills like knowing how to make any situation better, understanding what kind of friend is safe to associate with, and then by learning a non-denominational moral code that provides a compass for thinking and action if life gets challenging.

It takes a long-term residential alcohol treatment program to make this happen. It takes staff who knows what the recovering addicts and alcoholics are going through and who know how to help. And it takes a curriculum that has been proven over forty-five years of experience. When seven out of ten graduates stay clean after they go home, you know you have a program that has a great chance of working with any alcoholic to help them achieve lasting sobriety.

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