2006-12-07 / About Town

Getting help for alcohol problems

Alcoholism has touched nearly every family. There are some 14 million Americans currently battling alcohol addiction, which can lead to breakdown of the family, job loss, stress, anger, depression and lifethreatening illness.

Alcoholism is a disease that, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, includes four symptoms: craving, loss of control, physical dependence, and tolerance. Alcoholics are compelled to drink. They are unable to limit their drinking on any given occasion, and when not drinking they suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety.

With treatment and support, many individuals are able to stop drinking and rebuild their lives.

The NIAAA suggests that the person should see a doctor or other health care provider. The doctor can help determine whether someone has a drinking problem and, if so, recommend the best course of action.

Area resources The state Department of Mental Health Retardation and Hospitals lists several agencies.

For detoxification, there is SSTAR in North Kingstown as a 30- bed residential facility that provides rehabilitation services. The number is 294-0419 or 1-800-RI-SOBER.

For outpatient counseling, the MHRH lists CODAC III in Newport at 846-4150, Child and Family Services of Newport County at 849- 2300, Newport County Community Mental Health Center at 846-1213, and Meadows Edge Recovery Center in North Kingstown at 294-7240. For a complete list of services, visit the Web site at www.mhrh.state. ri.us/bh_sa_agencylist.htm.

Alcoholics Anonymous has meetings virtually every day in Jamestown and area communities. In Jamestown, AA meets on Sundays at St. Matthew's church at 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays at St. Matthew's at 5:15 p.m.; Wednesdays, at the PAC, 7 a.m.; Thursdays at St. Matthew's at 5:30 p.m.; and Fridays at St. Matthew's at 5 p.m.

Alanon, for family and friends of people with drinking problems, meets Mondays at the PAC at 6 p.m.

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