What you can do to refer
Many health care professionals have found effective ways to refer people to A.A. One said:
"No one suffers more than the alcoholic. When you once touch the life of an alcoholic and help him or her to recover, when you observe this incredible change from a suffering, helpless, sick (and dying) person to one who is alive, vital, functioning, and happy, you will be part of a rich, rewarding, and profound experience. A.A. is the most effective means of helping an alcoholic to stop drinking."
Another physician suggests health care professionals should attend open A.A. meetings, as it is extremely difficult to feel confident in referring someone to an organisation about which the health care professional has little information. This health care professional finds it helpful to have a list of A.A. contacts available to take people to their first meeting. She suggests specific inquiries as to which meetings have been attended, how frequently, and whether the client has obtained an A.A. sponsor to serve as a link to the Fellowship and help the client work a program of recovery. Whether the alcoholic is suffering from a diseased liver or an emotional depression, getting him or her sober is the first step toward recovery. Wherever he or she lives, there is sure to be an A.A. meeting nearby for help in maintaining sobriety.
If you would like further information, please call or write to the New Zealand General Service Office.
"Drink responsibly" has done as much for alcoholism as "Have a nice day" has for depression.
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