Frequently Asked Questions
Alcoholism is a chronic form of alcohol abuse characterized by an inability to consistently manage ones drinking habits. According to the New Oxford American Dictionary it is: “an addiction to the consumption of alcoholic liquor or the mental illness and compulsive behavior resulting from alcohol dependency.” It is a chronic and progressive disease that wreaks havoc on every major organ in the human body. Alcohol Use Disorder, as it is clinically known, led to 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States from 2006-2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is thought to have both genetic and social components exacerbated by early and excessive use. While there is no known cure it can be held in permanent remission by use. Alcohol Use Disorder is an illness, a progressive illness, which can never be cured but which, like some other diseases, can be arrested.
Going one step further, many A.A.s feel that the illness represents the combination of a physical sensitivity to alcohol and a mental obsession with drinking, which, regardless of consequences, cannot be broken by willpower alone.
AUD is not a failure of willpower or a moral weakness as it was once considered. It is a sickness. The misconception that it is a moral failure
Before they are exposed to A.A., many alcoholics who are unable to stop drinking think of themselves as morally weak or, possibly, mentally unbalanced. The A.A. concept is that alcoholics are sick people who can recover if they will follow a simple program that has proved successful for more than two million men and women.
Once alcoholism has set in, there is nothing morally wrong about being ill. At this stage, free will is not involved, because the sufferer has lost the power of choice over alcohol. The important thing is to face the facts of one’s illness and to take advantage of the help that is available. There must also be a desire to get well. Experience shows that the A.A. program will work for all alcoholics who are sincere in their efforts to stop drinking; it usually will not work for those not absolutely certain that they want to stop.
Only you can make that decision. Many who are now in A.A. have previously been told that they were not alcoholics, that all they needed was more willpower, a change of scenery, more rest, or a few new hobbies in order to straighten out. Many of these same people finally came to the realization that they were losing their battle with alcohol and were ready to try anything that would free them from the compulsion to drink.
Some of these men and women went through terrifying experiences with alcohol before they were ready to admit that alcohol was not for them. They became derelicts, stole, lied, cheated, and even killed while they were drinking. They took advantage of their employers and abused their families. They were completely unreliable in their relations with others. They wasted their material, mental, and spiritual assets.
Many others with far less tragic records have turned to A.A., too. They have never been jailed or hospitalized. Their too-heavy drinking may not have been noticed by their closest relatives and friends. But they knew enough about alcoholism as a progressive illness to scare them. They joined A.A. before they had paid too heavy a price.
There is a saying in A.A. that there is no such thing as being a little bit alcoholic. Either you are, or you are not. And only the individual involved can say whether or not alcohol has become an unmanageable problem.
So far as can be determined, no one who has become an alcoholic has ever ceased to be an alcoholic. The mere fact of abstaining from alcohol for months or even years has never qualified an alcoholic to drink “normally” or socially. Once the individual has crossed the borderline from heavy drinking to irresponsible alcoholic drinking, there seems to be no retreat. Few alcoholics deliberately try to drink themselves into trouble, but trouble seems to be the inevitable consequence of an alcoholic’s drinking.
After quitting for a period, the alcoholic may feel it is safe to try a few beers or a few glasses of light wine. But it is not too long before the alcoholic is back in the old pattern of too-heavy drinking — in spite of all efforts to set limits for only moderate, social drinking.
The answer, according to a majority of leaders in the field of addiction medicine, is that if you are an alcoholic, you will never be able to control your drinking for any length of time. That leaves two paths open: to let your drinking become worse and worse with all the damaging results that follow, or to quit completely and to develop a new pattern of sober, constructive living.
For the alcoholic, one drink of alcohol in any form is likely to be too much, and twenty drinks are not enough. To be sure of sobriety, alcoholics simply have to stay away from alcohol, regardless of the quantity, mixture, or concentration they may think they can control. Obviously, few persons are going to get drunk on one or two bottles of beer. The alcoholic knows this as well as the next person.
But alcoholics may convince themselves that they are simply going to take two or three beers and then quit for the day. Occasionally, they may actually follow this program for a number of days or weeks, Eventually, they decide that as long as they are drinking, they may as well “do a good job.” So they increase their consumption of beer or wine. Or they switch to hard liquor.
And again, they are back where they started.
Clean and Social will help you build a daily practice to support you on your AA journey. You can keep your daily journal, write and share your gratitude lists, learn to meditate, find service opportunities and connect with AA friends on Clean and Social.
No. Many members of Clean and Social are not alcoholic at all; they just enjoy socializing in safe, drug and alcohol free, environments. People who join do so for myriad reasons from the positive social network and the personal growth options to the articles on mental, physical, and spiritual fitness. You may also opt to remain anonymous.
Anyone can join Clean and Social. The tools for personal growth are applicable to everyone. We have members who are trying to get sober, we have members who have been sober 30 years, and we have members who just enjoy socializing in a safe, drug and alcohol free environment. All are welcomed!
When Founder Thom Deem began his sobriety journey he was struck by the dearth of social options available to those who need to, or prefer to, socialize without drugs and alcohol. “I was taught that the opposite of addiction is connection, and yet, in the anonymous world of addiction recovery, connections are difficult to establish. So, I set my mind to doing something about it. Clean and Social is that something.” Said Thom.
There are very few rules on Clean and Social that you didn’t learn in kindergarten. Don’t bully. If you can’t think of anything nice to say, maybe you just don’t have anything to say. We’re here to support one another, not fix one another. Do not show up to any Clean and Social events under the influence. If you show up to a date under the influence, you may be reported and dating privileges may be revoked or suspended. If security at one of the events suspects you are under the influence they may ask you to take a breathalyzer test; if you fail or refuse, you will be asked to leave. All members, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, age, citizenship status, genetic information, gender identification, and sexual preference are equal members of the Clean and Social tribe and are expected to be treated as family. Gossip about another member on the social feed is frowned upon and may be moved to Mean and Social.
Like A.A., Clean and Social is not a religious society, since it requires no definite religious belief as a condition of membership. Although it has been endorsed and approved by many religious leaders, it is not allied with any organization or sect. Clean and social is a universal self-development platform. The tools and functions are designed to aid in personal and spiritual development along whatever path you choose toward whatever life you want to create. Included, and welcomed, in its membership are members of all religious traditions, as well as agnostics, and atheists.
Non religion-specific meditation can lower blood pressure, relieve anxiety, increase the ability to focus, and speed physical and mental healing regardless of your belief system.
There are many opportunities for dating under the influence. This is not one of them.
We, like AA and other programs, strongly recommend you get a year of sobriety before dating. The first year of sobriety presents many challenges and changes that require full attention. Strong emotional swings are not your friend in the early going.
There are countless opportunities to socialize around drugs and alcohol. This is not one of them. If you are still struggling with addiction, you are still welcomed as a member but in order to keep all dating and all events safe for everyone, you will not be allowed to participate while currently under the influence.