Hi All:
Duaine M here;
Before you start reading I want to insert my thoughts on this members article.

It's important to know that in SOS there is a diversity of thought and just about everything is debated.  So what you read may be agreed on my a large majority of members or a small minority of members.

The final authority is........... "You"........... the member.

What I want to draw your attention to is the use of language and the appearance that there is agreement in SOS that addiction is some how a physiological illness, a disease and that the person who has become addicted is not held responsible for his or her actions.

I think putting such a easy simple explanation on this very complex issue is a disservice to those who have put a great deal of though and research into the nature of addictions.

We have Support groups where you can talk to others and maybe get a full picture of SOS in action.
Duaine Metevia
Duane Metevia

SOS E-Groups
Home E-Group of SOS

SOS Save Our Selves E-Support Group --Support and Information-

SOS Women E-Support Group --Set up to meet the needs of women in SOS

SOS Friends and Families --Set up to meet the needs of friends and families of those who are or have
been addicted. http://www.itsachoice.org/group_family_friends.htm


Family members and friends of alcoholics and addicts are very welcome at SOS meetings. 
They may attend whether or not the person they are close is continuing their addiction or is in recovery.  Although, family and friends may not be addicted themselves, their lives are greatly affected by the addictive behavior of a loved one and they too need support, advice and the opportunity to share and learn. SOS offers support from people who have been on both sides - 
the experience of recovering addicts and other who have had to deal with the problems related to active addiction and the recovery process.


Many family and friends of alcoholics and addicts come to recovery groups desperately searching out for help and answers to their problems. SOS provides support and help on understanding and coping with the problems by providing information about chemical dependency and its consequences for relationships.

Family and friends of alcoholics and addicts often suffer as much or more physically and psychologically as the addicts themselves. They can get caught up in the behavioural crises of addicts in ways which then affect their own behaviour and physical and mental health. Moreover, their well-meaning actions may not work and they find that their actions are only further alienating the person and causing problems in their relationships. Living with an alcoholic and/or addict is incredibly stressful. The advice and support of other who have or continue to face this situation, as well as speaking to recovering alcoholics and addicts directly themselves, is critical to helping you help yourself and your loved one.

By coming to SOS, family and friends can learn about the illness and arm themselves against its negative effects. Understanding the illness rationally is the first step toward defending oneself from its destructive influence on you and your close ones, and also allowing YOU to free YOURSELF from its clutches, as well as helping you to aid your loved one in a more constructive way.

The first thing is to understand the Cycle of Addiction which your loved one is in and into which you have become entrapped. By understanding that addiction is a physiological illness, based on chemical dependency, which then dominates and warps the psychology of the addict, one is better able to see that the addiction is solely an individual journey for that person.  The addict must break their own denial and come to accept and acknowledge their addiction THEMSELVES, if they are to recover. It is not your fault or responsibility.  You are no more responsible for or able of curing cancer, if it befell a close one.  Like any other life threatening disease, the best you can do is find ways you wish to choose to be supportive and constructive toward the sufferer, which help them to recover and which, simultaneously do not damage your own physical or mental health or that of other family members. Full recover can be achieved and a good life rebuilt. However, in addiction relapse and death are an ever present threat, especially in the first few years. You cannot play a decisive influence in the outcome.  This relies with the addict taking responsibility for his/her own recovery. Support is important, but not at the expense of your own life and that of the rest of your family. Coming to SOS will help you how to learn to understand, cope and overcome addiction, to the benefit of the addict and, more especially, for the benefit of yourself.

Once your loved is sober and in recover, you also need to understand the Cycle of Sobriety  and the addict’s Sobriety Priority. This will help you to make sense of the decisions which he or she takes in everyday life.  Moreover, as recovery progresses, you will find a « new » person emerging from the shell of addiction.  This may be a wonderful and longed for thing. However, it can cause relational problems also, as the person goes through changes, confusion, as well as mood swings, which are part of recovery.  Possibly, you may find to your surprise that this « new » person is not what you want or expected.  In a perverse, unconscious way, you may even feel more secure with the « old » alcoholic/addict you once knew.  Unconsciously, you can contribute to undermining the person’s recovery, if you are not careful, or you may come to decide to separate from him or her. You will find that YOU also will begin to change as you become free of a direct relationship with an active alcoholic/addict. You can begin to change and grow and find a « new » person within yourself, with a clearer idea of your own needs and direction.  SOS will help you to understand better many of these processes taking place in your loved one, yourself and your relationship. This will arm you to deal and cope with the wonderful, but often complex road of recovery for YOU and your loved one.  

Family & Friends Recovery Cycle

is the fundamental basis from which to approach all other questions for you as a co-dependent. 
It allows you to free YOURSELF from the feelings of responsibility, anger and other feelings connected to being the close one of an alcoholic/addict and to go on to prioritise 
YOUR OWN WELL BEING on a daily basis.
1. Knowledge of Addiction & Sobriety Cycles
2. Daily

Acknowledgement & Acceptance

  3. Daily Prioritisation of Own Well-Being


Don’t give up hope ! Many alcoholics and addicts have been helped to choose recovery by the informed intervention of those who loved them. Many tens of thousands have done it alone ! 

 Learn all you can about alcoholism and addiction and, also its affects on relationships, family and otherwise. 

 Discover that you are not alone with the problem. Attend as many SOS meetings as you can, and other recovery groups, where possible or necessary. Talk informally with recovering alcoholics and addicts and other family and friends. Get their phone n°s and email addresses. 

 Be gentle on yourself and the alcoholic/addict in your life. Remember you too are recovering from the psychological effects of living with the addiction. Be good to yourself !  Make sure to get rest, eat properly and have treats. Also bear in mind that sobriety skills are not developed overnight either for you or your loved one, so give yourself credit for being understanding. 

 SOS stresses that sobriety must be the priority for the chemically dependent person. 
The Sobriety Priority is the alcoholic/addict’s bottom line. You too must learn to make your own well-being (and not the addict’s) YOUR PRIORITY. You can call it what you like - your 
« Health Priority », 
« Sanity Priority », 
«Happiness Priority ». 
Start making this your bottom line for decision-making . 

 Believe that the choices you make by prioritising your own well-being are the best thing you can do for the chemically dependent person.

 General Principles of SOS Family & Friends 

 All those who wish to gain understanding of their feelings about their relationship with an addicted person are welcome. 

 Family and friends may be invited by SOS groups to attend meetings with recovering alcoholics and addicts, as well as having the right to form separate SOS Family and Friends meetings, if they wish. 

 Honest, clear and direct communication of feelings, thoughts and knowledge aids in recovery.  Support in choosing non-destructive, non-delusional and rational approaches to living sober, rewarding lives helps in developing healthier relationships. 

 In SOS, family and friends gain insight into the workings of other recovering persons, as members share experiences, information, strengths and encouragement in friendly, honest and supportive group meetings. 

 SOS guards the anonymity of all those who attend meetings and the contents of the discussions from those not within the group. 

 SOS is not the spin-off of any political or religious group. SOS is concerned with aiding family and friends in developing understanding and compassion for the recovering individual.

 SOS encourages the scientific study of all aspects of alcoholism and addiction. 
SOS does not limit its outlook to one area of knowledge or theory of alcoholism and addiction.
 SOS is secular. We welcome all regardless of religious or non-religious beliefs. 
Spiritual and religious matters are not discussed in group and are respected 
as the private domain of each individual..

Why not use the article
to start a discussion in your group?
Recommended Reading
Living with a Drinker : How you can change things
by Mary Wilson (Harper Collins 1989)
A very down-to-earth, practical manual covering all the issues for partners of alcoholics. 
May be useful for those addicted to drugs too.
The following have much spiritual/moral content, but also contain much useful information :
Drinking Problems = Family Problems
by M.L.Mayer (Momenta)
Children of Alcoholics : How a Parent’s Drinking can Affect Your Life
by David Stafford (Piatkus, 1992)

Women Who Love Too Much
by Robin Norwood (Arrow, 1996)

Building Recovery
by Duaine Metevia


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OS Newsletter Winter -2012
Val. 24 No. 3

SOS Newsletter Spring - 2012
Val. 24 No 4

SOS Newsletter Summer - 2012
Val. 25 No 1

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