Computer Assisted Recovery – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Many people, you may be one of them, have reservations about self-directed recovery, that is recovery without the aid of a medical facility or a counsellor.  You may also have questions about how logging in to a computer can help you to fight your addiction.  This page is designed to address some of the more common questions.

Don't people need medical help to recover from alcohol problems?

Don’t people need medical help to recover from alcohol problems?   It is true that some people need medical help, normally people who are severely dependent on alcohol and who are suffering withdrawal from alcohol. Withdrawal from alcohol can be very dangerous, even fatal. So for some people, medical treatment is necessary to take them through that withdrawal period. For the majority of people who are not actually physically withdrawing from alcohol, medical intervention is rarely necessary.

Okay, but shouldn't most people attend a medical agency to help them recover from alcohol problems?

Okay, but shouldn’t most people attend a medical agency to help them recover from alcohol problems?   Many people do attend a medical agency for treatment of alcohol problems. The public’s perception is that the accepted, or even only, way of recovering from alcohol problems is through medical treatment and/or Alcoholics Anonymous. However, not everyone with an alcohol problem, wants to, or does, seek medical treatment. Many prefer to go it alone to recover, that is by their own means.

How common is it for people with an alcohol problem to change without treatment?

How common is it for people with an alcohol problem to change without treatment?  For many years, people believed that it was possible, but rare for people to change without treatment. Recent research would suggest that it is actually extremely common. In fact, this research suggests that between 70 and 90% of the people who recover from addiction problems do so without the aid of treatment.

If someone can recover without medical treatment, doesn't this prove that they were never actually addicted in the first place?

If someone can recover without medical treatment, doesn’t this just prove that they were never actually addicted in the first place?   Many people, and particularly those who believe that alcoholism is a disease, have tried to make that argument. It is a circular argument that goes along the lines of, you can’t recover from alcohol problems without treatment and therefore if you recover without treatment, you never had an alcohol problem to begin with.

However, the research has shown that people who have recovered from an alcohol problem without treatment often had problems that were just as severe, and in some cases even more severe, then those who attended medical treatment. The main factor in whether people attend, a medical facility or not, would not appear to be the severity of their problem. Instead it seems to be a combination of other factors. For example, does the individual believe that medical treatment is required? Is there external pressure on the individual to go to treatment, for example ultimatums from loved ones or employers or even a court order. Does the individual have faith that medical treatment works? Is the individual willing to be branded an alcoholic?  Is treatment even available?

Okay maybe people with alcohol problems don't actually need medical attention but surely they need a trained counsellor?

Okay maybe people with alcohol problems don’t actually need medical attention but surely they need a trained counsellor?   Again the answer is no. As said above, the majority of people with alcohol problems recover without the aid of treatment. This means any treatment and not just medical treatment, and it also includes Alcoholics Anonymous. The function of a counsellor is to help people use their own resources to recover from problems, in this case, alcohol problems. Many counsellors are very skilled and very successful at this, some are less so. However, many people can actually marshal and use their own resources without the need of a trained counsellor.

The research shows that many self changers confide in friends and family and that this provides sufficient help for them to change. Indeed some friends and family are extremely good at listening and helping people with problems. In recognition of this, some commentators have christened them lay therapists.

How can a website possibly help people with alcohol problems?

How can a website possibly help people with alcohol problems?   There’s a long tradition of people being helped by books and pamphlets. One of the best known of these books is the big book Alcoholics Anonymous. AA spread throughout the world through the big book with the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous as a recipe for recovery. For many this was the only contact with any help they had and it worked for millions.  Modern website have an advantage over self-help books as they can be interactive. Therefore you can input information about yourself, the web site can process that information and make suggestions.

So it is just a collection of questionnaires and feedback?

So it is just a collection of questionnaires and feedback?   Older websites that tried to be interactive, often worked in that sort of way. While they may have been innovative at the time, they didn’t really represent how human beings worked or thought. Indeed, they were very limited and extremely frustrating. The newer technology means that we can create websites that are far more meaningful and far more representative of human thought.

In this website we do use a couple of questionnaires, however, the tools used in this particular website are unique and have been especially created to aid your natural thought processes. These tools are backed up with instructional videos showing you not only how to use the actual tool, but also how to interpret the information for yourself. This puts you in control, you make all the decisions, not the computer.  The website merely organises the data in a way that makes the decision process easier. The result is that working through this process not only helps you to address your current problem, but teaches you the skills to address any other problems in any other spheres of your life.

For other information about why you should sign up to 24/7 Help Yourself go here.