Local AA groups provide help during holidays | CraigDailyPress.com

Local AA groups provide help during holidays

Scott Schlaufman

For many people, the holidays are a time festivity and leisure with parties and celebrations aplenty.

For alcoholics, however, it's also a time of temptation, especially for those trying to quit.

"There's all the festivities and the parties and everybody's (saying), 'Hey, stop by, let's have a drink,'" said Bud N., a local resident and member of Alcoholics Anonymous whose full name is being withheld by the newspaper to protect his anonymity. "So, for an alcoholic, it's the greatest time of the year. But, if you're trying not to drink, it can be tough because you feel a little bit like, 'I can't have fun anymore', that type of thing."

Bud is among the many alcoholics who've had to deal with their disease this time of year by getting support through the local AA groups.

In Craig, there are two AA groups that operate throughout the week: one meets Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 630 Green St.; the other meets Mondays and Fridays at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 657 Green St.

The Tuesday meeting is a closed meeting strictly for those who have a desire to stop drinking. Wednesday meetings are for women only.

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The group is one of few agencies or organizations that won't be taking a break for the holiday. There will be a meeting at 8 p.m. tonight at First Congregational.

AA encourages its members, who pay no dues and take no pledges, to avoid drinking one day at a time and follow 12 steps to recovery.

The program contains a spiritual element but isn't affiliated with any denomination of religion, relying instead on what participants view as their personal higher power.

"It's not a Christianity thing," Bud said. "(It's about) coming to an understanding of a power greater than yourself. It can be the cosmos, the sun, Mother Nature, whatever higher power God is, you understand God. And that's where we start."

Through the program, Bud has maintained sobriety and learned some tricks on how to help avoid some of those temptations. For parties around the holidays, it's simply having a drink that isn't alcoholic.

"Some of the suggestions they gave me were to get a glass of ice water, or whatever I choose to drink that's non-alcoholic, and make sure I have the glass half full," Bud said. "The host will ask, 'How are you doing?' That means, 'Do you have a drink?' If you hold up a half a glass of whatever and say, 'Hey, I'm doing good,' they leave you alone."


Meeting times for Alcoholics Anonymous at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 630 Green St.:

• 1 p.m. Sunday

• 8 p.m. Tuesday*

• 5:30 p.m. Wednesday

• 8 p.m. Thursday

• 8 p.m. Saturday

  • Closed meeting. Only for those with a desire to stop drinking.

Meeting for women only.

Meeting times for Alcoholics Anonymous at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 657 Green St.:

• 7 p.m. Monday

• 7 p.m. Friday

— Help can also be found by calling the 24-hour Western Colorado help line at 888-333-9649.