INTRODUCTION HEAL is an acronym for Healing and Educating Addicted Lives - and that is what we aim to do. We meet at St Francis every Monday evening at 7p.m. Contact 082 562 1432 for more information. We heal by accepting and loving, supporting and encouraging those involved with alcoholism and substance abuse. Our ideal outcome is to restore the addict to the person God wants them to be and to reunite the family structure. If you are dealing with someone with a problem, please come along on a Monday night, or call us, and we will teach you how to deal with this person. We will give you guidelines to get the correct treatment and introduce you to the principles that have assisted so many addicts who are now in recovery, through lectures and discussions to help you understand addiction, and your role in the addict’s life. Every month I plan to add some educational information to this page. Let’s start at the beginning. WHAT IS ADDICTION A substance addiction meets two criteria: The addict has difficulty controlling how much they use or how long they use. One drink leads to more, or one line of cocaine leads to another. The addict continues to use even though it has negative consequences to their life, for example they continue to drink even though it has hurt their relationships, or they have been arrested for drinking and driving. These two criteria define all addictions. They are true for alcohol and drug abuse, but they’re also true for gambling, eating disorders and sex addiction. There are different stages of addiction. The late stage is the non- functioning addict. They have lost their job/ family and have to use every day. It’s what people think addiction is like, but that stereotype is rare. The early stage is the functioning addict. They still have a job and their family is intact, but their life and relationships are suffering. That is the most common scenario. You don’t have to suffer major losses to recognise that you have an addiction. Addiction is a progressive disease, if you suspect you or a loved one has a problem seek help now before it develops any further.