If you think you have a problem with drinking, we’re here to help.
If you seem to be having trouble with your drinking, or if your drinking has reached the point of where it worries you, you may be interested to know something about Alcoholics Anonymous and the AA programme of recovery from alcoholism. After reading this brief outline you may decide that AA has nothing to offer you.
Should this be the case, we suggest only that you keep an open mind on the subject. Consider your drinking carefully in the light of what you learn from this website.
Determine for yourself whether or not alcohol has truly become a problem for you. And remember that you will always be most welcome to join the thousands of men and women in AA who have put their drinking problems behind them and now lead “normal” lives of constructive, day by day sobriety.
If you have already decided you want help please see Get Help Now section below this.
Remember there are no dues or fees for AA.
Get Help With Your Drinking Problem
People come to NOCCA through many different means… choose the path that best suits you.
If you prefer e-mail as a means of contact then feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We have a team of volunteers who have experienced the problems that losing control of your drinking can bring. They are only too pleased to be willing to help.
If you want to speak to someone in your area who has found a solution to the problems they had as a result of their drinking you can call our helpline on 032 944 5585, to be put in touch with someone locally. Calls are charged at the local rate on BT lines. Other networks may vary.
If you call from a mobile, charges can vary and we are unable to predict what area your call will be routed to.
If you prefer, you can simply turn up at one of our meetings – click on this link to find our location. We strongly suggest that when you arrive you let someone know that this is your first meeting, that way they will be able to provide you with information that most people new to NOCCA find useful.
Who We Are
NOCCA is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. NOCCA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organisation or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
We in NOCCA are men and women who have discovered, and admitted, that we cannot control alcohol. We have learned that we must live without it if we are to avoid disaster for ourselves and those close to us.
We are not reformers and we are not allied with any group, cause, religious denomination or ethnic background. We have no wish to dry up the world. We do not recruit members. We avoid imposing our viewpoint on problem drinking on others, even if asked.
Within our membership may be found men and women of varying age groups and many different social, economic and cultural backgrounds. Some of us drank for many years before coming to the realisation we could not handle alcohol. Others were fortunate enough to appreciate, early in life or in our drinking careers , that alcohol had become unmanageable.
The consequences of our alcoholic drinking (and thinking) have also varied. Some of our members had become derelicts before turning to NOCCA for help. They had lost family, possessions and self-respect. they had been in the gutter. They had been hospitalised and jailed. They had committed many grave offences – against society, their families, their employers and themselves.
Is AA for you?
Only you can decide whether you want to give NOCCA a try or if you think it can help you.
We who are in NOCCA came because we finally gave up trying to control our drinking. We still hated to admit that we could never drink safely. Then we heard from other NOCCA members that we were sick. We found out that many people suffered from the same feelings of guilt, loneliness and hopelessness that we did. We found out that we had these feelings because we were sick with alcoholism.
We decided to try to face up to what alcohol had done to us. Here are some of the questions we tried to answer honestly. See how you do. Remember, there is no disgrace in facing up to the fact that you have a problem.
Answer YES or NO to the following questions
- Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days?
Most of us in NOCCA made all kinds of promises to ourselves and to our families. We could not keep them. Then we came to NOCCA and NOCCA said: “Just try not to drink today.” (If you do not drink today, you cannot get drunk today.)
- Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking– stop telling you what to do?
In NOCCA we do not tell anyone to do anything. We just talk about our own drinking, the trouble we got into, and how we stopped. We will be glad to help you, if you want us to.
- Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting drunk?
We tried all kinds of ways. We made our drinks weak. Or just drank beer. Or we did not drink spirits. Or only drank on weekends. You name it, we tried it. But if we drank anything with alcohol in it, we usually got drunk eventually.
- Have you had to have a drink in the morning during the past year?
Do you need a drink to get started, or to stop shaking? This is a pretty sure sign that you are not drinking socially.
- Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?
At one time or another, most of us have wondered why we were not like most people, who really can take it or leave it.
- Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?
Be honest! Doctors say that if you have a problem with alcohol and keep on drinking, it will get worse – never better. Eventually, you will die, or end up in an institution for the rest of your life. The only hope is to stop drinking.
- Has your drinking caused trouble at home?
Before we came into NOCCA, most of us said that it was the people or problems at home that made us drink. We could not see that our drinking just made everything worse. It never solved problems anywhere.
- Do you ever try to get ‘extra’ drinks at a party because you do not get enough?
Most of us used to have a ‘few’ before we started out if we thought it was going to be that kind of party. If drinks were not served fast enough, we would go some place else to get more.
- Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk when you don’t mean to?
Many of us kidded ourselves into thinking that we drank because we wanted to. After we came to NOCCA, we found out that once we started to drink, we couldn’t stop.
- Have you missed days off work because of drinking?
Many of us admit now that we called in sick lots of times when the truth was that we were hung over or on a drunk.
- Do you have blackouts?
A blackout is when there are drinking hours or days we cannot remember. When we came into NOCCA, we found out that this is a pretty sure sign of alcoholic drinking.
- Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink?
Many of us started to drink because drinking made life seem better, at least for a while. By the time we got into NOCCA, we felt trapped. We were drinking to live and living to drink. We were sick and tired of being sick and tired.
What’s your score?
Did you answer YES four times or more? If so, you are probably in trouble with alcohol. Why do we say this? Because thousands of people in NOCCA have said so for many years. They found out the truth about themselves – the hard way.
Again, only you can decide whether you think NOCCA is for you. Try to keep an open mind on the subject. If the answer is YES, we will be glad to show you how we stopped drinking ourselves. Just call us.
NOCCA does not promise to solve your problems. But we can show you how we are learning to live without booze one day at a time. We stay away from that first drink. If there is no first one, there cannot be a tenth one. When we got rid of booze, we found that life became much more manageable.
What we have learned about alcoholism
The first thing we have learned about alcoholism is that it is one of the oldest problems in Man’s history. Only recently have we begun to benefit from new approaches to the problem. Doctors today, for example, know a great deal more about alcoholism than their predecessors knew only two generations ago. They are beginning to define the problem and study it in detail.
While there is no formal “AA definition” of alcoholism, the majority of our members agree that, for most of us, it could be described as a physical compulsion, coupled with a mental obsession. What we mean is that we had a distinct physical desire to consume alcohol beyond our capacity to control it, in defiance of all rules of common sense. We not only had an abnormal craving for alcohol but we frequently yielded to it at the worst possible times. We did not know when (or how) to stop drinking. Often we did not seem to have sense enough to know when not to begin.
As alcoholics, we have learned the hard way that willpower alone, however strong in other respects, was not enough to keep us sober. We have tried going on the wagon for specific periods. We have taken solemn pledges. We have switched brands and beverages. We have tried drinking at only certain hours. But none of our plans worked. We always wound up, sooner or later, getting drunk when we not only wanted to stay sober and had every rational incentive to do so.
We have gone through stages of dark despair when we were sure that something was wrong with us mentally. We came to hate ourselves for wasting the talents with which we were endowed and for the trouble we were causing our families and others. Frequently, we indulged in self-pity and proclaimed that nothing could ever help us. We can smile at those recollections now but at the time they were grim, unpleasant experiences.
Today we are willing to accept the idea that, as far as we are concerned, alcoholism is an illness; a progressive illness that can never be “cured” but which, like some other illnesses, can be arrested. We agree that there is nothing shameful about having an illness, provided we face the problem honestly and try to do something about it. We are perfectly willing to admit that we are allergic to alcohol and that it is simply common sense to stay away from the source of the allergy.
We understand now, that once a person has crossed the invisible line from heavy drinking to compulsive alcoholic drinking, they will always remain alcoholic. So far as we know, there can never be any turning back to “normal” social drinking. “Once an alcoholic – always an alcoholic” is a simple fact we have to live with.
We have also learned that there are few alternatives for the alcoholic. If they continue to drink, their problem will become progressively worse. They seems assuredly on the path to the gutter, to hospitals, to jails or other institutions, or to an early grave. The only alternative is to stop drinking completely and to abstain from even the smallest quantity of alcohol in any form. If they are willing to follow this course, and to take advantage of the help available to them, a whole new life can open up for the alcoholic.
A Message for Young People
How to tell when drinking is becoming a problem
Alcoholism is a rough word to deal with, yet nobody is too young (or too old) to have trouble with booze. That’s because alcoholism is an illness. It can hit anyone; young, old, rich, poor. black, white and it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been drinking or what you’ve been drinking. It’s what drinking does to you that counts. To help you decide whether you might have a problem with your own drinking, we’ve prepared these 12 questions. The answers are nobody’s business but your own. If you can answer yes to any one of these questions, maybe it’s time you took a serious look at what your drinking might be doing to you. If you do need help or if you’d just like to talk to someone about your drinking, call us on 032 944 5585 or email us at email@example.com
A Simple 12-Question Quiz Designed To Help You Decide
- Do you drink because you have problems? To face up to stressful situations?
- Do you drink when you get mad at other people, your friends or parents?
- Do you often prefer to drink alone, rather than with others?
- Are you starting to get low marks? Are you skiving off work?
- Do you ever try to stop or drink less – and fail?
- Have you begun to drink in the morning, before school or work?
- Do you gulp your drinks as if to satisfy a great thirst?
- Do you ever have loss of memory due to your drinking?
- Do you avoid being honest with others about your drinking?
- Do you ever get into trouble when you are drinking?
- Do you often get drunk when you drink, even when you do not mean to?
- Do you think you’re big to be able to hold your drink?
North Coast Centre for Alcoholics is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.
NOCCA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organisation or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
Copyright © The AA Grapevine, Inc.; reprinted with permission. View pamphlet
About NOCCA Meetings
The two most common kinds of NOCCA meetings are:
As the term suggests, meetings of this type are open to alcoholics and their families and to anyone interested in solving a personal drinking problem or helping someone else to solve such a problem.
Most open meetings follow a more or less set pattern, although distinctive variations have developed in some areas. A chairperson describes the NOCCA program briefly for the benefit of any newcomers to NOCCA in the audience and introduces one, two or three speakers who relate their personal drinking histories and may give their personal interpretation of NOCCA.
Midway through the meeting there is usually a period for local NOCCA announcements, and a treasurer passes the hat to defray costs of the meeting hall, literature, and incidental expenses. The meeting adjourns, often followed by informal visiting over coffee or other light refreshments.
Guests at NOCCA open meetings are reminded that any opinions or interpretations they may hear are solely those of the speaker involved. All members are free to interpret the recovery program in their own terms, but none can speak for the local group or for NOCCA as a whole.
These meetings are limited to alcoholics and those who think or know they have a problem with drinking. They provide an opportunity for members to relate their experiences with one another on problems related to drinking patterns and attempts to achieve stable sobriety. They also permit detailed discussion of various elements in the recovery program.
Do you want help with a drinking problem?
If alcohol is costing you more than money, then call us today in complete confidence on 032 944 5585 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org