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Welcome to a New Year! This is a time when many of us reflect back on the experiences we had in 2012 and determine what we can do better, what needs to be changed and where we were successful. With the holidays behind us, it’s a good time to take a look at our behavior and decide if it was appropriate. Did you drink too much on Thanksgiving and Christmas and regretted it? Did you drink too much most days due to increased pressure and stress at work? Is your drinking affecting your family?

Research continues to show that an alcoholic’s drinking not only affects the problem drinker, but has severe negative impacts on his family as well. It brings chaos and uncertainty to those living with the alcoholic as they are forced to ignore their own needs and work instead at maintaining some sort of stability within the family. The spouse and children are often thrust into the roles of caretaker to the alcoholic, making sure he or she makes it into bed each night or gets up for work each morning. Family members go into overdrive to try to maintain the appearance of a normal, appropriate unit to the outside world. Some children try to make up for the lack of responsibility in the alcoholic by exceling in school or activities to prove to the world that everything is all right, while others respond by becoming loners, having low self-esteem, fear, and anxiety because of the instability at home.

An alcoholic can devastate a family without even realizing it. If you are coming to the realization that this person might be you and are ready for treatment, one low-stress and convenient way to get started is to take an online alcohol awareness class. An 8-hour alcohol class will teach the information and skills necessary to get your life back on a healthier track. The purpose of these classes is to enlighten the client on the short and long-term problems associated with alcohol use. Risks and repercussions to health, family and friends, work and school are discussed to identify the impact alcohol use has on the entire life. Most importantly, the client is taught new skills to help redirect and overcome the alcoholic behavior. These skills include stress management techniques, effective communication and better anger management.

With the increase in computer usage across the country, online alcohol and drug awareness classes have gained ground in popularity. Online classes are beneficial to the client because they can be taken from the comfort of your own home, at any time of the day or night, on your own web-based computer device. This alleviates the stress of having to get to a classroom across town at a specific time each week. Furthermore, online classes provide complete privacy and anonymity so no one else needs to know you are seeking this kind of support. In a classroom environment, the students are often forced to sit and listen to other people’s stories but with online learning, the client can sit in a quiet environment and focus on his own thoughts and needs.

Invest 8 hours of your time now for a healthier and brighter 2013! The sooner you understand the harmful effects of alcohol on yourself and everyone around you, the more quickly balance can be restored to the family.