Alcoholism and Addiction Help Site Gears up to Celebrate 5 years

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Online Alcoholism and Addiction Recovery Community urges everyone to tell their story. offers help and support for alcoholics, addicts, family and friends.

It's 4 am. Someone, somewhere, is up late, wrecked over a debilitating addiction (or the resulting family, relationship and employment problems). She is at her rope's end, physically, emotionally, and with a rapidly diminishing will to live. Staring at a flickering white screen in a darkened room, feebly she brings her fingers to the keyboard to type in search terms, determined to find something, anything. It seems no matter what combination of alcoholism and addiction treatment search terms are typed in, there it is again in the results list: “” She finally clicks, reluctantly, then clicking on the message board link and, unsure what to do, starts reading. Minutes into it there are tears falling down onto the keyboard and a shred of something like hope and self-respect stirring where moments before was only hopelessness and despair.

Does this seem too dramatic, too moving to be true? It isn't. It happens quite often at, a website where information, help and support can be found 24 hours a day for addicts, alcoholics and those concerned for them.

As the many volunteers and moderators are getting ready for the web site's 5th Birthday, you might think, “What's so special about a website for alcoholics, drug addicts and co-dependents?”

Jon Heller,'s founder would tell you, “We don't judge, we don't charge those needing help or those providing it, and we never close. There is always someone there to help you. Always.”

Perhaps the best proof that SR is fulfilling its mission is right on the message boards, which are constantly flowing with threads and posts from addicts, alcoholics and their family and friends, some simply thanking SR for being there, such as these from a current message thread:

“Where Were You When You Found SR?”

“I was out of my mind... with worry for my husband, who had just had a slip after being clean for 8 months. But it wasn't his slip that did it, it was the way I reacted a week later. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say, I hit MY bottom and realized some changes needed to be made–by me.

“I did a search on addiction and codependency and found my way here. Thus began the journey. My recovery from codependency and ACOA began here. My acceptance of my parents and childhood happened here. You walked with me through my husband's recovery, relapse, and attempts at finding recovery again…You are my family.”

Yet another member relates his experience with the site:

“…I had finally come to realize that my son was addicted to heroin…. I searched for literally everything relating to addiction and I kept finding SR. I remember thinking...'but I don't need a chat room, I need information!' Then I read a few posts and began to cry...there were others like me out there.”

So who's behind all this? Heller is reluctant to talk about himself directly, insisting that SoberRecovery's directory and online community say it all. For some history behind SR, he did have this to say:

“The first year was like a project, I had no plans for this to become a full-time career. I had no computer skills or experience other than Yahoo e-mail. But I began compiling lists, sending out hundreds of e-mails, saved up money for software…The second year though, Google found us. And since then, every single month, we keep growing. What started as a list of a few hundred resources is now a directory of several thousand. We added message boards, an article library, an archive, and chat…Yahoo says we have almost a million pages.

Having passed the 5,000,000 visitor mark and with their 5th Birthday rapidly approaching this September 19th, Heller and all of the volunteers at SoberRecovery are urging members and visitors from the early days to stop by and check in and tell their own story. Newcomers are invited to see how SR can help them find hope in their search for their own recovery.

Getting help and giving help--exactly what SoberRecovery was created for.

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Mark Baranowski

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