Friday, October 21, 2011

Your Thoughts on Alcohol Counseling

This is a weird question that I hope doesn't sound like a cry for help.  Do you have any good recommendations for alcohol counseling?

It's this friend of mine... No, actually, it's this blog itself.  The page on It's Pub Night that gets Googled the most -- I'm going to describe it obliquely so that the hits keep going there and not to this post -- is this one that describes a bad interaction between a common store-bought headache remedy and the intoxicant found in beer (click the link if that's too confusing).

What does that have to do with alcohol counseling?  Because that post comes up in a lot of (possibly remorseful) web searches, I got an offer earlier this year to insert paid text links into it, pointing to a website that purports to find you help with substance abuse.  It was easy to turn down the offer, because the website carefully obscured who was behind it, putting the ball in your court to either telephone them or send them your personal info.  On one level or another it was obviously a scam and not a professional service.  At best it would mechanically hand you off to someone in that line of work in exchange for a finder's fee; at worst it is a phishing operation.  No way to tell.

But it put the idea in my mind that I could put links to reputable rehabs or counseling services on my oft-searched page.  It would be purely a public service, not a paid advertisement, but only if I can find links that would truly be helpful to someone who wanted help with a drinking problem.

Got any recommendations?  Or is my whole idea ridiculous?


  1. As a psychologist, I'm really glad to read that you are putting something like this up. Bottom line is that most psychologists get general training in substance issues can help people in dealing with alcohol abuse. People with alcohol dependence however, usually need more intense services.

  2. I suppose you could--but I don't see the point.

    This blog isn't one about the excesses of alcohol and it doesn't recommend abuse or harmful behavior as 'fun'.

    People who believe they need help will probably not be searching for a website like this, and inserting links that might give it a higher profile in that category seems misleading. (Not that you'd do that intentionally, of course.)

  3. its a bit different but I had an advertiser who wanted to promote his legal services for people who have gotten a DUI. I appreciate the service but its a beer blog, we are essentially promoting drinking and I dont want to suggest people are alcoholics reading the site. It does not seem appropriate to me.

  4. @Will: Thanks. If you know of a reputable national web directory for counseling, that might be all I'm thinking of.

    @Grotusque, @SamuraiArtist: I might not have made myself clear. I wouldn't put such links on every page, just that one that Google drives a lot of people to. Those are not my regular readers anyway, so they have no clue what the blog is about, and very few will return after reading that one post.

    My reasoning is this: Mr. X noticed that the aspirin post attracts enough hungover people, or people worried about drinking and health that he is willing to pay for a link on the post. He is betting money that some people looking at that page want guidance. So I have a chance to offer them free, legitimate guidance, instead of letting someone else snare them into a scam.

  5. Bill,
    how do you get new readers then if not by people happening onto your blog and enjoying it instead of link bait? I guess I should encourage your ideas, more readers for me!

  6. Seems to me that the post in question is serving its purpose well; educating people about the danger of combining tylenol and alcohol without coming off as a teetotaling a-hole. Vicodin is a popular party drug, but it contains acetaminophen...that is the ingredient that puts people in the hospital, not the narcotic component. You might add some additional links to educational drug-interaction sites for further reading, but I doubt most people that are stumbling across the post are in a mindset that would lead them to rehab.