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E-Michigan Deaf and Hard of Hearing People.
Addiction Help!

Addiction Help!
Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Welcome to Addiction Help for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People. In this section, you will find answers to your questions and support for recovery from addictions.

Index (click the titles below to jump to that section)

What is addiction?

Addiction is an illness.

At first, we choose to use drugs or alcohol.

Later, the drugs or alcohol control us.

Drugs or alcohol become more important than any thing else. Our lives fall apart. We lose friends, family, and jobs. We no longer choose to use drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol control us.

When drug or alcohol use is out of control, treatment is needed. You can't quit alone. Many people have tried.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a large group of people who have learned, “I cannot do it alone.

If you don't quit, the addiction will probably get worse.

What are some common addictions?

People can be addicted to:

  • alcohol (including wine and beer),
  • drugs (illegal and prescription),
  • marijuana,
  • food (over-eating often or eating a lot then vomiting are forms of addiction),
  • sex and pornography, and
  • gambling.

How do I know if I have an addiction?

If you are in trouble with your family, friends, or job because of something you do, but you can't stop doing it, you may have an addiction.

Visit the Alcoholics Anonymous page and answer the list of questions for yourself. Be honest!

Addiction in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communities

Many people who are deaf or hard of hard of hearing struggle with addiction. Finding support for recovery can be harder if you are deaf or hard of hearing. But you can get sober!

See Research for more information on the prevalence of addiction among people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Borrow ASL videos about addiction and recovery from Michigan Association for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MADHH). Call 1-800-YOUR-EAR or e-mail

Where do I get help to become sober?

12 Step Programs

Through 12 Step groups like AA and NA, millions of people have found help to stay sober. Treatment programs help you get started. Most people need a 12 Step group to stay sober.

AA Steps in ASL- See the video here!

Below are video clips of the first 4 steps from AA in ASL, with explanations.

These video clips are courtesy of the Minnesota Chemical Dependency Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals. The full 12 Steps Video and additional recovery materials designed for people who are deaf/hh are available by clicking here. Or you may borrow the videos from Michigan Association for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MADHH).

Video clips in this section are in either Macromedia Shockwave or Windows Media formats so you may need to adjust text to include different formats, etc. You will need to download a media player for free below if you need one:
   download Shockwave Player
   download Windows Media Player
Please be patient if you have a slow Internet connection.

Click on either video clip format:
Macromedia’s Shockwave or Windows’ Media Player.

Step 1: We admitted we are powerless over alcohol.
   Shockwave format
   Windows Media Player format
Step 2: Came to believe a power higher than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
   Shockwave format
   Windows Media Player format
Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to God, as we understood Him.
   Shockwave format
   Windows Media Player format
Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
   Shockwave format
   Windows Media Player format

Where can I meet other people who want to be sober?

For AA in Southeast Michigan (Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, st. Clair, Sanilac) e-mail to:

Ray D.
Special Needs Committee Chair

Saturday Night at St. Joe's
An 'open speaker' meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. First Saturday of every month, this meeting is interpreted for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Anyone from the public is welcome! Arrive early for best seating. Fellowship begins at 8:00, meeting starts at 8:30 pm., lasts appoximately 1 hour.

St Joe's Hospital
Catherine McAuley Education Center Auditorium
5301 E. Huron River Dr.
Ypsilanti, MI

Contact: Sean O. (734) 837-7187

Interpreted 12 Step meetings (AA or NA) in Michigan

Click here for a list of interpreted AA/NA meetings.

If there is not a meeting in your area, contact the Central AA office in your community. Click here for a list of AA Central Offices in Michigan.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Treatment Programs

In Michigan:

Communication Access Center
for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Outpatient substance abuse counseling in Flint, Michigan.
1631 Miller Road
Flint, MI 48503
(810) 239–3112 V/TTY
(800) 466–7744 V/TTY
(810) 239–1606 Fax

Salvation Army Harbor Light
Substance Abuse Program for Deaf & Hard of Hearing People

This is Michigan’s only completely accessible in–patient program for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. The staff knows ASL. People stay at Harbor Light during treatment. The staff will help to find services and support in the home community after completion of the program.

(734) 457–0661 TTY
(734) 457–4340 Voice

Other states:

Addiction Recovery of the Deaf This program is in Illinois designed exclusively to meet the needs of adults who are deaf or hard of hearing and chemically dependent on drugs and/or alcohol.

Minnesota Chemical Dependency Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals

This program offers treatment services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. They also have videos and other materials including Dreams of Denial, a video featuring Deaf actors and An American Sign Language Interpretation of the 12 Steps. Click here to see some of the 12 step video clips above

National Deaf Academy
Adult and youth residential program, specializing in psychiatric and behavioral problems, including substance abuse.

Sober Camp

(Information from the Sobercamp web page:

This camp is open to Deaf adults in recovery & their families. Morning workshops focus on sobriety maintenance and leadership skills.

The SoberCamp goals have always remained the same: Focus on personal recovery and spirituality, develop better personal relationships with loved ones, improve overall wellness, build a better recovery fellowship among Deaf and Hard of Hearing members and celebrate Sobriety.

For Registration Information & Scholarship, Contact Lisette Ortiz at:
Signs of Sobriety, Inc.
865 Lower Ferry Road, Suite B–12
Ewing, NJ 08628
(609)882–7177 TTY
(609)882–6808 FAX
(800)332–7677 Voice

AA and Support Groups Online

Sounds of Sobriety (SOS) website
This is an active e–mail group for deaf and hard of hearing people who want to stop drinking. We are a group of recovering alcoholics that adhere to the 12 steps and 12 traditions of alcoholics anonymous, the 3rd tradition being the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. If you are a recovering alcoholic or think you might have a problem with alcohol you are more than welcome to join our group.
For more information or to join please contact:
Rick S.
Ruth H.

AA Live Chat
This site offers formal AA meetings online and also informal chat times to meet and ask questions. See their Beginners Guide to Online AA Meetings. It is helpful place to start.

AA Online

AA meetings are conducted online throughout the week. Hearing not required.

Recovery REALM
Online meetings, chat room, message boards, forums, blogs, support and fellowship. Your Online interactive Recovery Community, for the addicted and those who care about them.


Deaf Off Drugs and Alcohol offers Deaf 12 Step & support meetings led by Deaf facilitators.

All you need is a computer with a web-cam, high-speed internet and an email account.

If interested, for more information, contact Mandie Roseberry:
(866) 326-4761 vp
(937) 222-2400 ext 239 v

AA Meeting Schedule

(Eastern Time, subtract 3 hours for Pacific time zone)
Sunday 6:00pm-7:00pm AA Women’s
Monday 4:00pm-5:00pm AA discussion
Wednesday 2:00pm-3:00pm AA discussion
Thursday 7:00pm-8:00pm AA discussion
Friday 9:00pm-10:00pm AA discussion

Questions about the AA meetings? Please e-mail Virginia at


More Resources to Support Your Recovery

Make AA meetings more deaf and hard of hearing friendly

AA has published guidelines to assist AA meetings who wish to be open and accessible to people with hearing loss. These files may be downloaded below.

Serving Alcoholics with Special Needs

Carrying the Message to Deaf Alcoholics

Deaf and Hard of Hearing AA Resources

Deaf and Hard of Hearing AA Resource

Signs for Change Newsletter
This FREE newsletter is written for Deaf people who are recovering. To receive this newsletter send an e-mail requesting Signs for Change, with your mailing address to:

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Healing Through Christ: Christian Drug & Alcohol Rehab Program


Journeys Through Recovery
Betty G. Miller, Ed.D., C.A.D.C.
(1998) 196 pages; soft cover

Deaf people recovering from alcohol and drug abuse face unique challenges. This book provides an in–depth look at substance abuse in the deaf community. The book includes anonymous personal narratives which bring these recovery issues to life.


These videos are ASL translations of AA literature. These may be ordered at the address below. Or you may borrow these videos from Michigan Association for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MADHH).

  • (VS-1) Alcoholics Anonymous (First 164 pages only - Big Book) in American Sign Language (ASL) - 5 volume set 1/2"-VHS $38.00

  • (VS-3) Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions in American Sign Language (ASL) - 5 volume set 1/2"-VHS $35.00

For orders or information:

General Service Office
PO Box 459
Grand Central Station
New York, NY 10163


Phone: Call the Order Entry Department weekdays from 8:00 AM to 4:45 PM (EST): (212) 870–3312.

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