In this Terms and Conditions document, the term Site refers to the web site Begin Recovery (beginrecovery.com), which is a product of SoberMD, LLC
Begin Recovery is a sobriety coaching program for the general public of at least 16 years of age who need the advice of a seasoned Addiction Medicine Specialist in learning the core tools for successful recovery from alcoholism or addiction. It is intended to complement any treatment from a licensed and qualified medical professional. It is not intended to replace treatment or the advice of your doctor or medical professional. We recommend the participant seek the help from a qualified health care provider in addition to going through this program. Information is a valuable place to begin learning what to do to gain sobriety.
1. Medical Disclaimer: All information on the Site is of a general nature and is furnished for informational purposes only. This site provides education on the subject of addiction, alcoholism and recovery from those conditions. Nothing contained on this Site or in any e-mail sent to you by Begin Recovery is to be taken as medical or other health advice pertaining to any specific health or medical condition. Although we make an effort to provide quality information to you, Begin Recovery disclaims any implied guarantee regarding the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or relevance of any Begin Recovery content. The Begin Recovery content is not a diagnosis, treatment plan, or a recommendation for a particular course of action regarding your health and is not intended to provide specific medical advice. It remains your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness, and usefulness of all Begin Recovery content. Begin Recovery is not engaged in rendering medical or professional services. The Begin Recovery content is not a substitute for the diagnosis and advice of your healthcare professional and the Begin Recovery content must not be used in place of such diagnosis and advice. Do not delay seeking the diagnosis and advice of your healthcare professional because of anything you may have read or interpreted in the Begin Recovery content. Consult your healthcare professional before practicing any recommendations or acting on any Begin Recovery content. The Begin Recovery content is not to be interpreted as advocating the self-management of your medical condition(s) or those of your family. If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Begin Recovery does not recommend or endorse any specific test, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site or any sites linked to Begin Recovery. Reliance on any information provided by Begin Recovery, Begin Recovery employees, others appearing on these sites at the invitation of Begin Recovery, or other visitors to these sites is solely at your own risk.
YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT BEGIN RECOVERY IS AN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM AND IS NOT ENGAGED IN THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE, AND THAT ALL DECISIONS MADE USING THE BEGIN RECOVERY CONTENT WILL BE THE EXCLUSIVE RESPONSIBILITY OF YOU AND YOUR PHYSICIAN OR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER. SOBERMD, LLC., EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY RESPONSIBILITY OR LIABILITY FOR ANY ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES OR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM YOUR RELIANCE ON BEGIN RECOVERY CONTENT. BEGIN RECOVERY DOES NOT GUARANTEE THAT YOU WILL ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL OF SOBRIETY. YOU AGREE TO INDEMNIFY AND HOLD BEGIN RECOVERY, IT’S OWNERS, AND EMPLOYEES HARMLESS FROM ANY AND ALL LOSSES, LIABILITIES, OR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM ANY AND ALL CLAIMS, CAUSES OF ACTION, SUITS, PROCEEDINGS, OR DEMANDS AGAINST BEGIN RECOVERY ARISING FROM OR RELATED TO DECISIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS MADE USING BEGIN RECOVERY’S CONTENT.
2. Children: We are committed to protecting the privacy of children. You should be aware that this Site is not intended or designed to attract children under the age of 13. Our Website is not designed for use by children without their parent’s supervision.
4. We reserve the right to modify the Site or to change or discontinue any of the services offered on the Site with or without notice to you. We shall not be liable to you nor to any third party should we exercise our right to modify the Site or to change or discontinue our service offerings. If you object to any change to the Site or our services, your sole recourse will be to discontinue use of the Site. Your continued use of any modified service on the Site will indicate your consent to such changes.
5. Restricted activities: You agree not to use the Site to (A.) violate or encourage the violation of any local, state, national, or international law; (B.) stalk, harass, or harm another individual; (C.) collect or store personal data about other users of our Site; (D.) impersonate any person or entity or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity; (E.) interfere with or disrupt the Site or services or networks connected to the Site or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies, or regulations of networks connected to the Site. You agree not to use the Site to send any message that is unlawful, libelous, defamatory, abusive, sexually explicit, threatening, vulgar, obscene, profane, racially offensive, or otherwise objectionable, as determined by Begin Recovery in its sole discretion. Without our written consent, you may not (I) reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell, or exploit for any commercial purpose any portion of the Site, use of the Site, or access to the Site. Violators will be prosecuted; (II) allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission of mass unsolicited commercial advertising or solicitations via e-mail (spam); (III) use any high volume, automated, or electronic means (including, without limitation, robots, spiders, scripts, or other automated devices) to access the Site or monitor or copy our web pages or the content contained therein; (IV) deep link to the Site for any purpose; or (V) frame the Site, place pop-up windows over its pages, or otherwise affect the display of its pages.
7. Termination: We may terminate your use of the Site without prior notice for any reason, at our sole discretion, including without limitation, if we believe that you have violated these terms and conditions. You may discontinue your access to the Site at any time.
8. Disclaimer of Warranties: YOU EXPRESSLY AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF THIS SITE IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK. THE SITE IS PROVIDED ON AN AS IS AND AS AVAILABLE BASIS. BEGIN RECOVERY EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR USE OR PURPOSE, TITLE, AND NONINFRINGEMENT WITH RESPECT TO THE SITE OR BEGIN RECOVERY CONTENT. USE OF BEGIN RECOVERY DOES NOT GUARANTEE THAT YOU WILL ACHIEVE OR MAINTAIN SOBRIETY. BEGIN RECOVERY MAKES NO WARRANTY THAT THE INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THE SITE WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS OR THAT THE SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, TIMELY, SECURE, OR ERROR-FREE, NOR DOES BEGIN RECOVERY MAKE ANY WARRANTY AS TO THE ACCURACY OR RELIABILITY OF THE BEGIN RECOVERY CONTENT OR THAT DEFECTS IN THE SITE OR BEGIN RECOVERY CONTENT WILL BE CORRECTED. YOU UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT ANY MATERIAL AND/OR INFORMATION DOWNLOADED OR OTHERWISE OBTAINED THROUGH THE USE OF THIS SITE IS DONE AT YOUR OWN RISK.
YOU SPECIFICALLY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT SOBERMD, LLC. AND ITS PARTIES ARE NOT LIABLE FOR DEFAMATORY, OFFENSIVE, OR ILLEGAL CONDUCT OF OTHER USERS OF THE SITE OR THIRD-PARTIES AND THAT THE RISK OF INJURY FROM THE FOREGOING RESTS ENTIRELY WITH YOU. YOU USE THE SITE AT YOUR SOLE RISK.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO BREACH OF CONTRACT, TORT, OR NEGLIGENCE, WILL THE OPERATOR PARTIES BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS) THAT ARISE OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH ANY FAILURE OF PERFORMANCE, ERRORS, INACCURACIES, OMISSIONS, DEFECTS, UNTIMELINESS, INTERRUPTION, DELETION, DELAY IN OPERATION OR TRANSMISSION, COMPUTER VIRUS, COMMUNICATION LINE FAILURE, THEFT OR DESTRUCTION OR UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO, ALTERATION OF, OR USE OF RECORD, OR UNAUTHENTICITY OF ANY CONTENT IN THE SITE, OR THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THIS SITE OR ANY CONTENT THERIN. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE OPERATOR PARTIES AGGREGATE LIABILITY TO YOU FOR ANY LOSS, DAMAGE OR CLAIM RELATED TO OR ARISING OUT OF THIS SITE EXCEED THE TOTAL AMOUNTS PAID BY YOU FOR ACCESSING THIS SITE, IF ANY.
9. Copyright: Begin Recovery is a product of SoberMD, LLC. Begin Recovery content, all images, text, databases, software, code, sound, photos, custom graphics, button icons, the collection and compilation and assembly thereof, and the overall look and distinctiveness of the Site is the exclusive property of SoberMD, LLC. and its license source and is protected by U. S. and international copyright laws. The Begin Recovery content and any content on the Site may be used for informational purposes only. Any other use of Begin Recovery content or such other content on this Site without prior written consent of SoberMD, LLC is expressly forbidden. The reproduction, distribution, transmission, sale, transfer, creation of derivative works, modification, public display, public performance, publication, or any commercial exploitation of the contents of this site is expressly prohibited. Violators will be prosecuted.
10. Intellectual Property: SoberMD, LLC., owner of Begin Recovery educational program, grants to you a nonexclusive right and limited license to use the content of this site for your personal use only. You are not allowed to download (other than page caching) or modify the Site or any portion if the Site without express written consent of SoberMD, LLC. Your limited license to use the Site does not include any resale or commercial use of the Site or its contents; derivative use of the Site; or any use of data mining, robots, or similar data gathering and extraction tools. Nothing contained on the Begin Recovery Site, in Begin Recovery content, or in these terms shall be construed to grant any property rights, by license or otherwise, to any invention or Begin Recovery patent, copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property rights.
11. Links and Hyperlinks to the Site: You are granted a limited, revocable, and nonexclusive right to create a link or hyperlink to this Site so long as the link or hyperlink does not portray beginrecovery.com in a false, misleading, derogatory, or otherwise offensive manner.
Non-personal Information: As you use Begin Recovery, we may also collect "non-personal information." This demographic information by itself cannot be used to identify or contact you personally. Non-personal information may also include information you provide us through your use of Begin Recovery such as the terms you enter into the search and other anonymous data involved in your use of Begin Recovery.
Begin Recovery utilizes a number of internal and third party methods to recognize visitor data such as IP addresses and browser settings (Collectively 'Visitor Data'). Our internal servers and software automatically recognize Visitor Data. No Personal Identifiable Information (as defined below) is revealed in this process. The Site may also use such Visitor Data to compile traffic data about the kind and types of visitors that use the web site at specific intervals (Collectively 'Traffic Data').
In order for each customer to access and utilize Begin Recovery’s Program, we require each customer to provide us with personal information (collectively 'Personally Identifiable Information'). Personally Identifiable Information is only captured when a visitor registers and pays to access the web site, signs in to the system, and willingly discloses such information in the Personal Profile section of the web site or in response to questions we ask.
Personally Identifiable Information includes, but is not limited to: (i) 'Contact Data' (such as your name, address, city, state, zip code, phone number and email address), and (ii) 'Financial Data' (such as your credit card number, expiration date, and verification code). This Personally Identifiable Information is necessary to provide you access to and use of the program.
Use of Personal Information: Begin Recovery, sometimes with third party assistance, may use your Personally Identifiable Information to verify your identity and process your order and payment through merchant account services or to complete your order. Your Contact Data may be used to contact you in order to follow up with transactions initiated on the Begin Recovery web site, respond to inquiries made through the Site, inform you of any changes to the Site and send you additional information about Begin Recovery products or services. We do not sell or rent Personally Identifiable Information to third parties. We may provide it to a third party if we receive a subpoena or otherwise to comply with the law.
Please note that Contact Data and Traffic Data are used to gather general statistics regarding our customers and visitors respectively, in order to enhance the consumer experience on the web site. We may also use demographic data in a manner that does not identify you specifically or allow you to be contacted but does identify certain criteria about our users in general. For example, we may inform third parties about the number of registered users, number of unique visitors, and the pages most frequently browsed.
We also use Contact Data such as name, physical address and email address to provide special information and promotions regarding our products or in order to contact a customer regarding an order.
Opting Out: You may choose not to provide us with any Personally Identifiable Information. In this case, you may be able to visit certain portions of the web site, and browse to find out more about our program or products; however, we cannot process an order without such information. If you do not wish to receive information and/or promotional materials from Begin Recovery, you may unsubscribe from our mailing list on any one of the promotions or other materials we send to you.
User Access to and Ability to Update Personally Identifiable Information: We maintain a procedure to help you confirm that your Personal Information remains correct and up-to-date. At any time, you may visit your personal account profile (Collectively 'personal profile') by logging on and going to your profile. If at any time you wish to remove your Personally Identifiable Information from our web site, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Begin Recovery may maintain some of this data in archives even after removal from the web site.
Our Commitment To Data Security: We strive to make certain that our servers and connections incorporate the latest encryption and security devices. To prevent unauthorized access, we have implemented physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect. Credit card and personal information are transmitted to us by secure servers. Products are delivered to you via Federal Express, UPS, or the United States Postal Service.
Lost or Stolen Data: Begin Recovery has security measures in place to prevent the loss, misuse, destruction and alteration of the information that you provide us or we obtain from you. We will have no liability to you or to any third party arising out of any such loss, misuse, destruction, or alternation.
13. Cancellation: There is a "No Cancellation Policy" for the on-line subscription to Begin Recovery. If you purchased the on-line subscription, we recommend you complete the program and make a sincere commitment toward sobriety.
14. BeginRecovery.com does not host or accept any advertisement.
Please be aware, the terms "Higher Power" and the word "God" are contained in the video series, just as they are found in all 12 step literature, including Alcoholics Anonymous and Emotions Anonymous. In no way does this mean that a person must believe in any traditional form of God to experience the positive results of the 12 step program. (Please read below for more information.)
Higher Power, God and Secularism in 12 Step Programs
Begin Recovery and Emotions Management are based on the original 12 step principles of the Alcoholics Anonymous Program. When the original AA book was published in 1939, Chapter 4 was dedicated to and titled "We Agnostics."
Let me tell you that secularism and AA can coexist. In fact, they do coexist and there are groups for secularists who do not believe in “God” but have found the program very effective in helping them maintain recovery from whatever problem brought them to the 12 Step Program.
First of all, a spiritual way of living does not necessarily require belief in a classic concept of God. In the videos you will be viewing in this series, spirituality will be explained.
In 1939 when the Alcoholics Anonymous book was being written, there was a battle over references to God. A gentleman named Jim Burwell argued that the word "God" should be changed to "God as you understand him". The AA Program has proven effective with individuals from any religious background and those from a secular background as well. Many times the term "Higher Power" is used instead of the word God in the 12 step literature. After these changes were made, the author of the AA Big Book, Bill Wilson, said "this was the great contributions of our atheists and agnostics. They had widened our gateway so that all who suffer might pass through, regardless of their beliefs or lack of belief."
Years later in 1965 at the General Service Conference in New York, Bill Wilson talked about this dilemma. He mentioned the hundreds of thousands of men and women who came to AA over the previous 35 years and said they represented every belief and attitude imaginable. We have atheists and agnostics, he said and we have people of nearly every race, culture and religion.
Toward the end of Bill’s speech he got to the heart of the message and said this:
"In AA we are supposed to be bound together in the kinship to the universal suffering. Therefore the full liberty to practice any creed or principal or therapy should be a first consideration. Hence let us not pressure any one with individual or even collective views. Let us instead accord to each other respect that is due every human being as he tries to make his way towards the light. Let us always try to be inclusive rather than exclusive. Let us remember that each alcoholic among us is a member of AA, so long as he or she so declares."
The first secular meeting of AA took place in Chicago in 1975. The gentleman who started that meeting left AA some years prior because of the references to God. But after his drinking almost killed him, he returned and became determined to have an AA program for agnostics. So the first meeting for nonbelievers was held on January 7, 1975 in Chicago in a church. Before long, the term Quad A was applied to these groups of individuals who wanted to practice 12 steps but were atheists or agnostics. So there are AAAA meetings now for Alcoholics Anonymous for Atheists and Agnostics.
The terms "Higher Power" and the word "God" are found in all 12 step literature, be it Alcoholics Anonymous or Emotions Anonymous. But it does in no way mean that a person must believe in any traditional form of God to experience the positive results of the 12 step program.
Some people consider their Higher Power to be any source that they find that provides them more strength and help and they can find on their own individually. This could be the 12 step meeting group that they attend, the therapist, the information found in this Internet program, or a trusted confidant friend who brings wisdom to the table.
There is a lot of literature out to support secularists, agnostics, and atheists who want to work the 12 step program. Some examples include:
The Alternative 12 Steps; A Secular Guide to Recovery
Don’t Tell: Stories and Essays by Agnostics and Atheists in AA
A Freethinker in Alcoholics Anonymous
The 12 Step Philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous
Also there are two websites that are very helpful for atheists and agnostics wishing to work the 12 Step Program: