Achieving Sobriety - Part 1
Many people may have had either a personal experience with the tragedy of alcoholism or know someone who has been involved with alcohol dependency.
Warning signs of alcohol abuse often are numerous and sometimes can be traced to adolescence. Family and friends often encourage individuals to seek professional advice, but find their efforts are rejected. Abusers frequently accuse those trying to help them of nagging and intruding in their lives.
Their marriages often end in divorce, largely because of the lifestyle that alcohol abusers lead. They can exhibit such behavior as verbal abuse toward spouses; a poor and sometimes abusive relationship with their children; financial problems; poor employment history; health problems; and legal difficulties such as arrests for driving while intoxicated.
When abusers’ problems result in a significant disruption in their life they may stop drinking briefly, but they often resume drinking when their situation improves.
Alcoholism has been called “the disease of denial.” Sometimes the denial continues even after major business, medical, family, social or legal difficulties arise in the alcoholic’s life. The process of recovery hopefully can begin before complete loss of control of drinking has occurred and completely has destroyed the alcoholic’s life.
Alcoholism has been labeled a habit, a compulsion, a pattern of behavior, a disease, a weakness or a result of insecurity. Authorities disagree as to the root cause of alcoholism and there is some disagreement as to the most effective treatment methods.
Few alcoholics fit the mold of being the “town drunkard.” Often, alcoholics continue to follow the pattern of abuse and dependency for many years before recovering, and most chemically dependent people suffer relapses several times before they achieve a sustained recovery.
Alcoholism knows no ethnic, gender, economic, educational or occupational boundaries.
Many addicted to alcohol also suffer from substance abuse problems with other drugs and interaction between alcohol and these drugs can lead to fatal consequences.
On the way to recovery the following cycle may occur:
* Abusive drinking;
* Attempts to control the quantity of intake;
* Trying to control drinking by changing the type of alcoholic beverage drunk;
* Periods of abstinence with the intention of being able to return to drinking in the future;
* Cessation of drinking with no efforts to change lifestyle; and,
* Finally making the decision to enter recovery and totally modify one’s life.
Next week I will have more about the tragedy of alcoholism and possible assistance with this disease.
Harold H. LeCrone, Jr., Ph.D. Copyright ©2012