Alcohol and the Family

Let’s Discuss Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism

In current times when mood-altering drugs dominate table discussions and news headlines, the subject of alcohol abuse and alcoholism stays below the surface This isn’t just a “trend.” It frequently happens when new batches of controlled substances are introduced or when old addictive drugs, like heroin, hit the streets in abundance. Alcohol is then accepted as merely another beverage.

Yet alcoholism remains a “challenge” for those who would define it, control it and seek remedies for its often-fatal consequences. Alcoholism can, of course, be tracked through the ages. It has, however, been a prime target for community concern over the decades since drinking and automobiles started to mix.

Physical and mental damage from alcoholism can be tracked back to ancient times. Today, still, alcohol is the chemical substance most often abused and is frequently the preferred substitute with drug addicts. Drugs of popular choice make great headlines and products like OxyContin and Ecstasy bring wide attention. Remedies are keyed to controls and severe penalties attached to violations. Nowhere is use of new street drugs more strongly debated than in neighborhood taprooms between drinks!

For those willing to look at the subject of alcoholism, the question immediately arises as to the reason for a personal concern. Is the one making the inquiry fearful of having crossed some danger point in their own drinking? Or, is someone close to them becoming a problem? Interest and action are often triggered by a shocking event, or perhaps, the behavior of a family member is less and less acceptable? Could it be trouble between an employer and a valuable employee?

At these times those “who care” seek information and according to alcoholism specialists it’s the point when “evaluation” must be explored. One old adage suggests: “It’s alcohol dependency when someone gets worried enough to ask about it.” Of course, it’s the stage when alcohol is taking control and is impacting on family, job and health. Little doubt remains it’s time to seek a course of action. You may be at this first key phase of inquiry? Let us help!

One of the methods used in determining action is a series of questions developed by alcoholism researchers over the years. When any answer is “yes” then there’s reason for further concern and the degree of seriousness increases with the number of “yes” answers. Close attention and self-honesty are the only requirements for this test.

  • Attend A.A. or Alanon for support. The sharing of “experiences, strengths and hopes” is the foundation for both fellowships.
  • Stop “covering” for the alcoholic. The things done to make his, or her, drinking as unpleasant as possible will highlight abusive conduct and its consequences.
  • Don’t perform work or the usual family tasks for the alcohol abuser. Take care of your own business and don’t assume the responsibilities being ignored.
  • It’s best not to engage in debate or take “righteous” positions. Alanon has a suggestion that works: “detach with love,” and address your own needs.
  • If you detect positive changes in the alcoholics conduct don’t jump to conclusions. The disease develops over many years. Recovering is a long, challenging journey.