“Many alcoholics believe that once they are sober for a few months they are cured. Nothing could be further from the truth. An alcoholic is not cured just because they stopped drinking. Remember, ‘the drinking’ for the alcoholic is only a symptom of an underlying problem within him or her. Total sobriety takes more than abstinence--it takes a spiritual and mental awareness through healing and growth”.
– Angie Lewis, The Alcoholism Trap
Alcoholism has become such a prevalent issue in our society, the chances that you have at least some familiarity with this disease are very high. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), more than 50% of all adults have a family history of some sort of alcohol abuse and over 7 million children live in a household where at least one parent is struggling with this disease. Moreover, alcoholism is the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation. Because of these devastating statistics, the NCAAD declared April as Alcohol Awareness Month in order to provide information about this disease and bring attention to drinking habits.
We’ve seen the signs along the highway documenting the number of drunk driving incidents and we’ve felt our heart strings being tugged while watching campaigns against this very issue. However, at the same time we are constantly bombarded by messages encouraging casual drinking. Breakfast cocktails, songs glorifying beer and tequila, and weekday “happy hour” events all perpetuate the message that alcohol is a stress reliever and is a must for people who wish to socialize. I mention these realities not as a suggestion that every social drinker is abusing alcohol, but to highlight how easy it is to fall into unhealthy drinking habits. What started as a casual Tuesday spent drinking may turn into a pattern of drinking most weekdays and even showing up to work drunk. If your personal, social, professional, or any other aspect of your life has been impaired due to drinking, it is time to seek help.
Unhealthy drinking patterns can be broken and it is our mission this month (and every other month) to provide information about recovery. Alcoholism IS a treatable condition and over 20 million people are currently living their life in long-term recovery. If you have suspicions that someone close to you may have an issue with alcohol abuse, read more about the signs and symptoms here. For an assessment or to learn more about the recovery process, please contact CAN today at 281-427-4226.
-Brina “BJ” Cash, MA, LPC-I, CART
~For Cease Addiction Now~