Currently I know at least two people who are alcoholics but either don’t know it or don’t want to admit it. You may wonder how a person can be an alcoholic and not be aware of it, but it is very possible. And for the most part the unawareness is denial. Take for instance an associate of mine, he drinks every day, and I’m not talking about a beer or two after a long day of work. No I’m talking about brown likka on a daily basis. Weekends are all day brown likka fests and events such as Super Bowl and New Years are multi day fests where the brown likka along with a variety of other alcoholic beverages don’t cease until the next work day.
BUT if you ask this person if they are an alcoholic they will promptly say no and will take offense to even being asked such a question.
So that in turn makes you wonder, well if he isn’t an alcoholic then I must not know what an alcoholic is.
The Mayo Clinic defines alcoholism as: A chronic disease that makes your body dependent on alcohol. You may be obsessed with alcohol and unable to control how much you drink, even though your drinking is causing serious problems with your relationships, health, work and finances.
Now for many people that I know and consider alcoholics the part of the definition that states “You may be obsessed with alcohol and unable to control how much you drink” is their ultimate scapegoat. This is the loop hole they use to proclaim that they are not an alcoholic and are in no way dependent upon it. The reason being is that they always say that they are able to control how much they drink. Sure they may be able to control their drinking in ways such as not drinking at work (even though I know a few that do take a toke every now and then on the clock) and sure they may be able to curb how much they drink when going to places where being staggering drunk is unacceptable, but can they stop drinking completely if they chose to do so?
A few of the questions asked confirmed my suspicions of the people I know that are in denial. Some of the questions asked on the AA site are picture perfect descriptions of the people I know who claim NOT to be alcoholics
- Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days
- Have you missed days of work or school because of drinking?
- Have you had to have an eye-opener upon awakening during the past year?
- Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?
One of the people I know can’t get to work on Mondays to save his life. He Misses every Monday from work because he drinks himself into oblivion Sunday night and the rest of the weekend. He also has no license due to his drinking, which he swears is under control and is not a problem….
The other drinks and drives and of course that is not only dangerous, but stupid. He always claims to be coherent enough to drive, but being that I know how much he drinks I cannot see how he makes it to his destination and back. He also has no problem drinking with whoever has the supply. If he is visiting friends, family, associates, coworkers, perfect strangers etc. If they offer liquor he is definitely going to drink.
One of them even proclaims that he is not an alcoholic because he only drinks beer. BUT this same person stated once that with the amount of beer they have purchased over the past couple of years they could have bought a home.
Alcoholism is a type of drug addiction.
This is a major part of why many alcoholics refuse to accept what they really are. They don’t want to admit to their self that they have a drug addiction.
Alcoholism is divided into 2 categories: dependence and abuse
Accepting that you are addicted to a form of drug, means that you accept the fact that you are dependent upon it and are indeed abusing alcohol. That must be tough pill to swallow. But until a person faces that reality they will continue to live in denial and continue to abuse alcohol. The first step in healing is admitting that there is a problem.
If you or someone you know has a problem with alcohol abuse you can find more information on the disease at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Alcoholics Anonymous can assist anyone in need of locating a support group in their area.
The following statistics are frightening.
- In 2007, an estimated 12,998 people died in alcohol-impaired traffic crashes
- Three in every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lives
These statistics were taken from the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) website.
To join the fight against impaired drivers on the road click here.
***I in no way touched on the complete topic of Alcoholism in this post. If you would like some in depth information regarding the disease check out the NIAAA site that I provided the link to above. It gives pertinent information on not only the disease itself, but statistics including; deaths from cirrhosis of the liver, alcohol risk behaviors among youth and per capita alcohol consumption, based on alcohol sales data along with a host of other critical information about alcohol abuse and alcoholism.