What is Alcoholism?
The disease called Drinking Problem is characterized by a craving for and a dependence on alcohol; an urge beyond the capability of the person to control. But there is so much more… it is a disease of the body, mind and spirit.
However, what that “means” is probably the more important question to ask. Addiction is an enormous problem in the United States because alcohol is so readily available, it’s socially acceptable and we tolerate those under the influence, even when they break the law.
“I need a drink.” It’s a common statement, one that millions of Americans mutter when faced with a tough situation, or after a stressful moment. In film it is portrayed as a necessary element to handling tragedy, such as in the “The Godfather” scene, when Tom Hagen (Robert Duval) is trying to compose himself in preparation for telling Vito Corleone (Marlin Brando) that Santino had been killed.
Film also portrays the need for a drink in a comical light, such as the scene from “My Fair Lady” when Alfred P. Dolittle (Stanley Holloway) tells Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) that he can’t face the missus without “a little liquid protection.” The whimsical way in which alcohol is portrayed in theater, movies and television is a contributing factor, because drinking is acceptable and isn’t taken seriously.
Drinking problems are VERY wide-spread
The problem of Drinking Problem and Alcohol is wide-spread. The Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University concluded:
“more than half of all adults have a family history of Drinking Problem and Alcohol or problem drinking, and more than nine million children live with a parent dependent on alcohol and/or illicit drugs.” That is a staggering piece of information.
A major part of our Culture
I live in Milwaukee, where beer drinking is a major sport. Attending a game at Miller Park for the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team is quite an experience, as vendors are constantly walking the aisles of the stadium hawking beer. As soon as one leaves another one appears.
I counted once and recorded that 48 vendor appearances were noted before the fifth inning at one game. People drink the whole time, and come into the ballpark after having a few in the parking lot. It’s all a part of the culture. The Milwaukee Brewers don’t consider it a problem, especially when they take in nearly $7 a serving.
It impacts all of us!
Drinking Problem affects us all. Beyond the immediate family, we have friends, co-workers and neighbors. Moreover, Drinking Problem and Alcohol and alcohol abuse are directly related to our most difficult social problems, such as crime, domestic violence, teen pregnancy.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Drinking Problem and Alcohol teaches us that a person will continue to drink even though it has serious impact on family, friends, employment, health and legal matters. The disease takes over and soon a person is slave to the alcohol. They have to take another drink. People have been known to literally drink themselves to death.
Sadly, there is no cure
Drinking Problem and Alcohol cannot be cured. It will forever remain a part of a person’s makeup. However, when it comes to Drinking Problem and Alcohol, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that alcohol can be treated and managed. Alcoholics can live successful lives. The bad news is that they are always vulnerable to relapse if they take a drink.
Denial is major issue
Some people will say, “I’m not an alcoholic, I’m just a problem drinker.” There is humor in this statement, but there is also serious truth. People can drink too often, drink too much and run into problems, even though they are not physically addicted.
DUI, driving under the influence is huge in this country. People have been known to go to court repeatedly, yet they are not technically alcoholics. Sure, there are drunk-driving laws, but people abuse the tolerance and generosity of the court system. They will continue to drink and they will continue to drive, with or without a license. If you lock up the drunks, the jails will be filled every night.
Wife wants divorce after detox?
My wife came back from detox for alcohol and opiates, and then said she doesn't love me anymore. She is 30 days sober, and we are separated (at my request). We have 2 small kids. I am not sure if she really does not love me or if this is part of the initial insanity that comes with dealing with addiction.
She does not talk to me about the relationship, so I am preparing for divorce. I hear this is common, but I can't find good advice on the subject.
by: Ned Wicker
Understand you are with someone who is making the transformation from a diseased and troubled mind, to sobriety and with that comes some adjustment. Give it some time and get some help for yourself through Al-Anon or Alcoholics Anonymous.
Addiction is a family disease, so be patient and know that you have to go through this together. I also realize the emotional toll of this process can be very difficult. That's why self-care is so important. Get some help for yourself and learn how you can be a help to your wife.
Individuals are told not to make any rash decisions for up to 6 months to a year, because of the emotional issue that goes with recovery.