Dug and Heidi McGuirk answer “Should I Drink in Front of My Loved One in Recovery?”
Author: Shernide Delva
Dug and Heidi McGuirk, who run the Revolutionary Family program for Palm Healthcare, recently answered, “Should I drink in front of my loved one in recovery?” in their latest video. This question was submitted by a parent with a son in recovery.
My husband and I love craft beers and he’s making a wine right now at home and while we don’t drink around our son or mention it, we were wondering if he moves back to town, although he won’t be living with us, does that mean we have to stop drinking for his sobriety, or just not drink around him? It seems strange to pretend that we have given up drinking. I also ask because when we were visiting, my dad drank right in front of him, and he didn’t say anything, but I was nervous since he’s still new to recovery. I thought other parents might have the same question. I don’t want to treat him differently than any others, but I also don’t want to hurt his sobriety.
This is a common question that many parents and loved one’s of addicts ask especially in the early stages of recovery.
To start off, Dug McGuirk answers that it is important to have an initial awareness of your behaviors around your recovering loved one.
“My initial thoughts are that it’s great that you’re considering it, that you’re being aware, and you have some sensory acuity,” Dug McGuirk affirms. “It’s also fantastic that right now, in early recovery, you’re not necessary drinking in front of him, that’s probably fine. That’s a great decision if you believe in it.”
Still, it’s important to remember that you are not responsible for your loved one relapsing. Your loved one can still relapse regardless of whether you have alcohol around the house or not. Alcohol is everywhere, and eventually, they are going to have to deal with that reality.
“At some point, he’s going to be exposed to alcohol, so what are you going to do? Be co-dependent?” Dug McGuirk asks.
“Being exposed to stimulus doesn’t necessarily make somebody drink,” Heidi McGuirk says. “Your loved one is going to be exposed to the stimulus all the time, and that’s part of life.”
“You could go your whole life and not drink a drop of alcohol in front of somebody, or not have any alcohol in the home around them and they still could relapse,” Heidi McGuirk continues.
Decide What You Believe In:
Ultimately, Heidi McGuirk says it comes down to doing what you believe in. It is important to keep that in mind when making these types of decisions.
“Everybody’s going to be different,” she says. “Don’t do what you think is going to keep somebody sober. Do what you believe in instead.”
You may decide that not drinking around your loved one is a small sacrifice to make. That decision may give you some peace of mind when they are around. You have to determine that for yourself depending on the circumstances.
For Heidi McGuirk, she says if her father, who wrestled with addiction, were still alive, she likely would not feel comfortable drinking around him.
“If he were still here and he was still in recovery, we would not have alcohol around him. I just– I don’t believe in that. I wouldn’t want that for him,” she admits. “Me, not drinking anyway, it’s irrelevant, but if he were staying in my house, I would just do what I believe in. which is not having any alcohol around.”
Heidi McGuirk says her decision would come from a loving place. She compares it to the way she would behave around someone struggling with managing their weight.
“Just for the same reason that if I knew somebody who was managing their weight and they had a gastric bypass, I wouldn’t sit down to a four-course meal of desserts in front of them because I would find them kind of rude, but that’s me! Could I be a little codependent there? Probably. But that’s how I love,“ she explains.
Everyone is Different:
Heidi McGuirk explains how these decisions may simply come from a place of love for your addicted loved one. However, it also good to note how your loved one feels about it. They may feel offended by your decision to not drink or have alcohol around.
“In my own life, I wouldn’t want for one second for somebody not to drink around me,” she admits. “I have lots of friends, lots of family, who drink in front of me all the time, and I don’t take offense to it, and I wouldn’t want them to change their lifestyle. So again, it’s not about keeping somebody sober, it’s finding what you believe in and then practicing what you believe in from a place of your heart versus your mind on what you think is going to keep somebody well.”
“The simple answer is that whether you drink or not is not going to make someone relapse,” Dug McGuirk says. “Cause if someone relapses, it has nothing to do with what they’re exposed to. It has everything to do with: Are they working their recovery?”
Insights From My Relationship
Personally, I related to this question a lot, and agree with the answer Dug and Heidi McGuirk gave. My boyfriend was five years sober when we first got together nearly two years ago. However, I am not in recovery from drugs or alcohol. In the beginning of the relationship, I wanted to ensure he was okay with seeing me consume alcohol.
It turns out; drinking in front of my boyfriend did not bother him at all. In fact, he felt more comfortable when I did not alter my behavior due to his recovery. However, his drug of choice was never alcohol, so drinking was never a trigger for him to begin with.
If needed, I would have abstained from alcohol while he was around, simply from a place of love. Fortunately, I never needed to make that decision. As you can see, these situations really vary from person to person.
Still, whether or not to drink in front of a loved one is a multifaceted question. Communication is essential. In early recovery, drinking or having alcohol around the house might not be a good idea. Later on, it may become less of an issue. Overall, if you have any uncertainty about your loved one’s sobriety, please reach out. We can help. Call now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Shernide Delva
Researchers in Antarctica have garnered a reputation for boozin’ up to beat the cold and loneliness. Now, reports of possible intoxication, fights and misconduct have prompted government agencies to take action. Due to reports of “unpredictable behavior,” officials from the National Science Foundation (NSF) may begin giving their employees breathalyzer tests
The agency could be shipping several breathalyzers to areas where a total of 1,150 scientists and support staff are stationed. This comes after officials reportedly told auditors of “unpredictable behavior that has led to fights, indecent exposure, and employees arriving to work under the influence.”
Drinking in Antarctica could lead to serious problems if not controlled. For one, the closest medical care facility is at lead a few hours away from the bases. So if you were to get alcohol poisoning, it’d be a long ways before you get to a hospital. As a result, the supervisors are solely responsible for keeping people safe. In one article, a worker stated:
“It’s a fine line because you have to let people do their own thing and be responsible. The South Pole is such a small community, there’s only one person for each job.”
The agency claims that drinking is “not out of control” and the breathalyzer measure is preventative. The NSF officials told auditors that the real problem was the “ongoing culture class” between construct works and scientists. They often eat, socialize and drink separately. Contractors are treated lower and have to abide by more rules than scientists who are put on a higher pedestal, the article notes. The agency went on to say that it feels the time is now to address the drinking issue before it becomes a serious issue.
However, there are some administrative roadblocks. Since Antarctica is not U.S territory, it makes it unclear who would conduct the breathalyzer tests and which employees would have the rights to appeal them. Even more complicated, the South Pole is at such a high altitude, the breathalyzer tests may not even function properly. The South Pole Station is at an altitude of 10,000, atop a high plateau. At that altitude, the device would have difficulty calibrating.
Other countries with research bases on Antarctica, like Britain and France have distinct rule about alcohol use. The British Antarctic Survey asserts in its detailed alcohol and drug policy that “alcohol can play a useful role in providing a diversion from the pressures of work when used in moderation,” but staff are prohibited from working under the influence.
To put it into perspective, the article describes how every winter; dozens of workers at the South Pole research station spend nine months in isolation. No airplanes can fly in or out until the base “warms” up to 50 zero ensuring the fuel does not freeze and kill the engine.
If you want to escape your problems, Antarctica is the place to go but after months in isolation, emotions can flare up. Families and friends can bring back old memories of home. Workers predisposed to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) are hit hard. The darkness and cold causes sleepiness and memory problems. Many scientists and workers fall into alcoholism as a way of coping with the depression.
Working in Antarctica can be one of the most exciting jobs on Earth. Or it can be the most depressing. And the fact is, drinking during work hours is a serious problem, just like at any big company. As of right now, there is no clear policy in place to regulate drinking behavior.
Implementing new policies on how to control the drinking will hopefully prevent the alcohol consumption from getting out of control. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-561-221-1125
Author: Shernide Delva
It’s hard to imagine running an entire country but being inebriated while doing it? For a few presidents, this was a daily reality.
Looking back, a lot of our presidents were huge drinkers and by today’s standards, many of our former presidents would have even qualified as alcoholics.
“Being president is a high pressure job, and it’s a surprise anyone gets out of there alive, much less sober,” says journalist Brian Abrams, author of the book Party like a President: True Tales of Inebriation, Lechery and Mischief in the Oval Office.
Even a close look at America’s most celebrated moments will reveal alcohol playing some kind of role. When the Mayflower carried the pilgrims to Plymouth, she carried several barrels of beer along with her.
In some of the earlier presidential terms, alcohol was looked at much differently than it is today. Back then, there was really nothing exceptional about our founding fathers beginning the day with a beer.
Let’s take a trip through time. Here are 10 presidents, in chronological order, who had quite a liking for liquor:
1. George Washington (1789–1797)
Throughout the Revolutionary War, Washington made sure his men were given one cup of rum each day.
He also was a huge fan of wine, especially French wine. In fact, when the colonists desperately needed the French to help them fight the British, Washington would exchange letters with French generals discussing their favorite wines.
2. John Adams (1797 – 1801)
When John Adams got into Harvard at age 15, he was already regularly drinking beer for breakfast. According to reports, John Adams drank a tankard, or 20 ounces, of hard cider for breakfast each morning!
John Adams was a drinker from the beginning. He actually started drinking at the tender age of eight and went on until his death…at age 90.
3. Martin van Buren (1837-1841)
Buren was one of those high functioning alcoholics. He could drink for days and not show any signs of being intoxicated. It was to the point that his friends gave him the nickname “Blue Whiskey Van.”
In 1840, William Henry Harrison’s campaign painted Van Buren as an alcoholic which contributed to him losing the election.
4. Franklin Pierce (1853 – 1857)
When the Democratic party decided not to re-nominate Pierce after his first term in office, he told reporters,
“There’s nothing left but to get drunk.”
Franklin Pierce might have been America’s MOST
alcoholic president. He drank hard for his entire adult life and kept going right on through the end of his presidency.
5. James Buchanan (1857 – 1861)
This president’s ENTIRE life centered on drinking.
One report has it that Buchanan flipped when he found out the white house would only be stocked with small bottles of champagne.
That’s why every Sunday, he’d go to a distillery and pick up a 10 GALLON jug of whiskey. According to reporters, he’d drink cognac and up to two BOTTLES of other alcohol every night.
If you’re thinking he was a drunken mess 24/7… not really. This president also knew how to hold his liquor.
He remained calm and cautious on the outside so most people around him did not know he was drunk. On the inside though, his body was suffering.
Soon his immune system was so weakened by such high alcohol consumption, he developed serious stomach issues like inflammation of his intestines on several occasions.
6. Ulysses S. Grant (1869–1877)
Famous General Ulysses S. Grant drank a staggering amount of Old Crow whiskey throughout the war. While many were shocked at his constant inebriated state, he went on to become one of the most celebrated generals of the war and was twice elected as president.
Grant has the biggest drinking reputation of any U.S. president. One report stated that during Civil War battles “he’d just sit there, drinking, all day long.”
Grant had attempted to gain sobriety many times and wanted to control his drinking. Time and time again though, Grant returned back to the booze.
Fun Fact: When Ulysses S. Grant was on his death bed he passed out and a doctor was able to revive him and give him a couple of extra minutes of life…by giving him brandy.
7. Chester A. Arthur (1881–1885)
Talk about beer belly…
As president, Arthur put on close to 40 pounds in office. A lot of this was due to constant drinking and having friends come over to drink on a nightly basis. Arthur was quite a social butterfly.
Sadly, it caught up to him and it is believed that his heavy drinking caused Arthur’s kidney failure and death at 57 years old.
8. Richard Nixon (1969 – 1974)
Unlike most presidents on this lists, the case of Nixon is a considerably darker one.
In the book, One Man Against The World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon, journalist Tim Weiner paints a picture of the 37th president as a paranoid madman, driven to shameful behavior through crippling addiction and mental collapse.
Evidence for his behavior come from newly released recordings from the Nixon administration.
In the book Weiner reports:
• Nixon had been up all night drinking when he accepted defeat in his 1960 bid for the presidency, delivering his infamous line, “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore,” to reporters.
• By 1968, his close adviser John Ehrlichman was ready to call it quits over Nixon’s drinking.
“He was convinced that Nixon’s drinking could cost him any chance of a return to public life,” Weiner writes. “He had seen Nixon drunk during the 1960 and 1962 campaigns and the 1964 Republican convention, and he made him take the pledge: ‘If he wanted me to work for him he would lay off the booze.’”
• During Watergate, Nixon took Seconal, a barbiturate
, as a sleep-aid, and Dilantin, a drug that leveled you out and was later diagnosed to people with bipolar disorder
. Because he would combine the drugs with alcohol, it heightened the effects.
“It wasn’t so much that he was a huge drinker, but one scotch with the pills would mess him up. He’d drunk dial people in his cabinet, his staff, or his old football coach, who would listen to Nixon until he’d mumble himself to sleep.”
• According to Weiner, Nixon’s constant insomnia and drinking fueled his aggression in the war in Vietnam.
9. George W. Bush (2001-2009)
Bush was quite the party guy in college and engaged in fraternity parties, secret societies and football weekends during his Yale days.
According to some sources, Bush spent much of his time at Yale and a portion of his adult life as an on and off again alcoholic. Bush was arrested for driving under the influence in the ‘70s. The revelation of Bush’s criminal record did not cost him the presidency.
By all accounts, George W. Bush remained sober throughout his presidency, and continues to abstain from alcohol to this day.
10. Barrack Obama (2009-Present)
Obama has admitted to smoking cigarettes, pot and heavily drinking in his youth. Although Obama has put his past behind him, he has a way of keeping the tradition of alcohol and presidency alive.
The famous “beer summit” where race relations were discussed in the Rose Garden or when he smoothed over a phone tapping scandal with a beer alongside the German Prime Ministered.
Obama puts out a message of casual down-home drinking and no gossip about overindulgence has emerged involving the current president.
While some presidents have worked to ban alcohol, others have worked to drink as much as possible. Others, like Obama, encourage the social aspects of the occasional drink in moderation. Overall though, alcohol has been a part of American history just as much as anything.
We as a society have learned that excess booze will kill your body and wreak havoc on your emotions. It’s always interesting to look back at previous presidents lives and find out how they handled drinking. Being a president is a high stress position but of course abusing alcohol is never a healthy way of coping with stress and emotions. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Summertime is good for a lot of things, not just the sunshine and lighter clothes (although here in Florida we get that all the time, just saying). Of course with the amazing weather comes more of the great outdoors and every activity under the sun, and for a lot of Americans drinking is involved.
So one company decided to take some tallies and see which states drink the most during the summer, and some of these results may be a little surprising to a few residents.
BACtrack is a company from sunny California specializing in breathalyzers, specially the portable kind. The company collects and shares consumer Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) data for review and analysis that is used in these reports, and this is the 4th report so far they have made using their data.
The data provides insight into alcohol consumption patterns around the nation, and is regularly updated and analyzed.
In this report the company examines average BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) levels during the summer months of 2014 including:
The data was collected anonymously from over 71K unique BAC tests from users of BACtrack Mobile, BACtrack’s award-winning smartphone breathalyzer, and BaCtrack Vio, which sync with their app. The report was collected from users in the United States with data storage activated, location services turned on, and does not represent data from all users.
States with highest BAC levels
- West Virginia- 0.103
- Nevada- 0.095
- Pennsylvania- 0.088
- Connecticut- 0.088
- Nebraska- 0.082
States with lowest BAC levels
- New Mexico- 0.055
- Missouri- 0.048
- Washington D.C.- 0.043
- Delaware- 0.042
- Kentucky- 0.039
When Do Americans Drink the Most?
According to BACtrack data, the summer drinking rates start and finish on a high note, only experiencing a slight decline towards the end of July. The summer is obviously a prominent drinking season, with over 47% of days throughout the 3 summer months (June, July and August) generating an average BAC above 0.060%, which is actually the national average throughout the entire year!
When are America’s peak drinking days from the summer?
The first place spot for ‘Most Drunk Day of Summer’ is actually a tie for last year. The average BAC was 0.082% and the 2 days were:
- Summer Solstice, the official start of summer
- 4th of July
The week leading up to July 4th is also the booziest week of the summer, with an average BAC of 0.075%. No other week has an average BAC over 0.070%.
Another tie goes to the average BAC per month, with July and August both hitting about 0.063%, but according to this data Americans drink the most in June, with an average BAC of 0.066%.
8 of the 13 biggest drinking days of the summer are Saturdays, with average BACs between 0.075% and 0.082%.
Most SOBER Days
One fun fact that probably wouldn’t come as much of a shock is Mondays and Tuesdays are the days with the least drinking.
- Tuesday, August 5th registered the lowest average BAC of 0.034%
- Monday, July 21st was second place with 0.039% average BAC
- Monday, June 9 and Monday Aug 4 tied for third with both of them showing a 0.040% average BAC
It’s probably safe to say that summer is a big drinking season, and it can be a tempting time for an alcoholic. Between taking vacations and attending holiday functions, some people recovering from alcoholism might find it a little hard avoiding a drink.
Sobriety isn’t a seasonal thing. Lasting sobriety doesn’t really depend on the weather or the holidays, just on the action an individual is willing to put in to stay sober. This summer relax and enjoy all that sunshine, but also stay true to the things in life that keep you happy and fulfilled.
Take part in some new summer activities, go on an adventure, spend time with your sober supports or whatever it is you do to stay active and involved.
For the alcoholic who still suffers, the summertime can be a hard time to give up the life, but making the decision to stop drinking may be what ensures you another summer. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Another edition of your Crazy News Stories of the Week…brace yourselves!
#1. Pervy Wal-mart Customer
A Wal-Mart shopper with a device hidden in his shoe snapped photos up a woman’s skirt in the toilet-paper aisle and in a checkout line, according to police.
Paul Senzee, 40, was charged with video voyeurism after he allegedly placed either an iPhone or iPad under the same woman’s skirt at the Wal-Mart.
Shannon Cordingly, a Sanford police spokeswoman, said in a statement, “Senzee walked up behind the victim multiple times and extended his foot forward and under her skirt. Once police are able to execute a search of Senzee’s cell phone they will be able to determine if there are additional victims.”
The alleged victim confronted Senzee after spotting his secret camera and the police were called about a suspicious person.
According to a report, the woman said a man she later identified as Senzee “appeared to be attempting to sneak up behind her.”
When she turned to look at the man, he quickly turned and walked away and pretended to “focus on merchandise on the shelves,” according to the report.
She tried to walk away but he then followed her. She spotted a hole in the top of one of his shoes but “didn’t think anything of it at the time,” the report said.
The woman said she later noticed the same man was behind her in a checkout line and thought it was strange that he didn’t have any merchandise to purchase.
She turned again, looked at the shoe with the hole, and the man immediately turned and walked away.
The report states that the woman then said “she followed the man and stopped him with her grocery cart and asked the man to show her his shoes.” He refused and continued to walk away.
She started yelling and an unidentified man approached Senzee and demanded he take the device out of the shoe, which he did.
Then police arrived.
“I observed Senzee wearing black in color dress shoes with a round hole cut out of the top of his right shoe,” an officer wrote in a report. “It should be noted that the tape around the camera lens of the ipod/iphone matched the color of Senzee’s shoes.”
The suspect declined to speak to the officer.
Store security found images of Senzee on surveillance video.
“I observed the recorded surveillance video which clearly showed Senzee walk up behind [the woman] while in a checkout line and extend his right foot forward and under [her] skirt multiple times,” the report said.
He was handcuffed, arrested for video voyeurism and taken to the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Sanford.
#2. Disgruntled Strip Club Customer
A man who left the a strip club called the Shark Lounge was unsatisfied with his experience – so much so – that he returned with a gun and shot a hole in the building, according to police.
He then led police on a chase across town, according to a charging affidavit.
It happened just before 2 a.m., according to two men who told police a gunshot fired from a red sport utility vehicle whizzed right over their heads and struck the Shark Lounge. Neither man was hurt.
Employees of the club told police that Krishna Swamy left the bar’s VIP area upset then tried to leave the Shark Lounge carrying a beer.
He became more agitated when club employees tried to stop him at the door.
According to his arrest affidavit, Swamy then flung his drink at an employee, got into his SUV, grabbed a .30-06 rifle equipped with a scope and fired above the heads of the two men, striking the building.
Swamy, whom according to police is mentally ill, then pealed out of the parking lot.
Police were able to head him off and throw down stop sticks at one intersection before he drove through it. Both of the SUV’s driver’s side tires were flattened but Swamy kept going, police said.
Two officers and a police dog apprehended Swamy, who was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries.
Police, who also found two shotguns and ammunition in Swamy’s SUV, say he admitted to shooting his weapon, the report states.
Police Chief Mike Chitwood said Swamy has a record, including an arrest for battery on a law enforcement officer.
#3. Burglar Caught With His Hand in the Candy Jar
A cat burglar with a sweet tooth made the pricey mistake of leaving behind a lollipop stick at the scene of his crime. Detectives were able to crack the case by running the DNA on it through a database of known offenders.
Thomas Christopher Crews, 53, now resides in the Collier County jail following his arrest on burglary and grand theft charges.
The lollipop stick was discovered while Collier County Sheriff’s Office detectives were investigating a “Dinner Set” burglary at a residence back in March.
The term Dinner Set burglars refers to criminals who typically strike up-scale homes while residents are out to dinner.
The victim told detectives that she left the residence for dinner around 6 pm and when she returned at 10:30 pm she noticed the rear sliding glass door was ajar and that some of her jewelry was missing.
The victim also noticed a used lollipop stick that wasn’t hers that was on top of a bedroom dresser.
Detectives submitted the lollipop stick to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to be processed for DNA.
Forensic testing matched DNA evidence from the lollipop stick to Crews, detectives said. Crews’ DNA was already on file at a DNA data bank in Florida from a case from back in 2001.
He was arrested at his home on Thursday.
Crews has served more than 20 years in prison.
#4. Cadillac Babysits 3 Children
According to the Ocala Police Department, a father of three is accused of leaving his children in a car while he patronized a bar and drank beer over the course of several hours. Police arrested Joshua Delong, 28, after they found him bloodied and on the sidewalk outside of Dr. B’s Bar.
The bar’s security guard called police after Delong tried to drive intoxicated with the kids, ages 5, 7 and 8, in the car, according to the arrest affidavit.
The guard told police that’s when an angry patron hit Delong, according to the arrest affidavit.
Delong later told police that several men inside the bar accused of him of leaving his kids in the car, dragged him outside and beat him.
Prior to Delong’s arrest, a witness called police to report Delong’s three young children left alone for four hours in a gold Cadillac with the windows up and the key in the ignition, according to police. The children had been honking the horn and yelling “daddy” in the car.
A good Samaritan, Heather Weiss, stayed with the children and kept them calm until officers arrived, police said.
Delong told police that he left his children in his mother’s care and that his wife dropped them off at the bar without his knowledge. Delong’s wife and mother denied the claims, police said.
Delong was treated for his injuries at Orlando Regional Medical Center and then booked at the Marion County Jail. He was charged with three counts of child neglect.
#5. Peeping Tom Picks Fight with Fire Hydrant
St. Petersburg police recently arrested a prowler who they say tried to fight a fire hydrant before he was taken into custody.
Police said Jeffrey Paul McKenna, 34, was seen peeking into windows of homes in the 4800 block of Third Avenue N in St. Petersburg.
Police were called and when officers arrived, McKenna told them he was looking for “Tony” and “wanted to go with the back-up officer and smoke and be back in 20 minutes,” an officer wrote in an arrest report.
“He was also acting like he was going to fight the fire hydrant in front of him prior to being taken into custody,” the officer wrote.
The report does not indicate if McKenna — or the fire hydrant — landed any blows.
The purpose of this article is to entertain our readers. But substance abuse and addiction are no laughing matter. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, help is available. Please call us at toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions.