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Author: Justin Mckibben
Alcoholism is a term that has been around for quite a long time, but over the generations it has been understood and treated in a variety of ways. Perhaps as the world and society evolves, so does the average alcoholic.
Either way you look at it, alcoholism is a very real threat. National surveys of recent years indicate:
- Nearly 19 million people in the US abuse alcohol, or have an addiction to it.
- In Europe, it’s estimated that 23 million people are dependent on alcohol
- Estimates say more than two million deaths resulting from alcohol consumption a year internationally
History of Alcoholism
The term “alcoholism” was first used by a Swedish professor of medicine, Magnus Huss (1807-1890). Huss turned the phrase in 1849, to mean poisoning by alcohol. While today “alcohol poisoning” is a more direct classification, alcohol-ism is still a poison in the lives of those who is touches.
Huss distinguished between two types of alcoholism:
Huss’s definition says this is the result of the temporary effects of alcohol taken within a short period of time, such as intoxication. Basically, it is having too much to drink.
This Huss calls a pathological condition through the habitual use of alcoholic beverages in poisonous amounts over a long period of time. A pretty innovative idea, and something that would be debated for over a century.
Since 1849, the definition has changed endlessly.
Establishing a definitive “alcoholism” definition is difficult as there is little unanimity on the subject. The reason for such a variety of definitions is the different opinions each authority holds, and the year the definition was formed. We have the strictest definition the dictionary provides:
- An addiction to the consumption of alcoholic liquor or the mental illness and compulsive behavior resulting from alcohol
We also have the concept presented by the book Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which gives stories of struggle and strength, experience and hope; the lives of many alcoholics who developed a manner of living through a plan of action rooted in 12 Steps. Here alcoholism is often described as a “physical compulsion coupled with a mental obsession”. The disease model of alcoholism has evolved overtime.
Early on 12 Step fellowships like AA were cautious about trying to label the medical nature of alcoholism. However, many members believe alcoholism is a disease. In 1960 Bill Wilson, one of the founders of AA, explained why they had refrained from using the term “disease,” stating:
“We AAs have never called alcoholism a disease because, technically speaking, it is not a disease entity. For example, there is no such thing as heart disease. Instead there are many separate heart ailments or combinations of them. It is something like that with alcoholism. Therefore, we did not wish to get in wrong with the medical profession by pronouncing alcoholism a disease entity. Hence, we have always called it an illness or a malady—a far safer term for us to use.”
These days, the classification of disease is commonly applied to alcoholism or addiction. Some have called them brain disorders. While some dispute the disease label, many believe it is the truest portrayal of alcohol addiction in the most severe form. The idea of alcoholism being a disease has been around since as early as the 18th century.
Many of the more up-to-date medical definitions do describe it as a disease. These definitions say the alcohol problem is influenced by:
- Social factors
Treatment of Alcoholism
When asking how treatment for alcoholism is important, there are a few specifically important elements to consider. When it comes to health risks of trying to quit cold turkey, it can be a lot more painful or dangerous than you think. Also, lasting recovery has a lot more to do with learning new coping skills and behaviors than just giving up the substance.
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome occurs when the central nervous system (CNS) becomes overly excited. Alcohol suppressing the activity in the CNS, so the abrupt absence of alcohol causes the CNS to jump into overdrive. In essence, your system starts overcompensating.
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome symptoms include:
The severity of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome can range from mild to very severe and even life-threatening.
Most treatment programs understand the importance of therapy at different levels. Group therapy helps people fighting addiction receive peer support. Individual therapy lets you work more intimately on these issues with a professional.
Holistic programs such as Palm Partners Treatment Program help you develop a personalized recovery plan to guide you in your treatment, setting benchmarks and goals while you are in treatment.
Some groups are more educationally-structured in order to teach you very important aspects for understanding the nature alcoholism, as well as ways to make major lifestyle changes. Holistic recovery is about more than surviving your struggle, but actually outlining a way you can thrive and move forward with healthy life skills. Finding the right treatment option can make all the difference in how you define your alcoholism, versus how you let it define you.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
When we do our fourth and fifth steps of a 12 step recovery, that’s when we take a look at our part in things and then share those things with another human being, our sponsor. Specifically, we look at four main areas: fears, resentments, sex, and harms to others. For the purpose of this blog, we’re going to focus mainly on resentments – and maybe fears and sex. And this is where things can get a little hairy.
Many people who go on to develop an addiction have unresolved trauma, such as sexual assault, at the heart of their problems. That being said, the fourth, and then fifth, step is when we bring that sort of stuff up. And this is why a lot of people dread doing these steps. In fact, so many people fear this step, so much so that it’s often the defining moment of whether the person continues their program or goes back out.
When we do our fourth step, we write down all of our “faults and mistakes” – that we can remember –to see in black and white the truth of our behavior. The purpose of our resentments inventory is to discover that our troubles are not because of someone else but instead, as mentioned on page 62 of the Big Book, our troubles are of our own making; therefore we are accountable.
So, when it comes to sexual assault and the fourth and fifth steps, where is the line between taking responsibility and perpetuating rape culture by blaming the victim?
After writing a fourth step, the sponsee will then meet with their sponsor who serves to show them how they played a part in the events listed, as a result of their character defects and of their drinking and drugging. Some sponsors might say something to the effect that, because of their drug use, the person (victim) was intoxicated and therefore left themselves vulnerable to the sexual assault. Regardless of if you are in a program or not, everyone has the right to expect that they will not be taken advantage of while intoxicated or at any other time. Blaming the victim for their assault because they drank too much or were too high is a reflection of rape culture at work.
I get it. The purpose of our fourth and fifth step is to really see how our lives had become unmanageable as a result of our substance abuse as well as to become aware and really connect with the fallout that resulted. But there are better, more sensitive ways to handle instances involving when a sponsee confides being the victim of sexual assault.
One way to do this is to point out that, although it’s not their fault that the assault happened, it’s their responsibility to find a way to forgive and let go of the anger and resentment they feel towards the person or persons and the event(s). Otherwise, it’s like continually drinking poison as a way to punish the person or people who victimized them.
We are each responsible and accountable for our recovery and healing process. As they say, recovery isn’t for those who need it nor is it for those who want it; it’s for those who do the work. If you are truly committed to healing and improving your life, there will come a point where you have to decide that you are willing to let go of past transgressions. You will need to forgive yourself and others if you are going to get better.
“Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.” – Tony Robbins
“Forgiveness is not something we do for others, it’s something we do for ourselves so that we can heal and move on.” – Anonymous
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi
When you find that you can’t go a day without a drink or a drug, even if it’s prescribed, because you have difficulty coping with past trauma and with life, in general, you can call us. We’re here to help. Call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist who can answer your questions as well as give you some resources for support. You are not alone.
Here are your crazy news stories of the week!
Major Field Sobriety Test Fail
A lady in Marion County was taken to jail Thursday when deputies say she was intoxicated at a gas station and chuckled in their faces when asked if she was drunk. Deputies said 54-year-old Lori Ann Krosser staggered out of the Kangaroo Express gas station on Southwest 103rd Street in Ocala and went to her car at one of the pumps. The report said that Krosser “had very slurred speech and smelled strongly of an alcoholic beverage.” Deputies tried to do a field sobriety test, but they said Krosser was so drunk that she started stumbling in random directions and into one of the officers, deputies stated. Deputies said that when they arrested her and took her to Marion County Jail she urinated in her pants, declined to take a breathalyzer or sign any documents and confessed to owning marijuana that was discovered in her purse when she arrived. Krosser has been charged with driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and smuggling contraband into a detention facility.
Man Sets off Military Style Explosive on Another Man’s Car
A DeBary man was arrested and charged with explosion of a military device on the hood of the car of an Orange City man who took his cellphone and gave it back without the SIM card that holds personal informations, Orange City police stated. 29-year-old Aaron Nesbitt who is a former employee of Mickey Finns Restaurant at 816 Saxon Blvd., was livid with 25-year-old Armanny Echevarria of Orange City over the phone occurrence, police said. So, on Sunday at 7:49 p.m., Nesbitt went to the parking lot of the restaurant where Echevarria worked and placed a military artillery simulator explosive (an M-21) on the hood of Echevarria’s car, said Orange City police spokesman Lt. Jason Sampsell.
Man Confesses to Shooting of Apopka Police Officers Car
20-year-old Tyler Endsley of Apopka was arrested on Tuesday after police said he confessed to shooting up an Apopka police car at a 7-Eleven. An unidentified tip led officers to him. He told detectives he was high on Xanax and marijuana when he shot the patrol car with a 10-gauge shotgun at about 4 a.m. Sunday, department spokesman Officer Ed Chittenden stated. Police arrested Endsley on charges of attempted armed robbery, use of a firearm during a felony, displaying a firearm in public and criminal mischief.
Couple Caught Having Sex in a Walgreens Restroom
Winter Haven Police say that at about 8:10 p.m. on Saturday, 24-year-old Christopher Mahurin and 22-year-old Jenna Lynn Frey had sex in one of the stalls of the women’s restroom at the Walgreens set at 805 Havendale Blvd. N.W. While the pair was still in the stall, a 6-year-old girl came in the bathroom while her father stood close by. Mahurin left the stall completely naked and immediately pushed the girl towards the door and she began shouting, according to police. The girl’s father, who was just outside of the restroom door, overheard the shrieks and entered the restroom to get his daughter. When officers arrived, Mahurin and Frey were in a car in the parking lot. Originally the pair denied the event saying that Frey only went in to use the restroom. Though, after additional questioning, Frey told officers that they had sex in the stall. Mahurin was retained into the Polk County Jail on charges of lewd/lascivious exhibition, indecent exposure in public, battery and knowingly driving with suspended or revoked license .
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.
Another installation of Crazy News Stories of the Week…be ready to “smh”
First thing’s first: Follow-up
Last week, we reported the crazy news story about a cross-dresser who had thrown a hunk of cement through the front passenger window of a PT Cruiser when the driver refused to give s/him a lift. Well, as a follow-up …
“Orlando police said they arrested a cross-dresser who hurled a piece of concrete at a driver on Orange Blossom Trail earlier this month, breaking the car window.”
The man, identified by detectives Wednesday as 25-year-old Andrew J. West was arrested on a charge of throwing a deadly missile into an occupied vehicle. He was booked into the Orange County Jail.
Like Father, Like Daughter
DeFuniak Springs — After a Mississippi spring-breaker was arrested, her father followed suit shortly thereafter. Ironically, Phillip D. Tidwell, 47, of Dyersburg, TN was arrested while awaiting his daughter’s release from jail. And in a perfect case of like-father-like-daughter, both arrests involved alcohol.
The 20-year-old on Spring Break was arrested for possessing an alcoholic beverage. Mr. Tidwell became upset with how long it was taking for his daughter to be released. So, he decided to go out to his car – in the county jail’s parking lot – and procure his golf club. Surveillance cameras filmed Tidwell swinging his golf club at other cars parked in the lot, including a marked patrol car.
When all was said and done, six cars sustained more than $1,600 in damage, ranging from slashed tires to broken windshields and mirrors. Tidwell, who admitted to being intoxicated at the time of the incident, has been charged with criminal damage to property.
Voodoo Priest: Spiritual/Business Advisor to Meth Dealers
Polk County – A multi-million dollar meth ring that supplied methamphetamine from Mexico into Central Florida was busted earlier this week. Among the usual suspects arrested – distributors, manufacturers, and street-level dealers – was a voodoo priest. Apparently, the voodoo priest was consulted to help guide those involved with how and when to make their next moves, deputies involved in said. The take-down was aptly named ‘Operation Hoodoo Voodoo.’
Just Plain Stupid
Plantation –Two men were seen on surveillance video breaking into a high-end car dealership, just before 11 p.m. on March 10. They stole files, license plates, 44 car keys and four cars — a BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti and Dodge worth an estimated $43,984, police said.
One of the suspects can be seen pulling a cellphone out his pocket to use as a flashlight during the heist, apparently unaware that his identification card falls out, Det. Robert Rettig said.
“He’s oblivious to it,” Rettig said. “He doesn’t even realize it falls out.”
The dealership owner found it the day after the burglary. “[The investigator] was taking fingerprints but I said, ‘I don’t think you need to do that,’ and she said, ‘Why not?’ and I said, ‘Because the bad guy left his [ID card] here, in plain sight.’”
The ID card belonged to Travis Devonte Rice, 21, who had finally gotten himself a Florida Identification card just three weeks before the break-in at the behest of his probation officer. (Rice was previously arrested for – unsurprisingly – robbery).
Losing his ID card at the crime scene was just one of the stupid things Rice does – he then posts pictures on Facebook the night of the burglary, police said.
In one of the FB images, Rice is crouched down with car keys dangling from his mouth and making hand gestures. In another picture, Rice is grabbing his crotch while holding a pair of keys in the air. Also, Rice is wearing the same clothes worn by one of the suspects seen on the surveillance video, Rettig said.
Rice was arrested Monday and was being held without bond on charges of burglary causing damage over $1,000, grand theft and probation violations, jail records show. The cars have not been recovered.
Gainesville – Three more women have reported being urinated on by a man near the University of Florida campus.
Four similar incidents were reported beginning in late February and early March, according to the Gainesville Police Department. Since then, three more women have reported being “sprayed” from behind by the culprit.
When the ‘urinator’ was confronted by the victims, he exposed himself and then ran off.
The suspect was described as a 25- to 30-year-old, 6-foot-tall black man of medium to chunky build with short curly hair and a dark complexion.
Eager Beaver Can’t Wait to Go to Jail
Ocala – 32-year-old Jackie Eugene Mayo had a warrant for probation violation on a prior DUI arrest. Being the good citizen that he is (a little tongue-in-cheek), Mayo decided to turn himself in at the Marion County Jail but couldn’t seem to find a way in, according to Marion County Sheriff’s Office reports. Perhaps it was because he was (surprise, surprise) intoxicated.
Mayo was really committed to being committed to the justice system and therefore started banging on the doors to the closed video visitation building part of the jail just before 2 a.m. Jail officials also witnessed Mayo staggering around the jail property. Mayo finally made his way to the booking entrance of the jail where a corrections officer tried to talk with him. But Mayo, completely belligerent, started yelling and screaming.
Mayo finally got his wish: he was charged with one count each of battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest without violence and disorderly intoxication. He was also booked on the warrant. He is being held at the jail without bond.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
George Lopez, who is featuring in the new FX comedy “Saint George,” showed less-than-saintly behavior following a show in a casino in Canada, according to reports. The comedian was arrested for public intoxication at Caesars Windsor in Ontario after officers found him passed out on the floor of the casino bar, reported TMZ. He had performed at the casino just before his arrest.
52-year-old Lopez was allegedly taken into police custody after they were informed of the situation by the casino’s security. The report said that no charges were filed against Lopez. “Saint George,” which debuts March 6 on FX, stars Lopez as a successful Mexican American businessperson who is trying to deal with aging and dating after getting divorced from his “all-American” Anglo wife.
George Lopez says revenge is a dish best served drunk … or at least something like that. Just one day after getting arrested for public intoxication at Caesars Windsor, Lopez took the stage and openly spoke about his arrest. The comedian opened the show saying, “I just did in Windsor, what Justin Bieber does in America” … then told the viewers he took 52 shots before passing out in the bar of the hotel the night before. Lopez didn’t seem to let the arrest bother him much and was very casual about the whole incident. He was reportedly just thrown in a drunk tank to sober up and released with no files charged.
I’m not sure if George Lopez has an actual problem with alcohol or is just a hardcore drinker but either way, getting that drunk in public and sleeping on a casino floor should definitely tell you that you need to reevaluate a few things. I know plenty of people who aren’t alcoholics but still have had consequences due to drinking and were able to stop once things got bad enough. Hopefully this situation will wake Lopez up and get him to get his act together.
I know for me, it never mattered what my consequences were when I was drinking or getting high – I was still going to continue drinking and using. If you are the “real deal” alcoholic/addict like me, than you know this to be true for you, as well. The only thing that ever helped me in staying sober and being a normal functioning person was going to 12-step meetings and working a program of recovery.
Whether Lopez is an alcoholic/addict or not, it would probably be good for him to explore meetings and see if maybe he has a problem. He is very fortunate that no files were charged against him and has an opportunity to take a look at his behaviors. Falling asleep on a casino floor sounds like something I would have done in my active addiction, so who knows!
If you’re having issues with alcohol abuse, the best solution I’ve found is to go to anonymous 12-step meetings and work the program – get a sponsor, work the steps, go to meetings, get a connection with a higher power and help others. It’s really a simple program for complicated people. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.