The Facts on Alcohol Abuse

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The abuse of alcohol has exacted a monetary and emotional toll on millions of Americans. It is a substance that can lead to dependency and addiction, cause death, and destroy entire families.

Yet it is part of the social fabric, easily obtainable even for adolescents and children. That’s why it’s so important to understand the risks of abusing alcohol.

How do I know if I have a drinking problem?

If you are experiencing ANY of the problems listed above, you most likely DO have a drinking problem.

Is there anything I can do if a loved one abuses alcohol and won’t quit?

Yes. You can intervene by gathering other close friends and family members of the person and confronting him or her with your concerns. Be sure to list examples of poor behavior, hurtful behavior, blackouts, illness, financial mismanagement or other indications of alcohol abuse. Tell your loved one that alcoholism is a disease and is curable with proper treatment.

What is the treatment for alcoholism?

Treatment begins with a drying-out period, usually about three days, under a doctor’s supervision if withdrawal is severe. The physician will be able to alleviate withdrawal symptoms with a variety of medication and staff support. After drying out, group and individual therapy will begin to acquaint the individual with the 12-step program of alcohol recovery. By following this program, millions of people have stopped drinking and continue to maintain a full recovery.

What are the 12 steps?

  1. We admitted we are powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the results of the steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

If you or someone you love is having trouble with alcohol or other drugs, Three Rivers offers no-charge assessments. Simply call 866-796-9911 to make an appointment. Tomorrow depends on the help you get today.

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