For problem drinkers, the first hurdle is denial. If denial is removed, then the focus shifts to cutting down on their drinking in order to control their alcohol consumption. There are many occasions in our lives, such as holidays, birthdays and family gatherings, where alcohol is present. During these occasions, you may have found yourself drinking past your limit. If you’re a person who can’t have two drinks and stop, perhaps you need to ask yourself that hard question, “Do I have a drinking problem?”
Problem drinkers can experience blackouts. They can drink more than intended. They try to rationalize their behavior caused by drinking and might not take responsibility for it. Have you ever had anyone ask you how much you’ve had to drink or tell you that you were out of control at a function you attended?
Something I hear from those who suffer from extreme alcohol abuse after a time of sobriety is, “I think I can have a drink.” This sobriety can be as short as two weeks or as long as two years. Unfortunately, the temptation to consume alcohol is always an arm’s length away. That’s what the addiction of alcohol does to some people.
When those who depend on alcohol begin to realize that many things are at stake, including their friendships, family and career, it is then that they begin to see that they are no longer in control of their life, alcohol is. This wake-up call can be the turning point in which they can begin seeking help and working on recovery. There is light at the end of the tunnel. This journey, if you choose to take it, can be tough, but it can save your marriage, career and life.
If any of this sounds like someone you know (or you), suggest they seek help or call Psychological Services Bureau at (213) 738-3500. You have the option to speak to me or one of our psychologists. As always, it can be anonymous and confidential. You may also seek out a Peer Support Program member, a chaplain, or a Peace Officer’s Fellowship member, listed in the attached directory. Together, your life can change one step at a time.