If you’re a moderate drinker, one who responsibly regulates the amount you drink, you will have little trouble giving up alcohol. Moderate drinkers can take it or leave it alone. They can stop drinking at any time, for no reason or reasons such as ill health, falling in love, change of environment or a doctor’s health warning. Usually, they are in control and are good self-monitors on their drinking behavior.
But what about an alcoholic? They may start off as a moderate drinker. They may or may not become a continuous hard drinker. But at some stage of their drinking career, they begin to lose all control of their liquor consumption once drinking begins.
Some drinkers will be puzzling to you, especially in their lack of control. They do risky and sometimes reckless things while drinking. They are seldom mildly intoxicated. They are always more or less hammered. They may be one of the finest people in the world, yet let themselves drink to oblivion. They can frequently become offensive, angry, or depressed and isolative. They are often perfectly sensible and well-balanced concerning everything except liquor.
Such a person can go to bed heavily intoxicated. Rather than sleeping through the night, their sleep tends to be disrupted; sometimes they awake early in the morning and search madly for the bottle that was misplaced the night before. Often, there may be liquor concealed all over the house. Then comes the day when they simply cannot make it through the day or week and get drunk all over again. Eventually, they may begin to appear at hospitals. This is by no means a comprehensive picture of the true alcoholic, as our behaviors vary. But this description should roughly identify them.
If you need assistance with overuse or an addiction problem, or you have questions about the resources available, you can call Psychological Services Bureau at (213) 738-3500. We have law enforcement psychologists and trained deputy personnel ready to provide confidential help to assist you. If you are sworn, Peace Officer’s Fellowship (POF) is available. You can contact one of the members listed here and they will be more than happy to assist a fellow deputy.