Every Sheriff’s employee knows the dangers of drinking and driving, or at least they know it when they are sober. Yet, it is a frequent occurrence for one of our employees to get arrested for driving under the influence. This indicates that, after drinking, many individuals say, “Yes, I am OK to drive,” when any reasonable person would know that they are not. That part of the brain that tells you to stop seems to be no longer working when you’re under the influence of alcohol. In other words, they keep saying “yes,” when they should be saying “no.”
For those with the disease of alcoholism, there is an additional problem. Once they take the first drink of the yes drug, they can’t say no to the second drink, or the third, fourth and so on. This presents a serious dilemma for alcoholics, who often give in to drinking in excess despite increasing problems at home and at work.
Drinking a fair amount of alcohol over a period of time seems to change the sensitivity of the brain to the effects of alcohol. This means that more significant amounts of alcohol are required to produce the same effect. If this is you, you should not be driving everyone else home because you think that you are sober enough to drive. Your body could be developing tolerance and you should talk to someone. If you are out drinking with your friends regularly, maybe it’s worth asking yourself why. If you are having problems with alcohol, you are never alone. If there are times when you have misused alcohol and problems result, then you can take comfort in knowing there are others like you who have received help.
Even law enforcement is affected in large numbers. Look around the department and you might know a former drinker who has found a lot happier way to live. So ask yourself, “Will my life be better without risky alcohol misuse?” It’s time to be proactive. Reach out for help and develop a plan to drink responsibly or be sober. Psychological Services Bureau (PSB)/Substance Abuse Resource Program (SARP) is a safe, confidential place to start. You can call me or talk to one of our docs. This will be one of your best calls to preserve your future success. Call PSB at (213) 738-3500. You can also contact Peace Officers Fellowship (POF) from the list above. There is no better time than now!