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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a serious health condition that is considered a chronic, terminal disease by most in the field of addiction treatment. Much like Atherosclerosis (heart disease) or Diabetes, alcohol addiction needs to be challenged with effective treatments that lead to multi-dimensional changes in peoples’ lives. The bad news is that of the millions of people suffering from alcohol and drug addictions, only about 10% of those people get treatment of some kind.

The amount of alcohol consumption in Utah is among the lowest in the nation. Only about 25% of people in Utah report consuming alcohol, while on the national level that number is 50%. It would seem that with the rate of consumption being about half of the national average, the issues related to alcohol addiction in Utah would be lower than the national average. The truth is, however, that those who engage in addictive behaviors around alcohol (heavy drinking and binge drinking) do so at the same rate as those on the national stage.

studies show (ARDI application) that from 2006 to 2010 excessive alcohol use was responsible for an annual average of “88,000 deaths, including 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years, and 2.5 million years of potential life lost. More than half of these deaths and three-quarters of the years of potential life lost were due to binge drinking.” The same study shows that from a dollar perspective, problems with alcohol cost the US $249 billion in 2010. The average per state cost from this figure is about $3.5 billion.

Alcohol addiction is not new, and it certainly isn’t new in Utah. The effects of excessive alcohol use still devastate our communities and families. We know that prevention and treatment works, and the overall stigma and access to care have improved over the years. It’s time to do something about the issue that is plaguing your life in one way or another. This is the first day of the rest of your life.

If you are looking for help please visit alcohol treatment utah, it will be extremely insightful and helpful for you.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

When Do You Want to Get Well?

 

I wonder how many alcoholics upon finding out they had a deadly ailment and a doctor had a cure would sit in the doctor's waiting room 90 times in 90 days (or for a year or more) and wait for the medicine to be administered to them.  I also wonder how many alcoholics do the same thing concerning our 12 Steps; they go to 90 meetings in 90 days hoping to have a spiritual awakening without taking the Steps.” - Archie M.

 

I have been scolded a few times (by fellow AA's) because of the fact that I sometimes share at meetings about how the Steps are meant to be worked immediately and quickly.  I've been told that this "theory" will "harm" newcomers (having only a few days, a few weeks, or a few months) who could not possibly be "ready" to do the work yet.  Then I'm usually told that these new members should just go to meetings for a while and eventually they'll "know" when they are ready to get into the Program.  In the early days of AA, when a new person showed up to their first meeting and asked about when they were going to get into working the Steps, established members usually asked them, "When do you want to get well?  If you want to get well now, we'll be working the Steps now.  If you DON’T want to get well now, I guess you can put off the Steps, but by doing so you're probably going to drink."  I do not agree that we first get our life together and then turn to God.  I believe that we turn to God and then, AND ONLY THEN, do we begin to get our life together.  That's exactly what the Steps are all about.  As a matter of fact, Bill Wilson got into the Steps after a few days, Dr. Bob got into the Steps after one day, and Bill Dotson (AA #3) also got into the Steps after a few days.  These were the first three members of AA and none of them ever drank again.  But for me the bottom line is, what does the AA Program and the AA literature have to say about it?  Since it says, “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path,” then what does the PATH say?  The following is a list of timeframes found in the Big Book, and is the basis for my experience and the experience of those I’ve worked with.  Page and paragraph numbers are from the new Fourth edition.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

 In the last say, 10 years of the downward slide into my alcoholic abyss? Late teens to late twenties? It seemed the alcohol was what kept the slide wet. Outside issues made the alcohol look to be the problem. I drink, I'm a drunk and not much else. Later, in AA when I put the alcohol down I saw myself differently, yet the same coping skills were apparent. Same foundation different house..  It was obvious once I cleared up a bit that this "B head movie" I starred in went farther back, way back. I was broken into fragments early on in life, emotionally fractured and leaking badly. It was tears that kept the downward slide wet from the beginning. Before the alcohol there was the extreme sensitivity. Yeah! What she said! I'm overly sensitive! More infomercials, still no picture. 

The familiar emotional pit of despair seemed endless, bottomless. I knew it well. The nothingness. My life in the walk in closet. I was used to nothing in the midst of everything. My only self help seemed to be settling for a new low when I could. Acceptance. Go ahead self, bring on the familiar, there is security there because whatever life brings will never work for me and atleast I am used to it. Daydreams turn to nightmares. I always seem to end up here waiting for the parade, waiting for the happiness float but never seeing it when it comes, when others say it's beautiful. I can only see through a clouded mind, dripping with self pity. I know this place. This is home. I watch the world go by with my two associates, guilt and shame and the occasional devastating drive by from killer regret..

I can be the victim, well masked on an underdogs stage, stabilized in a new crisis for a time while seemingly fighting the good fight. I find security in the same old same old where losing is winning because losing is surviving. I survived! On survivor island? I am king. I will rest in my self centered delusion. Wander around in the chaos, above it all, watching from a third party perspective. As if from a distance I am the star of a movie. When reality knocks again? I am afraid to answer the door. The audience yells at the screen DON'T ANSWER THE DOOR!! But I do anyway and I fail, I am dead. My rise to stardom was again very short. The best I can do is create another movie and hope to sidestep the reality part by prolonging the emotional battle scene until a new arrangement? A better decision? Where I am once again the star and lives till the end? Nope. I become the producer of confusion with the best of intensions, Busting out on screen harder, settling for less and less, sooner...What happens to a movie where the star dies in the first part? The rest of it just fades away. Hardly worth the memory.

  Shaking sweating, the anxious mind always racing. I had bottomed out again with only one option to console myself in my reoccurring bondage. The familiar ending I look to once the vicious spiral begins. Get it over with. One option left to justify my overwhelming fear. I would fabricate new blame to somehow create a new and final ending to the familiar haunting unresolved episodes of my past. My never ending story. Invite the group as the committee in my head gains momentum as a last ditch effort to validate myself. OK I admit it! I am selfish! Frustrated dictator! God like creator! I would say NO! It was me who left her! No you don't understand. Those people were really screwed up! Again I am the victim of circumstance!

It's them! It's all their fault! Anyone can see. Anyone. Raising my self esteem by lowering others. Raised voice, intimidating puffed out chest. I will take you down, it's what I do, it's all I do. My extreme self centeredness on high alert, the fear that could be classed with stealing described in the Big Book4th Step? It is here. Oh yeah, I'm in control now, keep your eye on the walnut shell... 

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Although a self admitted alcoholic early on who endured many a punch to the face in his High School drinking days? Dale or (Pup) was what AA was there for. He fit the criteria. Smart, handsome, no self esteem and the usual fragmented code of conduct. I met Dale in Big Book 12 Steps AA. He had already been sober for a time and made a name for himself in regular AA stand up meetings.  Known as someone who didn't drink a day at a time, went to meetings and yes, held a job. A responsible job no less. Unlike myself, the uneducated adult childlike scavenger.

So yes, we became friends in AA. Like the farmer and the lawyer or atheist and pentecostal. We had different characters yet shared the common bond. The alcoholism.

Dale has been gone for years. Massive heart attack. Boom..Dead. It was good in a morbid way. Quick. I think of Dale. We were room mates who remained mates. We were both terrible at emotional relationships, intimate relationships. The proof was there for the world to see, for all of AA to hear. We both had been caught many times in our own emotional traps. Yet Dale kept on. Sober, living one day at a time with a willingness to grow spiritually as the Book suggested. I remember he came halfway across the country to hear me speak at some big AA hoedown where I basically knew no one. I remember him sitting there. A stand out in a crowd of thousands. My friend, my supportive friend. I couldn't shake the fear and bombed that night as the bigtime AA 12 Step speaker but he said hey, it was great to hear you. Thanks Dale.

 

My best boy George was a friend, then became an AA friend, then just a real friend. I had never really had a true friend before George. I had never felt such a mutual respect. He died sober in Big Book 12 Steps, yes sober many years. He set the friend standard (if there is such a thing) of trust and sharing whatever was mine or his, was ours. I learned with him that what's good for me is as good for another. If I could offer anything to improve his life it's as if I am improving my own. Being around George made me want to give without expectation. Give without selfishness or fear.. 

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

My father was an alcoholic since as long as I can remember and the same goes for my grandfather. After a long battle, I was able to overcome and am now have 8 years of sobriety. But my fathers story is different, because he never took up that battle. He remained an alcoholic till the age of 71. Given the physical toll it took on him, I am surprised he is still alive today; though with some serious health issues. With his decline in health, his doctor approach me to discuss Hospice Care for him. I didn't know what to think, but I started the look for a hospice Colorado Springs, CO. I wanted him to be nearby and I knew he defiantly wouldn't want to leave Colorado Springs. Though I did also look for a hospice of northern Colorado, but that was a bit farther then I was hoping to travel. 

As I continued to search I found it difficult to find a Hospice or Home Health Care that could accommodate my fathers needs as a lifetime alcoholic. Not only was he facing serious health issues, but he still longed for the relief that Alcohol had brought him for decades.  He'd still try to get alcohol into his house whenever possible and it really took a lot of vigilance to keep him off it. I needed a hospice that could really understand his needs and care enough to work with him in a loving way. 

That's when I found SunCrest Home Health and Hospice Colorado Springs. They seemed to know just what to do. Their care for my father has been above and beyond and I have actually seen an improvement in my fathers health both physically and mentally. He seems to speak with more clarity and I believe he is finally realizing that sobriety is a better way of life. 

Despite all of this, I know my father's health will give out sooner than latter, and I am so thankful for the help of SunCrest Hospice Colorado Springs. I wanted to put this out there in-case anyone here on Addiction Land has a loved one needing hospice or home health care. There is quality help out there, even for an old drunk like my dad. If you are not in Colorado, SunCrest also has locations in Denver, Pueblo, Fort Collins, Des Moines, Phoneix, Chicago, and San Jose. I can't speak for these other locations, but if they are anything like the Hospice in Colorado Springs, then they are well worth the look.

Thanks for listening!

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