When I first met Jonathan, I had just presented information about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse to the group of eight to eleven year-olds. Now that the presentation was over, everyone in the room was visiting, and enjoying the refreshments.
A middle-aged instructor, with years of experience working with elementary-school-aged children, approached me with her concerns about Jonathan. "I have a child in my class that I am worried about. Over the last months, he has increasingly become withdrawn, misses school often, has a ‘messy’ appearance, and he sometimes smells of alcohol. Often in class he seems distant and not paying attention." I asked to meet him, not at all surprised that an eight year old could become dependent on alcohol.
My name is Robb. I am a recovered alcoholic and addict. Before achieving sobriety, I was a hopeless, chronic alcoholic, and had lost millions of dollars, my business, my home, wife, and family. Once recovered, it became my life mission to assist other hopeless, chronic alcoholics and addicts and educate all I could on the dangers and warning signs of alcohol and addiction.
On my road to recovery, meeting those who began drinking at the age of eight or nine years old was common. These individuals began by drinking the bits of alcohol left by adults at home, liking it and the effects. Later they began seeking out these leftover drinks, and then progressed to taking drinks directly from the parents' store of liquor. Later, usually by the age of eleven or twelve, when peer pressure began to increase, they would dare to steal from stores or others' houses to get their alcohol. When teenaged, they would obtain false identifications, and continue through high school, college, and adulthood, so used to drinking now that it was part of their routine allowing them to cope with daily living....