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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

“Man, you’ve got the saddest story I have ever heard”.  I am shocked and in disbelief.  I have just finished telling my story in front of death row inmates at the maximum-security prison in Potosi, Missouri.  George whose mouth those words came out of was on death row waiting for his time to be put to death.  He reminded me of the man who played the prisoner in the movie, The Green Mile.  One of the biggest men I have ever seen.  Ninety-nine percent of these men were in prison for issues that one way or another alcohol and drugs played a role.

My journey to this point started 6 years ago when I came into recovery.  At that point I was willing to do anything to stay clean and sober and when a friend asked if I would participate in REC’s, residents (prisoners) encounter Christ, I said sure, not having a clue what that meant.  I was working on 3 DWI’S, hadn’t paid or filed taxes in three years, my house was close to foreclosure, one car was repossessed, my wife and kids long gone, my business was close to being taken away, friends gone, I threw my father and siblings out of my life.  If someone told me to jump off of a cliff to stay sober, I would have jumped.  I was emotionally, physically and spiritually dead.

This was my first time working with death row inmates but it had the biggest impact on me.  If I swerved just a little one of those thousands of nights driving home, I could easily be sitting in a maximum-security prison.  Over the previous 6 years I had worked with prisoners in maximum-security prisons and once at a women’s prison.  Each experience is unique and I had participated in about 10 REC’s to date.

REC’s are not a recovery program, it is run through Catholic Ministries.  The bottom line is to let the prisoners know they are not alone, find Christ in their lives and seek salvation.  Their families and friends don’t visit so they are always suspicious of why we are there.  I am not a very religious person but some of what I witnessed during those REC’s was truly a miracle.  It takes place over a long weekend.  We do everything with the prisoners except stay over night.  As you can imagine the guards watch closely over us and they do not really care for these weekends.  It disrupts the daily routines.  But wardens have said that when a REC is taking place the prison quiets down during and for a little while after.  Prisoners are specially chosen and are only able to participate in one or two REC’s the rest of their lives.  This is a very special occasion for them and they won’t let another prisoner get out of line for fear of losing their weekend.

We sing songs, tell stories, speak about Christ, have a rise day like Christ rose, a die day like Christ died. We wash each other’s feet as Christ did.  We dine on the horrible prison food and act as it is the best food ever.  I still remember the awful stench in the dining area to this day.   We put on plays with the prisoners, bring in fresh vegetables and fruit, which the prisoners never have.  On the final night we always have a local restaurant cater the final meal, kind of like the last supper. All in all an extremely powerful weekend, far from the bars and country clubs that I was used to. It is hard to describe the feeling I had when four or five prisoners had their hands on my head praying for me to help with my talk.  I think I filled a bucket with tears.  Nobody had ever prayed over me like that, what an emotional, moving moment that was.  By the end of the weekend there are hugs all around and not a dry eye in sight, including the guards.  We just spent almost 72 hours with these men and we know each other inside and out.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

The debate over the nature of alcoholism has been around long before anyone perfected the recipe for a manhattan or shook a vodka martini and poured it into a frosted glass. There’s no blood test, and no x-ray to provide solid answers. When it comes to alcohol addiction, only the problem drinker can diagnose himself as an alcoholic.

No one likes to admit they need help. Most alcohol detox centers and treatment programs have undoubtedly seen countless people come through the door with a great deal of denial about their alcohol abuse. Typical statements are “it’s not that bad. I can handle it. It’s not like I got a DUI and got thrown in jail!” Or the passionate plea, “leave me alone already!!!”

When confronted before or during detox and alcohol rehabilitation over their issues and shortcomings, more often than not the person will fight back, in fear that their substance of choice will be “taken away” from them. Their experience may be marked with hostility, fear, belligerence, defiance and/or violence. It may sound extreme, and while it’s painfully obvious to the person’s family, friends and workers at alcohol rehab, the end is (or should be) hopefully near.

Alcohol was their last and only friend. And for the person who’s been beaten down by alcohol into a reluctant state of submission, depending how far down the road they’ve gone, facing detox from alcohol and ending up at an alcohol rehab center feels like an extended stay at the last house on the block.

Again, this is clearly an extreme example… but is it?

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