DYING FOR A DRINK

by Anderson Spickard, and Barbara R. Thompson

an outline

1. A Spreading Epidemic

2. It Could Never Happen To Me

Factors increasing Alcoholism Risk - Family Tree, Crisis, Culture

3. How Much Is Too Much?

There are "instant addicts"; Heavy drinking, or frequent drunkedness, is a major factor in addiction.; There are no safe forms of alcohol; There are no safe amounts of alcohol

4. Journey Into Despair - Story of an alcoholic physician

5. Abuse vs Addiction

Abusers can choose when or how much to drink.
Alcohol addicted is out of control & can't choose how much he will drink
Alcoholism is a disease of the whole person and sin.

6. Warning Signs

Sickness of Spirit - they violate their values; Sickness of the Mind & Emotions - Rationalization, Projection, Mood Swings, Personality Change, Blackouts, Social Symptoms, Physical Symptoms - often late

7. Don't Call Me An Alcoholic!

Denial is major symptom.Alcoholic is last to accept

8. The Supporting Cast.

Chemical Damage to Judgment & Memory; Reprssion; Enabling

Missed Diagnosis: It Couldn't Happen in Our Church; On the Job- "He is not a Bad Fellow."

9. A Wife's Point Of View

Wife needs to first accept responsibility for her own actions (detach), & then to let the alcoholic accept responsibility for theirs

10. The Family Trap

Every alcoholic deeply affects at least four people

Family Denial

-Results in average family waiting 7 years to admit diagnosis
-Emotional Turmoil; Centricity of the Alcoholic;
The Chief Enabler - Makes the living environment comfortable for the alcoholic
Dissertion - Children of Alcoholics frequently marry alcoholics
2/3 of adolescent suicides had an alcoholic parent;

9/10 men LEAVE alcoholic wives
9/10 women STAY with alcoholic husbands

11. "Somebody's Going To Get It!"

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome may result from any level of alcohol use in pregnancy; Alcoholics are poor parents; Paralysis of the nondrinking parent; Crisis of Confidence

12. Games Children Play

They often lock themselves into rigid roles to cope

The Reponsible Child = Hero
The Rebellious Child = Scapegoat
Placater-Servant - Clown/Mascot
The Adjuster = Lost Child

Almost all children of alcoholics grow up declaring "It will never happen to me." ACOA carry a time bomb ready to explode = 30% will marry alcoholics; 50% will bcome alcoholics; The passage of time does NOT heal them

13. Five Myths of Addiction - 1)The alcoholic must want help before he can get it
2)The alcoholic must hit rock bottom before he can get help
3)The alcoholic will quit drinking on his own
4)The alcoholic has a right to drink, No one has a right to interfere
5) Efforts to help the alcoholic may make his drinking worse.

Alcoholism is a PROGRESSIVE DISEASE.

14. Steps of Preparation - For Confrontation = Intervention,

1) Intercessary Prayer
2) Education - Learn about the disease of alcoholism; Almost all alcoholics privately suffer from remorse and despair, & the quickest way to kill an addicted drinker is to exacerbate his pronounced sense of guilt without giving them a plan = hope for recovery.
3) Find a Support Group - like Al-Anon for family members
4) Let the alcoholic experience the Consequences of His Addiction; Don't threaten, nag, empty bottles; be honest

15. Confrontation = Intervention

This method was pioneered Vernon Johnson in Minnesota to successfully interupt the downward spiral of addiction for thousands of alcoholics & their families. It is a loving non-judgmental way of breaking DENIAL. Steps in doing an intervention are

1) Finding Professional Help
2) Choosing the members of the intervention
3) Choosing the data
4) Choosing the time
5) Holding a practice session

16. Decision Time

Once faced with loving sharing from loved ones during the intervention, the alcoholic has to make the decision to obtain help.

17. Some Words of Caution

Using only spiritual approaches like prayer, Bible study, and attending church services is rarely effective.

1) No alcoholic should be left alone during the period of physical withdrawal - 15-20% of alcoholics who suffer from DTs die
2) Instant healings are rare
3) There is no known cure for alcohol addiction. Recovery is a life long process = sanctification.
4) An alcoholics recovery is connected to his ability to perceive his addiction as a disease.

18. Paths to Sobriety

Option 1) Inpatient Treatment at an Alcohol Rehab Centre Option 2) Outpatient Treatment, Option 3) Alcoholics Anonymous - Attend 90 AA meetings in 90 days, working the 12 steps, and using a sponsor / mentor.

19. When the Honeymoon Ends

The alcoholic must relearn the art of everyday living and begin to assume responsibilities. He must work on issues of the past including childhood issues. He should not be given positions of leadership in the church too soon.

20. Guidelines for Recovering Alcoholics -

1) Avoid old drinking friends
2) Maintain AA attendance - working steps + using a sponsor
3) Change Self Talk - Easy Does It, One Day at a Time, Let Go- Let God, etc
4) Avoid mood- altering drugs
5) Learn to cope with painful emotions
6) If the craving returns - follow a relapse prevention plan

21. Family Recovery

Family problems do NOT disappear after alcoholic is sober

1) Identify the problems
2) Avoid unrealistic expectations of alcoholic
3) Surrender the past
4) Learn new ways to communicate
5) Find outside interests.

22. Relapse

23. Call to Action