All You Need to Know About Alcohol

Alcohol is a very ancient drink that has been consumed for thousands of years by almost all civilizations. Alcoholic beverages are an important part of many social events. A lot of us resort to a glass of wine at home after a hard day. So how do you know when an innocent drink turns into a dangerous addiction? Can alcohol actually be good for you? What is a safe dose of alcohol? We set out on a quest to find out the answers to all these questions and more.

So can alcohol actually be used as a medicine? The answer is only in rare cases. If we are dealing with a heart attack, liver or kidney colic and there are no medications available, then we can use alcohol. One tablespoon of vodka or cognac will help eliminate the vessel and muscular spasms thus improving the patient’s condition until the ambulance arrives. However the relaxation effect caused by alcohol is very short and is followed by the phase of prolonged vessel and muscular spasms.

What effects do alcoholic beverages have on blood pressure? They raise it. This is exactly the reason why alcohol actually helps those who have hypotonia, one or two tablespoons of cognac can resuscitate a person with low blood pressure. However, the World Health Organization does not recommend for doctors to advise their patients to take any alcoholic beverages as their medicine. Longstanding research shows that the cause of 20% of all cases of hypertension is alcohol, especially beer and vodka. Thus, if a man consumes more than 5 oz of wine or 2 oz of vodka a day, the risk of developing hypertension increases to 40%; in the same case for women the risk increases to 90%! So it is much safer to increase blood pressure not with alcohol but with coffee, tea, dark chocolate, or ginseng tincture.

It’s a known fact that natural dry wines are beneficial for us. What is this effect due to? The skin and seeds of red type of grape contain a substance that has a huge antioxidant effect. When we eat that type of grapes or drink wine made out of it, this substance prevents the development of cardio-vascular and oncological diseases, it slows down the age changes in the brain and in the motor function thus extending the life span and delaying the body’s aging. Besides that, alcoholic beverages improve digestion and prevent building up of cholesterol on the vascular walls. But all of this is true only when alcohol is consumed in moderate amounts. Consumption of alcohol in large amounts leads to heart pathologies and hypertension. So it’s much safer to lower cholesterol with the help of physical activities and rational diet, which are just as effective as alcohol.

How is it that the French eat a lot of fatty foods, drink beer and at the same time live long lives and suffer from cardio-vascular diseases 40% less than the Americans? The secret of the “French paradox” is not only in consuming wine regularly, but also in their lifestyle and peculiarities of their diet. Besides wine and cheese the French consume a large amount of vegetables, fruit, verdure, olive oil and seafood. This diet supplies the body with lipoproteins of high density, unsaturated fats, vitamins and microelements, which cause a powerful antioxidant effect, protecting the body’s cells from damages by free radicals. Furthermore, the residents of South France actively consume seaweed, which contains substances that improve the biological properties of blood (decrease the formation of clots and stimulate disintegration of fats).

What amount of alcohol is considered a safe dose? In France, Italy, and Hungary this number would traditionally be higher than that in Sweden or Norway, for example. But talking about the common dose, the World Health Organization recommends for men to consume not more than 30 ml of pure alcohol, which is about 1.5 bottles of beer or 2 shots of vodka a day, and for women – 20 ml of pure alcohol per day, which is 1 bottle of beer or 1 shot of vodka. The doctors also recommend refraining from drinking alcoholic beverages at least two days a week.

So why is the safe dose for women lower than the one for men? This is explained by the fact that women have less water in their body than men do. Besides, the element responsible for the disintegration of alcohol located in the stomach is less active in women. Therefore the processing of alcoholic beverages is slower in female bodies making the ladies more receptive to alcohol.

Why is it that some people get a headache after a glass of red wine, but feel fine after drinking white wine? This reaction could be caused by individual intolerance of sulfur dioxide – the substance that is added to red dry wines for longer storage. This preservative can cause immediate redness of the face and strong migraines. This does not happen when consuming white wines because there is no sulfur dioxide added to them according to their preparation technology.

How safe are the low-alcohol sparkling drinks so popular among the younger people? Easy math allows us to see that this category of drinks is not so harmless. Most of them contain 8% alcohol. If you multiply this number by 0.33, which is the contents of one bottle, then we get about 27 ml of pure alcohol. For women it is already over their daily limit, and usually few stop at just one bottle a day. Besides these drinks usually contain carbon dioxide, which contributes to faster absorption of alcohol into blood due to which intoxication happens almost after the first sip.

What are the consequences of immoderate consumption of beer? Beer, just as any other alcoholic beverage, first of all affects the liver, causing toxic hepatitis and alcohol cirrhosis. Namely these two diseases have the leading positions in beer countries such as Germany, where beer is consumed often and in big amounts, up to 3 liters per night.

Former smokers complain that after having a drink they get the desire to smoke again. Why does it happen? Usually this happens to those who managed to say no to the harmful habit but haven’t coped with the psychological smoking addiction. Once the former smoker goes to the party where a lot of people smoke, he or she can experience what a former drug addict would feel if he appeared in a surrounding where they used to do drugs. Just one glance at the familiar surroundings is enough to be overtaken with the associative habit. Under the influence of alcohol, the memory draws the pictures of the past that are so vivid that the former smoker can actually feel the taste and smell of tobacco. Besides being in the state of euphoria (after having a couple of drinks) a person already can not critically assess his or her actions and breaks their own promises without thinking twice. Typically we smoke more cigarettes than usual in this condition. As a result the toxic effect of alcohol is intensified by several times, hence a more severe hangover.

What medicines could be combined with alcohol? Alcohol is not compatible with any medications, especially cardio-stimulants, tranquilizers, antidepressants, and beta-blockers. Losing conciseness is the least of the potential consequences. Sometimes alcohol can intensify the effects of the medications by so much that it can lead to coma or even sudden death. Alcoholic beverages are also not compatible with diuretic medications. Combined with wine or beer diuretics remove such a big amount of microelements out of your body that it can lead to heart malfunctions. Even the commonplace aspirin should not be chased with alcoholic drinks – such experiments can lead to stomach ulcer. A vast amount of complications can be caused by combining alcohol with antibiotics. Not all medications enter our body in active form. A lot of them start acting only after they pass the stage of disintegration in the liver. Alcohol requires disintegration too, and thus once both medications and alcohol enter our body at the same time, both of these substances start to compete. As a result the active ingredient of the medication gets to our body under-oxidized, which most often leads to allergic reactions.

Why is it that some people become placid and talkative after having a drink, and others become withdrawn and aggressive? In spite of the person’s character, age and mood, the alcohol slows down the function of the nervous system. Two minutes after having a drink, the alcohol reaches the frontal lobe of the brain leading to the disruption of the most of neuro-chemical bonds. You become absent-minded, the thoughts become chaotic, and the mood becomes elevated and cheerful. Although this state of euphoria is short-term, soon the phase of inhibition comes, during which the intoxicated person looses restraint and common sense and their conversations and actions become inappropriate. Usually alcohol affects healthy people as an emotional equalizer: a closed-off person brightens up after a glass of wine, a talkative one quiets down, an aggressive one calms down. Although sometimes unexpected reactions happen, which are usually predetermined by peculiarities of the person’s nervous system. One fact remains though, if after having a drink you become aggressive, you should stay away from drinking.

A lot of people consider alcohol the best cure of stress, is that true? Alcohol is the most simple and accessible tranquilizer. However it does not relieve stress, otherwise everyone would be drinking their problems away. Fortunately, this does not happen since for most people alcohol is just a mediator, something of a relaxing element, which allows them to talk frankly, to pour their heart out to the closest friend, neighbor, fellow traveler. However the doctors consider jogging just as effective due to the increased production of energy in our body when under stress. That is why when we start stressing out we can not stay in one place: we pace the room, pull at our hair, talk emotionally. Therefore it would be quite logical to get rid of the excess energy at the gym rather than at the bar.

Are there any rules one should follow when drinking? The first rule is never drink on an empty stomach. If you don’t eat anything prior, alcohol is absorbed freely by the stomach and quickly gets into blood causing immediate and very strong intoxication. This is why dietitians recommend eating something greasy beforehand. The second rule is to start the party up with aperitif, a small drink before you eat to stimulate the appetite. If you have a little bit of wine, vodka or martini first, not only will you stimulate the appetite, but you will also make the fermentative system work more actively. The third rule is if you have to change a drink make sure to drink higher proof drinks each time. Processing high-proof drinks requires a lot of the ferment responsible for breaking up alcohol hence if you chase cognac with champagne you will cause the deficit of this ferment. Because of that, the low-proof drink gets into our body unbroken without obstruction causing strong intoxication.

What kind of food should you have with strong drinks? Dry wines should be followed by fruit, cheese, salads, non-greasy types of meat, and fish. Drinks with 80 proof and higher go best with greasier and heavier foods – pork, lamb, red caviar, potatoes, salads with high-calories sauces. This will help slow down the absorption of alcohol and improve the digestion of food since alcohol helps break up fats. It is desirable to have fresh lemons available during a long get-together. The acid contained by them is an excellent decomposer of alcohol therefore you can chase your drinks with cut up pieces of this sour fruit or have a glass of water mixed with lemon juice. You might want to get rid of sparkling sweet drinks since sugar and carbon dioxide contained by them increase the absorption speed of alcohol. This is the same reason why you should not chase sparkling wines with chocolate.

What is alcohol poisoning? What are its symptoms and what precautions should be taken to save the person who got alcohol poisoning? Alcohol poisoning happens after consumption of more than 500 ml of vodka. Most people’s body natural reaction to such an amount of toxic substances is vomiting, but more than 30% of alcohol drinkers are missing this reflex, therefore if the body is exposed to a large amount of ethanol, it undergoes the strongest alcohol intoxication: alcohol paralyzes the nervous system which leads to comatose condition and if left unattended can lead to death in several hours. This is why if you find someone unconscious with a distinct alcohol smell, pale, perspirating, having hurried breathing, not reacting to any outside stimuli, having weak pulse and uneven heartbeat, call the ambulance immediately.

Now that you know all these facts about alcohol, go out and have fun, but be responsible and safe!

How Alcoholism and Hypoglycemia Controls Body, Mind, and Spirit

Alcoholism is a health affliction of the mind, body and soul. Virtually anyone can become an alcoholic if they are around the conditions that breed addictive behavior such as alcoholism – that would be environmentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Alcoholism is an addiction that attaches itself to the body, mind, and spirit of its victims. Let’s take a look.
 
Physical Addiction To Alcohol

The physical addiction to alcohol is an operation that deals with how the pancreas processes sugar in the bloodstream. In the alcoholic/hypoglycemic individual the pancreas does not do a very efficient job in processing the sugars from the alcohol.
 
Here is how it works: The alcoholic literally craves his first few drinks of alcohol just for the sugar aspect of it. (If there is no alcohol around, he will most likely gorge out on sugar foods to curb his addiction). Once the alcoholic has had his first few drinks it depresses blood sugar levels even more (the pancreas is too overloaded to do its job efficiently)! So the alcoholic craves even more sugar to correct this low blood sugar state and the vicious cycle continues. Brain cells demand more alcohol to replace the lack of sugar. Hence, the alcoholic craves alcohol.
 
I am a recovered alcoholic of fifteen years and I have done extensive research into the effects of alcoholism on the body and can safely tell you that once diet is improved and hypoglycemia treated through proper diet, the physical addiction for alcohol will subside. When I was an alcoholic/hypoglycemic I would eat sweets and drink Pepsi all day if I didn’t have access to alcohol. I was an emotional basket case.
 
Poor diet is the culprit for physical addiction to alcohol. How do I know this? Because I have listened to my body and I corrected hypoglycemia and physical cravings for alcohol through diet. The best diet for the alcoholic, diabetic, hypoglycemic is a whole grain diet. Throw out all refined food products from your kitchen cupboards and go natural! Foods such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole grain pasta, beans, legumes, and oatmeal all work to stabilize and metabolize blood sugar levels, which gives the overloaded pancreas a break so it can start to do its job properly.

 
Whole grains are best because they are digested slowly into the body system resulting in an optimal environment for blood sugar levels – there is no spiking, no cravings, and no emotional and physical imbalances. Diet plays a huge role in how our brain works. With a whole grain, whole foods diet, the brain stops sending out signals for more alcohol or sugar.
 
To sum this up I am going to say that alcoholism could very well be a symptom of hypoglycemia. Not all people who have low blood sugar become alcoholics mainly because the rest of the triggers for alcoholism aren’t present in that individual.
 
Psychological Addiction To Alcohol
 
Now we come to the emotional and mental aspects of alcoholism. Alcoholics usually have emotional ups and downs, are easily agitated, suffer from anxiety and panic, have a low self esteem, and often feel depressed. These symptoms are because they have hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is as much an emotional affliction as it is physical. All of the above are symptoms of hypoglycemia or sugar overload syndrome.
 
Ninety-five percent of alcoholics have low blood sugar. But what happens when there is a change in diet? Is hypoglycemia cured? Yes! But understand, if I deliberately bang my head against the wall several times I’m going to have some bumps and bruises. In the same way if I deliberately eat a poor diet of refined food products my body and mind is going to let me know about it through a vitamin/mineral deficiency. We are in control of what we eat. Your doctor doesn’t care what you eat. If you don’t do anything about a poor diet your body will.
 
Most alcoholics have a difficult time managing their emotions or understanding reality. I truly thought I could not cope with life unless I was drinking. I was scared to death to stop drinking! And in a way this is very true for the alcoholic/hypoglycemic because they are so vitamin deficient that their brain works in puzzling ways. It can be a confusing, fearful, and anxious time for the alcoholic when they first get sober…until they begin to take care of their diet! Unless the alcoholic changes their eating habits they will never stay sober because the physical addiction to alcohol is the craving aspect of addiction. If you have ever been addicted to cigarettes than you know what I’m talking about.
 
Alcohol is the alcoholics best friend and losing their best friend may mean they will never be able to cope with life on life’s terms. Of course, the truth is all alcoholics who become truly sober (not dry drunk) emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually will look back on their alcoholic days and laugh because they truly can live without alcohol and NEVER CRAVE ALCOHOL OR SUGAR EVER AGAIN! Once diet is corrected and the alcoholic is sober for at least six months he’ll begin to realize that he can function just fine without alcohol.
 
Spiritual Addiction To Alcohol
 
Why does alcohol affect our spirituality? Alcohol for the alcoholic controls the mind. For the alcoholic “getting a fix” consumes and controls every aspect of their life. Even functioning alcoholics while at work are consumed with coming home or going to the bar and having a drink twenty or more times a day. There is no time in the thoughts for spirituality.
 
Although I can say that once the alcoholic realizes they do have a drinking problem they are more inclined to reach out to God for the help they need. But that certainly doesn’t mean they will all of a sudden be fixed of addiction. No. As you have learned this far, alcoholism is a physical and emotional affliction also, and all areas of alcoholism NEED TO BE HEALED before the alcoholic is safely healed from the cravings of alcohol. 

 
Addiction keeps us from becoming the whole and complete person that God wants us to be. Potential becomes stunted because alcohol is in control of our ambition, goals, ideas, and dreams. Alcoholics simply do not realize how much of life they are missing out on.
 
I remember very clearly in my latter two years of alcoholism. I would try and feel God’s presence within me, and there were times when I believe I was ready to let “it” go and give “it” to God. But stubbornness, rebelliousness and poor health kept me on the road of addiction. In my bouts of sobriety I felt guilty and my low self-esteem was hard to deal with sober, plus I really craved alcohol so I continued to drink. Two years later I finally woke up one day and thought to my self, “this is not the right road for me.
 
Incidentally, all roads may be the right roads at the time for trials and tribulations that we go through and experience in life, but in the end only one road leads to God. This is where faith comes in to trust God with your life. If God created you then why won’t He save you? God loves you, even if you have been walking on your own road. God will save you if you ask Him to and believe that with all of your heart, mind and soul.
 
Emotionally the alcoholic needs to find out what his or her wounds are (past baggage) and give them to God. Spiritually this is how you fix the wounds. Everyone hurts and everyone suffers from time to time. Alcohol is not the way to not have to feel. We have to feel our feelings so we can move past the hurt and become better people. Jesus wants your burdens. He wants to make your life easier. Let God intervene in your life. Inner healing needs to take place within your emotional and spiritual life. This is where you hand over your life to God and just give up control of it. Give your life to God.

Ashitha’s Report on How Alcoholism Affects Families

Alcoholism of often termed the family illness, referring to the tremendous impact an active alcoholic has on those around him. There is no way the family members can escape or ignore the alcoholic. The majority of the alcoholic impairments are behavioural. So in the day-to-day interactions of family life, the family members are confronted with alcoholic behaviour. The family is, confused, be wildered, angry and afraid. They act accordingly. Their responses characteristically are as impaired as the alcoholic’s.

Certainly no family member ever caused alcoholism. Yet the family may, despites its best intentions, behave in a way that allows the alcoholic to continue drinking. They may protect the alcoholic, make excuses, buy into the alibis, cover up. They might call the employer, pretending the alcoholic is sick. The alcoholic’s actions are bound to increase the family’s anxiety level.
JACKSON’S STAGES

Jackson describes the stages that occur as a family comes to grips with an alcoholic in its midst. Her stages were initially intended to describe the family in which the husband and father is the alcoholic.
Denial:- Early in the development of alcoholism, occasional episodes of excessive drinking are explained away both marriage partners. Drinking because of drunkenness worry, nervousness, or a had day is not unbelievable the assumption is that the episode is an isolated instance and therefore no problem.

Attempts to eliminate the problem:- Here the spouse recognizes that the drinking is not normal and tries to make sure the alcoholic to quit, be more careful, or cut down. Simultaneously, the spouse tries to hide the problem from the outside and keep up a good front. Children in the family may well start having start having problems in response to the family stress.

Disorganization and chaos:- The family equilibrium has now broken down. The spouse can no longer pretend everything is okay and spends most of the time going crisis to crisis. Financial troubles are common. Under real stress, possibly questioning his or her own sanity, the spouse is likely to seek outside help.

Reorganization in spite of the problem:- The spouse’s coping abilities have strengthened. He or she gradually assumes the larger share of responsibility for the family unit. This may mean getting a job or taking over the finances. The major focus of energy is no longer directed toward getting the alcoholic partner to shape up. Instead, the spouse takes charge and fosters family life, despite the alcoholism.

Efforts to escape:- Separation or divorce may be attempted: lithe family unit remains intact, the family continues living around the alcoholic.
Family reorganization:- In the case of separation, family reorganization occurs without the alcoholic member. If the alcoholic achieves sobriety, a reconciliation may take place. Either path will require both partners to realign roles and make new adjustments.

ADDICTION, A FAMILY DISEASE

Addition is a ‘family disease’ that affects not only the addicted individual, but also his family members.

As addiction gets worse day by day, the family is compelled to face several unmanageable problems. Unable to cope with these problems, the family constantly lives under severe tensions and pressure. This results in the family members becoming desperate, angry, frustrated, nervous, afraid and guilty. In many ways they start behaving like the addict, even though they do not take alcohol.

Responses of the family members

Stage 1

a) Denying the problems:- Initially the family members deny or minimize the problems related to his drinking.

b) Justifying his drinking:- The family members give reasons for his drinking.

c) Making changes:- In an attempt to stop his drinking. The family members often believe that they are responsible for the alcoholic’s drinking. They try to solve the problems at home and establish a pleasant atmosphere hoping that he will then give up drinking. The wife goes all out to please the alcoholic-pays his debts to relieve him of his financial burdens.

Stage 2

d) Withdrawing from society:- In spite of their efforts the family members find that he continues to drink. They do not want anyone to know this fact. Thus they become less social and keep away from their relatives and friends. They do not invite anyone home. They feel lonely and at the same time, worthless.

e) Protecting the alcoholic from the consequences of his drinking:- They protect the alcoholic by, covering up the consequences arising out of his drinking thinking that they can make him give up alcohol.

f) Making attempts to control his drinking:- In the hope of getting him out of his problem. The wife may empty or break the bottles, request the alcoholic to drink on only at house and not outside. Tell him not to drink in the mornings. Extract promises from him that he will not drink when there are guests at home. Unable to achieve anything, the family members feel angry, let down, bitter. Initially the anger, and hatred are directed towards the alcoholic, gradually, the focus is lost and they get angry with everyone around.

Stage 3

g) Losing control over oneself:- The family members give up all attempts to control his drinking because they realize that these methods do not help. Thus they may decide to refrain from getting angry. But they are unable to control their emotions and shot at the alcoholic for drinking heavily, beat the children for minor mistakes committed by them, get anxious about the alcoholic when he does not come home till dark etc. Her own behaviour makes her wonder whether she is losing her sanity.

h) Fear of the future:- The family members are very worried and scared. For them, the future looks bleak. Tomorrow is a big question mark.

Stage 4

i) Trying to reorganize the household:- They have absolutely no control over the alcoholic and the family members are not able to relay on him for anything. Their she takes up the complete responsibility of running the family and the alcoholic is only looked upon as a defiant angry child.

Stage 5

j) Breaking away from the alcoholic:- As the disease of alcoholism worsens the wife believers that she can lead a life independent of the alcoholic. She is -also worried that if left alone, he may ruin himself. These lead too lots of conflicts in her mind, feeling disgusted, she may leave him for a short period of time but, she normally comes back.

Stage 6

k) Allowing the alcoholic to face a crisis:- The wife stops taking any responsibility for the consequences of the alcoholic behaviour.
Emotional responses of the family members

1) Guilt – Our culture impels that if a person drinks too much, his parents or wife is to be blamed. This attitude of society often leads to self-blame and it produces more guilt and shame. This prevents both: he alcoholic and the family members from developing self-awareness which can lead to a positive change.

2) Grief – It is the result of all sorts of losses-loss of prestige, personal dignity, care, understanding and love, friends, finances-loss in each and every area of their life. They do not share their feelings of grief with anyone, they suffer alone.

3) Anger – When no one cares to listen to them the family members experiences anger and deep sadness. Their utter helplessness makes them angry. They are angry with themselves.

4) Hurt – If the anger is suppressed and not let out, it results in frustration, resentment and hurt feelings and anxiety.

5) Shame – The in appropriate behaviour of the alcoholic in front of relatives and friends makes the family embarrassed. Shame produce slow self worth in each members of the family leading to social isolation.

6) Fear – Living in a problematic distressed family, produces fear-fear of the future, fear of family life, fear of financial matters, fear or helps, fear of arguments, fear their physical well-being. There feelings of fear are a result of the internalized emotional stress that each and every family members experiences.

7) Loneliness – The stressful situation in the alcoholic’s family results in the breakdown of normal family communications. Love, Care and Concern are lost in the stress, anxiety and crisis experienced. The isolation created by lack of communication always leads to bitter loneliness.

The children of alcoholics learn three unwritten laws or self imposed commands. They are ‘don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel’. They may play one or more roles within family. ie, responsible child, adjusting child, placating child, rebellious child.

Though they are harmful to our family relations, being related, we have the moral right to love, care, and help them to come out of it. For that psychological efforts have to be promoted. As the medical science has developed more in this century, the addition could be cured by root.
The effects on the children of alcoholics

Lack of role model, lying, loss of self esteem, fear, depression and suicidal idea.
The children Learn Three Unwritten Laws or self imposed commands

Don’t Talk, Don’t Trust, don’t Feel and play one or more roles within the family:

Responsible child

Adjusting child

Placating child

Rebellious child

Alcoholic family reactivity patterns

The functional family system

(The family with an Alcoholic member)

The neurotic enmeshed family system

(The Alcoholic Family)

The disintegrated family system

(Family separation & isolation)

The absent family system

(The long term isolated alcoholic)

A GUIDE FOR THE FAMILY OF THE ALCOHOLIC

The family’s best defense against the emotional impact of alcoholism is gaining know, ledge and achieving the emotional maturity and courage needed to put in into effect.

Individuals who may be capable of assisting alcoholics outside the family may become confused, destructive persons if a member of their own family becomes an active alcoholic. This is especially true if the drinking alcoholic is the husband, or wife.

The “next of kin” or ‘person most responsible for the alcoholic may need more assistance and counselling than the alcoholic if an effective recovery program is to be launched. Alcoholism is an illness, but one which has tremendous emotional impact upon the immediate family. Those most affected by the alcoholic are the spouse, parent, sister, brother and child. The more distorted the emotions of these persons become the less adequate their help will be. The interaction may and often does become destructive rather than helpful.

For example wives may find themselves blamed for everything that is wrong is an alcoholic marriage. This may reach the point where they may fear this is true. Yet alcoholism is an illness. The wife is no more responsible for alcoholism than she would be for the existence of diabetes or tuberculosis in her husband. Now wife ever made her husband an alcoholic, there fore no wife can be held responsible for his recovery. However, by lack of knowledge she may allow the illness to go unnoticed. By lack of adequate understanding and courage she may acquiesce in the development of the disease. For the existence of alcoholism the wife is not responsible, but she can abet the husband avoiding treatment, or takes steps which may lead to earlier recovery though this cannot be absolutely assured.

This same principle holds true for all members of the family, especially the one person upon whom the alcoholic ultimately depends. This primary person in the alcoholic’s life cannot “treat” the illness. No doctor should treat his own serious illness, and few will ever act as physician for a member of their immediate family, especially spouse, parent or child. As alcoholism progresses relatives become involved emotionally.

THE ALCOHOLIC’S WEAPONS

Anger

The first weapon is ability to arose anger or provoke loss of temper. If the family member or friend becomes angry and hostile this person has been completely destroyed in so far as ability to help the alcoholic is concerned. Consciously or unconsciously the alcoholic is projecting an image of self-hatred against the other person. If it is met by angry, hostile attacks it is thereby verified and the alcoholic’s own mind justifies the former drinking and also now has an additional excuse to drink in the future.

Anxiety

The second weapon of the alcoholic is the ability to arouse anxiety on the part of the family. Thereby they are compelled to do for the alcoholic that which can be done only by the alcoholic if the illness is to be arrested and recovery initiated.

The alcoholic cannot undo what others have already undone. This in reality increases the alcoholic’s sense of failure and guilt and increases the family’s sense of hostility and condemnation if the alcoholic. Thereby the alcoholic is doubly injured. The criticism, scolding and moralizing add to the alcoholic’s guilt and resentment against self and family.

Alcoholics are propelled along the progress of the disease when the family is unable to cope with anxiety aroused by the alcoholic. This is in effect part of the illness. Neither the alcoholic nor his family is able to face realty.

Love and compassion

One of the more serious failures in approaching the alcoholic is the inability to understand the meaning of love. The wife has no right to state, “if you loved me you would not drink”.

Alcohol is an anesthetic. When the alcoholic drinks he anesthetizes his pain. This is the pleasure of alcohol escape. It is a problem-solving device to relieve unpleasantness, anxiety, tension and resentment. When the alcoholic drinks pain is avoided for the time being but pain, tension, anxiety and resentment are increased severely in the family. When the alcoholic drinks pain is avoided for the time being but pain, tension, anxiety and resentment are increased severely in the family. When the alcohokic sobers up there is little desire to suffer the consequences of drinking. Remorse and guilt now compel the – alcoholic to prostrate him self before the family, beggar mercy and promise that it will never happen again. Or the reverse side of the coin may appear, complete unwillingness to discuss what happened. Each attempts to gain the same goal, the avoidance of the consequences of drinking. If the alcoholic succeeds by either means his pain is again avoider or relieved but the family again pays the price of the consequences of drinking.

Love is Destroyed

Love cannot continue to exist in this type of action and interaction. The alcoholic uses alcohol to escape pain by drinking and learns, how to use the family to escape the pain of the consequences. The family suffers when the alcoholic drinks and then suffers the painful consequences also. If the family bears the brunt of the drinking and absorbs its consequences then compassion cannot exist Compassion is bearing with or suffering with a person, not suffering because of the unwillingness of the other person to suffer. If this condition is allowed to continue by the – family, love is gradually destroyed and replaced by fear, resentment and hatred. The only way love can be retained is by family members learning not to suffer when drinking is in progress and refusing to undo the consequences of drinking. Anything less than this is not compassion and only relationship without, justice and compassion is not love.

The traffic result is that alcoholism is thereby encouraged and fear and resentment take over human emotions. This is why family members, especially the next of kin of the alcoholic, need held if the disease is to be arrested and recovery initiated. Other wise the entire family becomes ill emotionally. This condition is but another symptom of the progress of the disease.

THE ‘ROLE’ OF PARENTS AND TEACHERS

The role of parents and teachers in preventing youth from getting into the drug – scene can best the filled by sympathetic understanding of what is going on in their minds in hearts. Even if the parents and teachers are to old to be interested in the new attractions, they must make themselves young enough in thought to share the feelings which these youth have received from the atmosphere around them, – blowing in from all over the world.

A word of warning: sometimes these pressures and desires also come to the parents and teachers tool’. More and more adults have problems which they don’t want to admit, but which cause them to drink, or gamble, or play around in dangerous way, too. You need only count the increasing number of alcoholics and alcohol selling shops, or reflect on the new and important place and “source force” which helps more and more people to buy new land, build new homes, wear clothes they cannot afford, and generally try to impress their friends and relatives with items that are bigger and better.

Especially parents must be aware of how their grown – up children are developing in life. If their studies are weak, if they keep irregular hours and do not easily answer questions about their activity or friends; if they growth in, do not eat, oversleep and are secretive, it is a time for loving, sympathetic seeking to understand rather then harshly criticize. Talk with them about their plans for the future, their interests and how to go about achieving them. Let them share with you the impressions they get from their friends, and how they feel because of these things. Confide in them – the problems which you adults feel too with the strains of modern life in our land- locked, opportunity – locked country.

Common Features of the Family with an Addict Members

The addict is the symptom carrier of the family dysfunction.

The addict helps to maintain family homeostasis.

The addict reinforces the parental need to control and continue parenting, yet he finds such parenting inadequate for his needs.

The addict provides a displaced battlefield so that implicit and explicit parental strife can continue to be denied.

Parental drug, and alcohol above is common and is directly transmitted to the addict or results in – inadequate parenting.

The addict forms cross – generational alliances which separate parents from each other.

Generational boundaries are diffused – there is frequent competition between parents.

Frequently the crisis created by addict is the only was the family gets together and attempts some problem solving, or is the only opportunity for a “deed” family to experience emotions.