F.R.E.E.   Family Recovery thru Education & Empowerment


 Image of bottle of booze     ALCOHOLISM QUESTION & ANSWER


QUESTION: Once a person is an addict / alcoholic, are they addicted for the rest of their lives?

ANSWER: Yes. The simple way to understand this is by using a simple picture. I was born a cucumber. I drank myself to the point of being a pickle. I do not ever get to become a cucumber again. This disease goes to sleep with abstinence, but it can be awakened at any time.

QUESTION: My spouse keeps telling me that he/she is trying to stop using, what does that mean exactly?

ANSWER: It is my opinion that the word try has no action. While practicing addiction, life is black and white. We do not try to get clean and sober. Either we are or we are not. This is no middle ground while using drugs and alcohol.



Disease Definitions

Alcoholics are those excessive drinkers whose dependence on alcohol has attained such a degree that they show a noticeable mental disturbance or an interference with their mental and bodily health, their interpersonal relations and their smooth social and economic functioning; or who show the prodromal signs of such developments. They therefore require TREATMENT.
                                                                           - World Health Organization, 1951

ALCOHOLISM is an illness characterized by preoccupation with alcohol and loss of control over its consumption, such as to lead usually to intoxication if drinking; by chronicity; by progression and by a tendency to relapse. It is typically associated with physical disability and impaired emotional, occupational and/or social adjustments as a direct consequence of persistent excessive use. . .in short, alcoholism is regarded as a type of drug dependence of pathological extent and pattern, which ordinarily interferes seriously with the patient’s total health and his/her adaptation to his/her environment.
American Medical Association, 1956

An alcoholic is one who is unable consistently to choose whether he/she shall drink or not and who, if he/she drinks, is usually unable consistently to choose whether he shall stop or not.
                                                                        - Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies

ALCOHOLISM is a two-fold disease—an allergy of the body coupled with an obsession of the mind.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, 1935

Among all sources of disease, alcohol stands preeminent as a destroyer….This pestilent principle generally seeks for asylum where it may practice its deadliest deeds in some important and vital organ of the body. It sometimes makes the brain more particularly the seat of its venom, and victim of its cruelties. At another time, it hides itself in the inmost recess of the heart, or coils around it like a serpent; now it fixes upon the lungs; now upon the kidneys, upon the liver, the bladder, the pancreas, the intestines or the skin. It can agitate the heart until it throbs and bursts, or it can reduce pulsation until it become impalpable. It can distract the head until the brain sweats blood, and horrified reason flies away and leaves the man a maniac or a madman…I never knew a person become insane who was not in the habit of taking a portion of alcohol daily.

- Benjamin Parson, an English Clergyman,
In Anti-Bacchus: An essay on Crimes,
Diseases, and Other Evils Connected
With the Use of Intoxicating Drinks, 1840.