April is Alcohol Awareness Month!
Do you enjoy a drink now and then? Many of us do, often when socializing with friends and family. Drinking can be beneficial or harmful, depending on your age and health status, and, of course, how much you drink. Make a difference: Spread the word about strategies for preventing alcohol abuse and encourage communities, families, and individuals to get involved. Read this informative article about alcohol abuse, written by Dr. Richard Knapp:
“Why Are They Doing That?”
Alcohol abuse produces a trap of suffering. If not stopped, there is a lot of hurt involving personal, physical, psychological, social, familial and financial decline. When most people come across someone suffering in the snare of alcohol abuse, their first instinctive question often is, “Why is he/she doing that to him/herself?” The question that frequently follows is, “How did he/she get that way?” There is a mindset of understanding involving the thought that, “maybe if he/she/we found out the answers to these ‘how and why’ questions, these questions of origin and cause, we and the sufferer would all understand, and then this person’s alcohol/drug excess and misuse would stop.
For the effective treatment of alcohol abuse, it turns out that these are the wrong questions. The better question is, “HOW is this going to be stopped?”
The approach that works best appears simple; in reality, it is the most difficult. An alcoholic has to work at stopping and resisting alcohol one day at a time, one moment at a time. It is a constant practice. Furthermore human beings are very different, one from another. Each person has to work out what works for her/himself. That part of the process, discovering what works for a particular individual is what counseling needs to be about. Counseling can be individual, but peer oriented settings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, have proven to be very effective, as well. Knowing only the origins, however, the “why,” no matter how complete the understanding, is rarely useful.
In our times, there is research into creating medications that can help stop the physical craving for alcohol which has a person trapped in excessive, destructive, misuse, without creating a new addiction —medication that can short-circuit the physiological “brain” part of the addiction process, because alcohol addiction is indeed partially a physical process.
What works in the end, however, is ACTION, perhaps aided by understanding and medication when applicable, but not these last two alone. It is the active daily, weekly, monthly practice of finding and implementing methods unique to each individual of how that person is not going to [mis]use alcohol today, this morning/afternoon/evening, this hour, this minute, NOW.
Richard Knapp, DO
Florida Clinical Research Center, LLC