Few things are as politically charged these days as driving under the influence has become, with little wonder. Nearly 10,000 people lose their lives in accidents involving impaired drivers annually, yet this is but one cost of alcohol abuse. This drug has destroyed many lives, a main reason that a sobriety house serves such an important purpose.
For the average citizen, mentioning the word alcoholic brings to mind the image of a homeless, bedraggled old man, living on the street begging for money and carrying a paper bag with a can or bottle in it. While this is certainly one possible end result of alcoholism, it is far from the only or even most common ones. People with a disturbing relationship to alcohol live all around us, most would never be suspected.
Because the symptoms of dependence are so unique to each person, it is difficult to specifically define the condition. Normally social workers determine one is dependent if alcohol use continues to the detriment of health and societal relationships, either employment and domestic. While consuming five drinks at one time is considered binge drinking, some alcoholics have never consumed that much at one time.
People reassure themselves with such comments as having never had a drink before 5:00 PM, and the response may well be that they nearly always have one by five minutes after 5:00 PM. Because it such a common social event, people can very easily have a problem and never be detected. It is however, a very thin line to walk, with the vulnerability of having an episode that can ruin a life always near.
Alcohol dependency is a gradual impact of repeated alcohol consumption, with n apparent standard amount or frequency required. One can stop drinking even for months, and as soon as one begins again, the disease picks up as if one had never stopped. The only sure way to stop it is to end the consumption of the drug completely.
For people who are approaching dependency, it is a very difficult thing to simply stop consuming, the temptations are everywhere, and coworkers can become uncomfortable when one suddenly decides drinking is unnecessary. In truth, many are quietly asking themselves the question of whether or not they drink too much. But the commercial promotion of alcohol is a powerful and effective force.
Self realization that the problem is real and must be addressed is one of the most difficult parts. Getting completely sober can take more than a week in some cases, and after becoming sober the decision that one really wants to end the dependence can be even harder. Without these two steps, however, the individual will not be able to stop drinking, as no external force can truly end the behavior.
Getting sober may require medical supervision for some, and once one has finally become sober, stabilizing their lifestyle and keeping busy are important second steps. Finding a place to stay can also be complicated for one who has been on the streets or lost their home due to the addiction, but there are supportive organizations.