March 27, 2014 --
April is Alcohol Awareness Month and for those who are regular drinkers of alcohol, April 4-6 is Alcohol Free Weekend. This would be a good time to make a commitment to not drink alcohol.
The Substance Abuse Counseling Center aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany is inside the Prevention, Education and Counseling Center, Building 7260, the Base Chapel Annex.
The center is offering a free screening April 10-11 from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. to anyone 18 years of age and older who lives or works on base.
Appointments are not necessary and walk-ins are welcome. The screening is fast and confidential.
I challenge everyone who is struggling with an addiction to ask themselves, “What is important to you?”
Sometimes, this can be an eye-opener on how much we can depend on alcohol to have a good time or just to communicate with others.
People rarely make decisions with the intent of jeopardizing the important aspects of their lives.
However, many people occasionally put what is most important to them in danger without realizing it.
The choices people make are usually based on their beliefs, attitudes and what they value. These in turn affect the direction their lives take.
Making high risks choices can lead to larger problems, such as addiction.
Untreated addiction is one thing that is sure to lead one down a long and lonely road full of unintended, negative consequences. It can slowly dismantle our very lives and remove our ability to make choices.
The most important lesson to remember is that regardless of family history and/or good intentions, everyone is at risk of developing an addiction if enough high risk choices are made.
Addiction is an equal opportunity disease.
Whether it is gambling, sex, overeating or alcohol and/or drugs, addiction is a progressive and destructive process that slowly interferes with the daily activities of life.
Sadly, many people suffering with an addiction or on a destructive path do not see there is a problem.
They feel they’re experiencing a series of bad coincidences or their families, friends, and employers are picking on them.
In the beginning, the addiction process is simple in that it forms a relationship with the user. It is reliable and can be counted on.
As the addiction progresses, through high risk choices, the person forms a delusional belief system that says, “This is not a problem. I could stop if I wanted to.”
In the meantime, friends and family are wondering what is happening.
Employers are wondering why this person’s performance has declined and why their employee is consistently late or absent due to one of many, never ending excuses.
The affected person’s delusional logic becomes so rigid and complex that negative events make it nearly impossible for the person to see the true reasons why he or she is hurting.
Some examples may include driving under the influence, avoidable accidents, fights and loss of trust with friends and family, loss of income due to supporting the addiction, depression, loneliness, and gradual decline in health.
If you or someone you know is having a problem with an addiction, recovery is possible.
I would like to hear your stories and what you may have discovered about abstaining over this weekend. Email me at email@example.com or feel free to drop off a letter.
For more information, call the Substance Abuse Counseling Center at 229-639-7941.