“It’s an addiction, stupid.”
I can still remember the first time over 40 years ago that I received a telephone call for help with a problem drinker. I had not yet met the new couple in town but I received word that they belonged to my denomination and that they would probably join our church.
However before that happened I received a call about 2 a.m. from the wife of the young man. He had come home drunk and his wife wanted me to come and straighten him out.
I violated rule number one. Never try to reason with a man when he is drunk. So I get dressed and go to the home. Fortunately the young kids are in bed sleeping, but the wife has kept her husband up until I could get there.
I found the man to be so apologetic so contrite, so sorry and he assured me that he would never, never do that again. He even gave me his word that he would never do it again.
I have no doubt that at the time the man meant every word he said. Like a fool I took his word for it. I assured his wife that he was sincere and that she shouldn’t have any more problems with him. I failed to ask her how many times he had made that promise before.
It was my first lesson in addition. “It’s an addiction, stupid.”
I never did see that young couple again. Within a week he showed up for work drunk at the radio station where he had been hired, was fired on the spot and the couple packed up and left town.
I never did get to apologize to his wife, but I got the word that she was very upset and angry with me.
Since then I have taken several courses on alcoholism. I have learned that heredity plays a large part in it. But why do they return to the bottle?
Why the addition so that an alcoholic will put booze before his job, sex, his family and even food?
One of my teachers ventured that the alcoholic had had a real euphoric experience the first time he got drunk. All his problems went away and he was a peace. However when he sobered up the problems were still there and so he continually goes back to the bottle in a fruitless effort to try to replicate that experience.
Each time, however it takes more alcohol, he gets himself in more trouble and he never quite succeeds in getting that experience again. So he ruins his health and his life in a never ending pursuit.
I am writing this because surveys Barton County high school youth have taken indicate that 20 percent of them had binge drunk (five or more drinks at one sitting) within the last month.
Among those over 21 the percentage is even higher.
If you are one of them or you know someone who is doing this, especially if there is alcohol addiction somewhere in the family, you are risking becoming addicted yourself.
It’s not too cool to be forced to put alcohol before family, sex, job, or even food.
Think about it.
April is alcoholism awareness month.
Rev. Garry Dassow,