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Old 01-24-2013, 05:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Post Ways to Stop Drinking

WAYS TO STOP DRINKING


There are two types of serious drinkers; drunks and alcoholics. The drunk is one who usually drinks as a means to escape and can stop drinking or drink moderately if given a good reason to do so. On the other hand, the alcoholic is one who cannot stop drinking by their own will-power no matter how great the necessity or the wish. As an old saying goes, “A drunk could quit if they would. An alcoholic would quit if they could.” A very significant difference.


Ways to Stop Drinking


Covered Up

Death
(This will do it)


Locked Up

Jail, Prison or Mental Institution
(For a period of time)


Sobered Up

A vital Spiritual Experience
(For as long as we apply Spiritual Principles)


It would appear that a vital Spiritual Experience would be the best choice of the three known ways to “stop drinking”. Unfortunately, most alcoholics will stop drinking only as the result of death.

The distinguished American psychologist, William James, in his book, “Varieties of Religious Experience,” indicates a multitude of ways in which men have discovered God. Down through the ages, there have been numerous reports of people experiencing a life changing conversion or personality change in the way they think and the way they feel sufficient to bring about a Solution to their life threatening problem. The Salvation Army, with it’s Christian Program, has been helping alcoholics find a way to a sober life since 1865. But probably the most effective, simple, clear-cut, time-tested and experience proven way to find the spiritual solution is through the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. This Program has proved to be very successful for those alcoholics who have been willing to go to any length for victory over alcohol and is very clearly described in the Basic Text for Alcoholics Anonymous, “ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS” or the “Big Book” as it is called within the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.

For those who really want to find a way out, the First Step is to understand the Problem - Alcoholism. It is stated as “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol -- that our lives had become unmanageable”. This Step contains two separate thoughts. In the “DOCTOR’S OPINION”, we learn that the alcoholic is “powerless” over alcohol because of an allergy to alcohol that manifests itself as a “craving” for more alcohol once the alcoholic commences to drink. So once the alcoholic starts drinking, they invariably drink too much although it seems to them that they can never get enough. Very often, this excess drinking leads to problems that causes the alcoholic to decide that they have had enough. They have decided to quit forever, with or without solemn oaths. If the disease of alcoholism is not too far advanced, they will be successful in managing that decision to not pick up another drink.

Unfortunately, many are beyond the point of being able to successfully manage that decision. Within a very finite period of time,(days, weeks or at the most a few months) they feel the need to find the sense of ease and comfort that comes at once from taking a few drinks. In spite of the repeated misery, degradation, humiliation and loss of so many things of real value, they cannot MANAGE the decision to stay away from the first drink They lack the power, will power, self will that is so necessary to resist the need for that drink.

Medical Science has found that there is sound reasoning in the “Doctor’s Opinion”. They have been able to determine that the “physical powerlessness or allergy” is the result of a dysfunctional liver and pancreas. These vital organs do not produce the enzymes, in sufficient quantity or quality, that are necessary to complete the chemical decomposition of ethanol (ETOH) through the body of an alcoholic.


ETHANOL

enzymes convert the ethanol into

ACETALDEHYDE

enzymes convert acetaldehyde into

DIACETIC ACID

enzymes convert diacetic acid into

AN ACETATE

more enzymes convert the acetate into

WATER & CARBON DIOXIDE & SUGAR


The water is expelled from the body through the urinary tract, the carbon dioxide through the respiratory system and the sugar is “burned up” through physical exercise.

If a person is not an alcoholic, they can normally successfully drink approximately one ounce of alcohol per hour and maintain the “glow” that they get from drinking. Not so with the alcoholic. The chemical decomposition of the ETOH through the alcoholic’s body follows the same process until it reaches the “acetate” compound and then the liver and pancreas fail to produce sufficient enzymes to complete the decomposition process. The “acetate” produces the “craving” that deprives the alcoholic of the ability to control the amount they drink. The “craving” exceeds the alcoholic’s will power to stop once they have commenced to drink.

The Program of Alcoholics Anonymous begins with a desire, a yearning, a longing to stop drinking for good and all. With that as the basic requirement for membership in this Fellowship of alcoholics, STEP ONE states the PROBLEM


1. “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol--that our lives had become unmanageable.”


So, if a person finds that they cannot control the amount of alcohol they drink once they start drinking, they are “POWERLESS” over alcohol. Being powerless over “people, places & things” is NOT the alcoholic’s problem. Alcohol is the “master” of an alcoholic. There is no such thing as “just a couple” of drinks. When an alcoholic starts drinking, they always drink too much but it is never enough.

So, if the person is physically “POWERLESS” over alcohol once they have taken the first few drinks, then the solution is to not start drinking in the first place. But if the person is a CHRONIC alcoholic, they will find that all but impossible to do. Without some alcohol in their blood stream, they are restless, irritable & discontented. Their mind, and possibly the subconscious mind, vividly remembers the sense of ease and comfort that comes at once with taking a few drinks. Their mind cannot remember the misery and humiliation they suffered only a few days prior to needing that first couple of drinks. The result of which is that the CHRONIC alcoholic will begin drinking one more time. And as Dr. Silkworth reported, “This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is little hope of his recovery.”

Therein lies the source of the UNMANAGEABILITY stated in Step One. The inability of the CHRONIC alcoholic to manage his decision to never take another drink as long as they live. And they sincerely mean it. At the moment of that decision, they are adamant about never taking another drink - period!!! Where alcohol is concerned, they are absolutely through forever, fini, kaput, done, that’s it, no more!!!

But the CHRONIC alcoholic has an “ALCOHOLIC MIND” that will produce the “INSIDIOUS INSANITY” to take another drink in spite of the alcoholic’s determination to stay off the juice. The “INSIDIOUS INSANITY” is the product of an “ALCOHOLIC MIND”. Cold sober and having experienced nothing but tragedy by their drinking, they will walk into a liquor store or a bar and say something like this, “I had a few drinks and totaled my car, just got out of jail on a DWI, lost my driver’s license, learned my spouse has filed for divorce, my boss just fired me, all because of my drinking but I want another drink, please!” That is the “INSIDIOUS INSANITY” which makes the CHRONIC alcoholic’s life “UNMANAGEABLE”. If the alcoholic COULD MANAGE his decision to stay stopped, he would have no problem. His will power would be sufficient to stay away from the first drink thereby eliminating any further problems resulting from his drinking. His problem would be solved.

Quite by accident, Medical Science has found an explanation for this “alcoholic mind”. A Ph.D. doing research on brain tumors found expired alcoholics a good source of material for her studies. When one of them was found dead in the skid row areas of Houston, their bodies would be brought into the lab and their brains dissected and studied. After examining the brain of several victims, she came to the conclusion that they were heroin addicts. She came to that conclusion as the result of finding a significant amount of a highly addictive chemical named Tetrahydroisoquinolines (THIQ) deposited in the inner core of the brain of her specimens. Prior to this finding, THIQ had only been produced as the result of a chemical reducing process of heroin. Some Family Physicians informed her that the “addicts” she had been working with were not “addicts’ but were, in fact, alcoholics, “winos”. They didn’t use nor could they afford heroin. A cheap bottle of wine was their daily “bill of fare”. So the question was raised, “How did the THIQ find its way into the brain of the CHRONIC alcoholic?”

Looking back at the process of the chemical decomposition of Ethanol through the body of an alcoholic, we notice that the first product is Acetaldehyde. It has been found that the Acetaldehyde combines with the Neurotransmitters in the brain fluids to produce the THIQ which is then deposited in the primitive part of the brain where the basic instincts of a human exist.


Acetaldehyde + Neurotransmitters = Tetrahydroisoquinolines


When THIQ is infused into animal brains, it produces what seems to be irreversible addictive drinking. Such animals, prior to being infused with THIQ would not drink even a highly diluted solution of alcohol. After being infused, they would drink alcoholic solutions and die just as many alcoholic humans do.

Once the THIQ has been deposited, there seems to be no known way to remove it from the brain of its victims. Every time the alcoholic drinks anything containing alcohol, more molecules of THIQ are produced and deposited to that very critical part of the brain. Therefore, the ALCOHOLIC MIND is a permanent condition. There is only one known Solution for this Problem and that piece of vital information came from the noted Psychiatrist, Dr. Carl Jung, considered by many to be the Father of Modern Psychiatry. The Solution, Dr. Jung said, was a “VITAL SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE”.

So the question becomes, “How can a hopeless alcoholic have this vital spiritual experience”? The first thing that must happen is for the alcoholic find a ray of hope and that is what very often can happen when an alcoholic who has had a vital spiritual experience shares his experience and knowledge of the problem - Alcoholism and then the Solution - God as we understand Him. This leads to the next Step:


2. “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”


If the suffering alcoholic then shows a genuine interest, the recovered alcoholic outlines the precise course of action that leads to recovery.

Once the hope has been planted in the mind of the one who is suffering, he then is faced with a decision, “Are you willing to go to any length to achieve victory over this drinking problem?” If the answer is, “Yes”, then that decision is announced by praying a prayer of decision in the presence of an understanding person, such as a recovered alcoholic.

3. “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”


The Prayer that is used to announce this decision will be found on page 63 of the Big Book along with the directions on HOW to take the Step of Decision (Step Three) and WHAT the results (Promise) will be.

From the moment of decision, the one who is wanting to recover is directed to launch out on a course of vigorous action in putting the Program to the test. That is done by carefully following the clear-cut directions outlined from page 64 through page 88. By precisely carrying out the action in these twenty-four (24) pages in the Big Book, the hopeless victim of alcoholism is PROMISED that they will have had a spiritual awakening or a spiritual experience and will therefore have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. Drinking will no longer be an option and life will be more exciting and fulfilling then any of us could have dreamed possible.

Amazingly enough, the twenty-four pages tell us WHEN to take a Step, HOW to take a Step, state WHAT the results will be (PROMISES) and provide one or more PRAYERS for each and every Step of recovery. This is a spiritual Program of action in which we invite God as we understand Him to do all the things for us that we could never do for ourselves.

On coming to Alcoholics Anonymous, our only desire was to learn how to stop drinking and put an end to the miserable way we had been existing; just living for the next drink. In a dedicated pursuit of that goal, we are given a magical bonus; a design for living that will produce a quality of life that as Fred reported:

“Quite as important was the fact that spiritual principles would solve all my problems. I have since been brought into a way of living infinitely more satisfying and, I hope, more useful that the life I lived before. My old manner of life was by no means a bad one, but I would not exchange the best moments for the worst I have now. I would not go back to it even if I could.” (Big Book, Page 42 - 43)

Could it be this way for you? The only way to find out is to take a risk and do what the authors of the Big Book did. All you have to lose is the misery that brought you to Alcoholics Anonymous.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That was pretty awesome Knowhope. I dig these types of informative posts. Thank you.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Me to except I am a bit befuddled by the very beginning when it talks about the different types. An alcoholic and a drunk. So because I drank to escape and at times I could stop drinking that means I am a drunk but not an alcoholic? Well trust me I have several people who will testify against that. I also have several detoxes and treatment centers who would also beg to differ. Anyway for this alcoholic as long as I know I am one that is all that matters.
Have a great weekend guys and gals.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Me to except I am a bit befuddled by the very beginning when it talks about the different types. An alcoholic and a drunk. So because I drank to escape and at times I could stop drinking that means I am a drunk but not an alcoholic? Well trust me I have several people who will testify against that. I also have several detoxes and treatment centers who would also beg to differ. Anyway for this alcoholic as long as I know I am one that is all that matters.
Have a great weekend guys and gals.
Certainly alcoholics can drink for escape. Bill talks about crossing that point into drinking to oblivion, and that was me too.

As I see it, in this context "drunks" is being used as a moniker for the hard drinker, which the Big Book distinguishes from the real or chronic alcoholic. Everyone's favorite subject on the boards...but here is one place in the BB:

Quote:
[1] "Then we have a certain type of hard drinker. He may have the habit badly enough to gradually impair him physically and mentally. It may cause him to die a few years before his time. If a sufficiently strong reason—ill health, falling in love, change of environment, or the warning of a doctor—becomes operative, this man can also stop or moderate, although he may find it difficult and troublesome and may even need medical attention.

[2] But what about the real alcoholic? He may start off as a moderate drinker; he may or may not become a continuous hard drinker; but at some stage of his drinking career he begins to lose all control of his liquor consumption, once he starts to drink..."
The "moderate drinker" is also described on p. 20, and the description of the "real alcoholic" continues on from p. 21.

You can also find the same underlying distinction used in The Doctor's Opinion and through the different kinds of husbands in To Wives.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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GOod stuff KnowHope. Is this your writing or did you pull it from something else?
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A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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wow brilliant thread.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Is this your writing or did you pull it from something else?
bump
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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GOod stuff KnowHope. Is this your writing or did you pull it from something else?
This comes from my previous sponsor, who has been around a very long time and has put together some phenomenal materials. They were sponsored by Joe McQ of Joe and Charlie. I was granted permission to share these writings online with the agreement that I not include their name and home phone number.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I thought there were 4 types.

"The problem with which you struggle usually falls within one of four categories:

ONE: Your husband may be only a heavy drinker. His drinking may be constant or it may be heavy only on certain occasions. He spends too much money for liquor. It slows him up mentally and physically, but he does not see it. Sometimes he is a source of embarrassment to you and his friends. He is positive he can handle his liquor, that it does him no harm, that drinking is necessary in his business. He would be insulted if called an alcoholic. This world is full of people like him. Some will moderate or stop altogether, and some will not. Of those who keep on, a good number will become true alcoholics after a while.

TWO: Your husband is showing lack of control. He is unable to stay on the water wagon, even when he wants to. He often gets entirely out of hand when drinking. He admits this is true, but is obsessed with the idea that he will do better. He has begun to try, with or without your cooperation, various means of moderating or staying dry. He is beginning to lose his friends. His business may suffer somewhat. He is worried at times, and is becoming aware that he cannot drink like other people. He sometimes drinks in the morning, and through the day also, to hold his nervousness in check. He is remorseful after serious drinking bouts and tells you he wants to stop. But when he gets over the spree, he begins to think once more how he can drink moderately next time. This person is in danger. He has the earmarks of a real alcoholic. Perhaps he can still tend to business fairly well. He has by no means ruined everything. As we say among ourselves, "He wants to stop."

THREE: This husband has gone much further than husband number two. Though once like number two, he became worse. His friends have slipped away, his home is a near-wreck, and he cannot hold a position. Maybe the doctor has been called in, and the weary round of sanitariums and hospitals has begun. He admits he cannot drink like other people, but does not see why. He clings to the notion that he will yet find a way to do so. He may have come to the point where he desperately wants to stop but cannot. His case presents additional questions which we shall try to answer for you. You can be quite hopeful of a situation like this.

FOUR: You may have a husband of whom you completely despair. He has been placed in one institution after another. He is violent, or definitely insane, when drunk. Sometimes he drinks on the way home from the hospital. Perhaps he has had delirium tremens. Doctors shake their heads and advise you to have him committed. Maybe you have already been obliged to put him away. This picture may not be as dark as it looks. Many of our husbands were just as far gone. Yet they got well.

To Wives
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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They were sponsored by Joe McQ .
That would explain why its such good stuff!
Thanks for sharing the wealth
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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aa is an uncomplicated plan for complicated people
as far as i know and
i've been around
aa is the only way to stop drinking
meeting makers make it

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Old 01-25-2013, 02:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I thought there were 4 types.
In "There Is A Solution" on pages 20-21 there are 3 types of drinkers: the moderate drinker, the hard drinker and the real alcoholic.

In To Wives there are 4 types of husbands described according to their drinking. What I still see described are the hard drinker, who may or may not become alcoholic, and the real alcoholic, along various stages in the progression of alcoholism.

Quote:
"The problem with which you struggle usually falls within one of four categories:

ONE: Your husband may be only a heavy drinker. His drinking may be constant or it may be heavy only on certain occasions. He spends too much money for liquor. It slows him up mentally and physically, but he does not see it. Sometimes he is a source of embarrassment to you and his friends. He is positive he can handle his liquor, that it does him no harm, that drinking is necessary in his business. He would be insulted if called an alcoholic. This world is full of people like him. Some will moderate or stop altogether, and some will not. Of those who keep on, a good number will become true alcoholics after a while.
Described - heavy drinker/hard drinker, some of whom will be able to stop or moderate, and then others who after a time will not, becoming true/real/chronic alcoholics.

Quote:
TWO: Your husband is showing lack of control. He is unable to stay on the water wagon, even when he wants to. He often gets entirely out of hand when drinking. He admits this is true, but is obsessed with the idea that he will do better. He has begun to try, with or without your cooperation, various means of moderating or staying dry. He is beginning to lose his friends. His business may suffer somewhat. He is worried at times, and is becoming aware that he cannot drink like other people. He sometimes drinks in the morning, and through the day also, to hold his nervousness in check. He is remorseful after serious drinking bouts and tells you he wants to stop. But when he gets over the spree, he begins to think once more how he can drink moderately next time. This person is in danger. He has the earmarks of a real alcoholic. Perhaps he can still tend to business fairly well. He has by no means ruined everything. As we say among ourselves, "He wants to stop."
Here, the earmarks of a real alcoholic. He displays lack of control. We also see this "lack of control" described many times for the real alcoholic, including immediately after the end of the excerpt on the real alcoholic in post # from page 21 in There Is A Solution: "Here is a fellow who has been puzzling you, especially in his lack of control," and on p. 23-24 describing the real alcoholic, "He has lost control."

Quote:
THREE: This husband has gone much further than husband number two. Though once like number two, he became worse. His friends have slipped away, his home is a near-wreck, and he cannot hold a position. Maybe the doctor has been called in, and the weary round of sanitariums and hospitals has begun. He admits he cannot drink like other people, but does not see why. He clings to the notion that he will yet find a way to do so. He may have come to the point where he desperately wants to stop but cannot. His case presents additional questions which we shall try to answer for you. You can be quite hopeful of a situation like this.
The progression continues. We already know from p. 30 that "No real alcoholic ever recovers control." He desperately wants to stop but cannot. Another real alcoholic.

Quote:
FOUR: You may have a husband of whom you completely despair. He has been placed in one institution after another. He is violent, or definitely insane, when drunk. Sometimes he drinks on the way home from the hospital. Perhaps he has had delirium tremens. Doctors shake their heads and advise you to have him committed. Maybe you have already been obliged to put him away. This picture may not be as dark as it looks. Many of our husbands were just as far gone. Yet they got well.
Where some might describe the earlier husbands as higher bottom cases, here we start hitting what some might call lower bottom cases. Certainly real alcoholics, yet also entirely capable of becoming recovered through the program.

It looks to me like it all lines up.

And you know what else? Bottom line? I think we're all very blessed.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I heard an aa speaker this past week, can't recall who...referring to the to wives as the 4 types of alcoholics....I will have to go back and re-listen.

I may have "heard" it wrong!

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Old 01-28-2013, 08:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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The old timers told me the two types of alcoholics were sober ones and drunk ones.

I really take exception at people trying to disect different "types" of alcoholics. The punchline seems always "you must do what I say to do or you can't stay sober.... and if you're managing to stay sober without being my follower you aren't a 'real' alcoholic". This helps nobody, and only serves to stroke the ego of the demogogue preaching to his followers.
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