Alcohol Abuse: What Can You Do?

Alcohol Abuse

What Can You Do?

The problems associated with alcoholism, alcohol dependency and alcohol abuse thrive in an atmosphere lacking actionable knowledge, real awareness and sensitive understanding. Many misconceptions, misunderstandings and prejudices about alcohol abuse, alcohol dependency and the disease of alcoholism often perpetuate the problem and prolong the suffering of all concerned. Denial of the problem itself often represents a major challenge, as many people with serious alcohol issues evade detection by semi-controlled or "hidden" drinking (e.g., ensuring that one drinks alone without companionship in order to conceal the quantity of alcohol being consumed).

Taking the time to secure a real understanding of the nature of alcohol abuse, its causes, how it advances into a disease state and what can be done in treatment (especially during the potentially dangerous period when an alcoholic suffering from clinical disease symptoms faces withdrawal and potential seizures) are all critically important.

Doing this right can save a life! One of the fastest ways to literally kill an alcoholic consumed with near-insane raging thoughts of self-hatred and suicide is take away any and all hope. Intelligently planning an intervention with a professional, finding ways to connect a suffering alcoholic with recovering alcoholics and educating family members about the positive, but sometimes tough, roles they can play in recovery—all of these can be very helpful.

Here are some specific ways you can become enlightened and helpful in the battle against alcohol abuse and alcoholism:


This is the most important step of all. As advances in genetic science have demonstrated, there are thousands of people for whom drinking is never an option. As university studies have shown, people with certain genetic traits are at risk even with their very first drink! If you have a family history of alcohol abuse or alcoholism, evidence shows that you should be very careful with alcohol. Genetic factors that involve individual production of the dopamine neurotransmitter can produce high risk factors. The same is true of those with dopamine deficiencies who unknowingly drink to artificially stimulate dopamine production to overcome shyness or chronic anxiety. Other environmental factors can play a role in subsequently overdrinking or harmful alcohol abuse.

The Internet offers helpful advice and information from many qualified medical schools and treatment centers. Qualified and tested support organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous publish much of their literature and treatment information online. And, of course, brick-and-mortar libraries across the planet hold much useful information about this critical subject.


How would you recognize a problem with alcohol in your life or someone else's? When is alcohol abuse a direct sin? When does it advance to the point where it is a medically recognized disease and "willpower" has become irrelevant? Alcoholics and abusers of alcohol often go to great lengths to conceal the increasingly higher levels of alcohol they consume. At some point, they begin to drink to feel normal. At that time, having ready access to alcohol displaces rational concern for family, friends and well-being. What are the symptoms of this stage? When you recognize it, what do you do?


If you or someone you know has a problem with alcohol, what should be done about it? If you're in a church congregation, is your pastor competent to help? How should you seek professional counsel?

How much do you know about treatment programs? How much do you know about the possibilities of developing and conducting an intervention (supported by professionals)? What happens at AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), which is supported by professionals? Why is AA considered a spiritual program with its 12 Steps?

Understanding and Support

Chronic abusers of alcohol, those dependent on alcohol, and those afflicted with the recognized disease of alcoholism, often live under a heavy burden of guilt and shame. Heavy abusers of alcohol suffer cognitive and emotional impairment that often takes months to recover from and correct after a person completely abstains from drinking. Recovery itself generally produces a whole new set of circumstances that some families find very difficult.

In short, recovering alcoholics and their families usually need much love and support. Early recovery can be confusing and troublesome, but it's worth it! Family members often find they have to both protect themselves and also come to an understanding as to what part they have contributed to the formerly dysfunctional family.

Jesus came to heal and "to set at liberty" those captive by afflictions like alcoholism (Luke 4:18). He is today able to reach out to suffering people and offer them healing help and hope!

Clinical alcoholism represents a progressive disease that left unchecked will spiral to the bottom of the barrel—medically, financially, emotionally and spiritually. If not stopped, it is 100 percent fatal. Too often those who finally seek help only do so after "hitting bottom"—running completely out of options.

With proper understanding, you can relieve suffering, plant a seed of hope for yourself and embark on a new life of spiritual recovery. God offers real power to those who surrender themselves (Ephesians 1:16-21).

Please use this opportunity to learn how to be of help. You can be a lifeline, providing direction, support and encouragement as God grants you the opportunity!