alcohol treatment

Alcohol Responsible for More Homicides Than Other Substances

Studies show that alcohol is the number one catalyst for homicides, surpassing drugs like cocaine and heroin almost five times over. Since the number of people who abuse cocaine has been cut nearly in half, there are less violent outbreaks from that group of substance abusers. Heroin accounted for only 3% of homicides. Homicides that involved alcohol accounted for 35% of those fatalities.

This correlation likely stems from the fact that alcohol lowers a person’s inhibitions. When someone is under the influence, they are more likely to feel justified in starting a fight and they are more likely to feel that the can overpower someone else. They are also more aggressive and less logical, which is a dangerous mix. Studies show that in the homicides involving alcohol, it’s not just those who commit the crime who are usually under the influence – the victims commonly have consumed alcohol as well.

Homicide cases were investigated around five counties surrounding Chicago as a sample population to determine what factor alcohol played in the fatalities. About 40% of homicide victims had alcohol in their blood. Almost all of the victims were men and almost all the fatalities were caused by gunshot wounds.

While focusing on eliminating drug abuse is vital, it is clear that we need to continue to focus on the issues surrounding alcohol abuse. Sending those who are alcohol dependent to treatment would help this problem, however many people do not have access to effective drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Unfortunately, insurance presents another obstacle. Many people who fit the criteria for alcohol abuse do not have insurance to pay for treatment. Continuing efforts to discourage binge drinking and alcohol abuse is a crucial step in helping to prevent these tragic crimes.

Mayor Rob Ford Takes Temporary Leave, Citing Alcohol Problems

Toronto’s mayor, best known for admitting to the use of crack cocaine last year after the surfacing of an incriminating video, recently announced he will be taking a temporary leave to seek treatment for alcoholism. The announcement was made after a second video emerged of Mayor Rob Ford smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.

When admitting to using the drug last year, Ford suggested that he had only done so once. The mayor acknowledged he has been drunk and out of control several times since then, but has denied using crack in that time. Last month, when asked directly if he was continuing to use drugs, Mr. Ford said: “You guys ask stupid questions.”

The second video appears to show Ford smoking crack in the basement of the home of his sister, Kathy, who has admitted to her own substance abuse problems. A self-professed drug dealer recorded the video and sold stills of the recording to The Globe and Mail, a Toronto newspaper.

Dennis Morris, Ford’s long-time criminal lawyer questions the authenticity of the video. Kathy Ford’s former spouse said in an interview that she smokes crack out of metal pipes that can also be used to smoke marijuana. Mr. Morris has suggested that the drug dealers are insisting the substance is crack so that they can sell the recording for a higher price.

In recent months, Rob Ford has been in the process of running for re-election in a campaign largely based on second chances. It is unclear how this video will affect his chances for re-election in October, given his past admissions of drug uses, drunkenness and other antics.

“It’s not easy to be vulnerable and this is one of the most difficult times in my life. I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence,” said the Toronto mayor in a statement last week. “I have struggled with this for some time.”

Many are calling for Ford to leave office and quit his campaign. Some are relieved that he is getting treatment, but are concerned about his enabling family. Despite the reasons for taking leave, it is safe to assume that Ford is making the right decision by facing his problems, stepping out of the spotlight, and seeking professional help.

A Short History of Alcohol Prohibition

At the end of the 19th century, the temperance movement shifted towards a more ambitious and hard-line approach and eventually pushed for outright prohibition. This shift is now recognizable to historians in parallel changes in the way people discussed the issues of their time. Social Darwinism heavily influenced the way ordinary people interpreted the world around them. To this end, alcoholism no longer threatened the sanctity of American homes, but instead threatened the very fabric of human civilization. Unfortunately, civilization had a very specific meaning in those times and was tied to racist, anti-Semitic, and xenophobic ideals.

Today we think of Prohibition as a failure of U.S. government policy and enforcement because people are always going to find ways to self-medicate or blow off steam. What is forgotten is how wrong-headed that policy was in the first place. With the benefit of hindsight, we now know that the major proponents of Prohibition simply reacted to the changes in American society due to onset of industrialization and urbanization. Anxiety over these changes and a crude understanding of human psychology and behavior prevented these activists from recognizing the pervasive effects of addiction across racial and cultural lines. Instead of recognizing the need to treat individuals regardless of skin color, religion, or origin, the Prohibition impulse sought to demonize those groups who were, in fact, enriching the American cultural experience.

Ultimately, Prohibition was unable to stem this cultural tide. The onset of the Great Depression gave way to the election of FDR who pledged to repeal the 18th Amendment. Americans’ approach to addiction treatment took a new course later in the 1930s with the advent of groups such Alcoholics Anonymous. A new understanding of addiction began to take shape. Simply put, a one-size-fits-all government policy cannot help individuals deal with addiction. Addicts are not the stooges of nefarious “other” groups that are looking to thwart the American way of life. They are human beings, with same kinds of weaknesses as all others. With the support of fellow human beings, they must learn to cope with their illness in a world that is constantly changing.

If you know someone in need of treatment for alcoholism, contact us today.

Country Singer Trace Adkins Enters Alcohol Rehab

traceadkinsMultiple reports surfaced this week that country singer Trace Adkins entered a treatment program for alcoholism following a fight aboard the Norwegian Pearl cruise ship where he was to perform.

A representative for Adkins told ABC news, “As he faces these issues head-on, we ask that his family’s privacy will be respected.”

According to reports, Adkins was at a bar on the ship and wound up getting in a fight with an impersonator on board who was singing karaoke to one of his songs. After the brawl, the performer got off the ship at the next port and the cruise continued on without him. Other headliners scheduled to sing included Montgomery Gentry and Wynonna Judd.

Adkins had apparently suffered a relapse after 12 years of sobriety, which followed a rehab stint in 2002. He had recently hosted the American Country Awards and prior to that won the reality show competition “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice”, helping to raise money for charity.

The “Just Fishin'” singer and father of 5 girls will hopefully find the help he needs and continue on his journey of recovery. We wish him well.