I had a good friend as me the question, why can’t an alcoholic just quit? I suppose that millions have asked the same thing. For someone who has never been addicted to consuming alcohol on a daily basis, they wouldn’t understand what the daily physical craving is like. Having a close relationship with my friend, I knew that he had a few habits of his own. So, I decided to try and explain it to him by making a comparison with one of his habits.
Incidentally, we were working with a street ministry team at the time when he asked me why alcoholics can’t stop drinking. His curiosity was sparked by spending a lot of time with homeless people who were constantly drinking any kind of alcohol that they could get their hands on.
Here’s what I tried to explain to my friend about the homeless men and women who cannot quit consuming alcohol on a daily basis. I first made him think about one of his own habits. In the past he had told me that there is no way at all for him to eat a plate full of food by mixing things up together.
What I mean is that if he had steak, potatoes, peas and a salad, he would have to eat each one of them separately. He would eat all of the potatoes first, then all of the salad and so on…His habit was so bad that there was absolutely no way to get him to eat any sort of casserole. As I was pointing out his horrible habit of the way he eats food and asked him if he could break his addiction. Then after he said: “no”, I made the comparison with alcoholics being addicted to drinking.
Alcoholics cannot stop drinking because they are physically and mentally addicted to the substance. If it were not so, then many people would not have died from consuming the substance. The addiction really is cunning, baffling and powerful. It destroys people’s lives and families.
A problem drinker just can’t stop drinking without a lot of help. It takes tons of therapy in group meetings and also a strong determination to get sober. AA is a great place for problem drinkers to get well. You see, once the physical craving is over with, there is still the mental aspect that must be dealt with. Most people who drink too much are trying to cover up pain and insecurities that are deeply rooted within. The pain must be dealt with and a person must learn how to like themselves. Much of these types of problems could have begun at a very young age. This is why it takes time for people to conquer the alcohol addictions that they suffer with.
Alcoholics can stop drinking with help. Drinking is a relentless habit that must be dealt with by attending support group meetings and reading daily literature. In the Alcoholics Anonymous meetings recovering drunks are learning how to live life on life’s terms without taking a drink. To remain sober, many people must attend three to six meetings a day in the beginning. As they get involved in these group meetings, they begin to get the “tools” needed to overcome the power of alcoholism in their lives.