What Do I Do if I Think I Have an Alcohol Problem?
At different times in one’s life you or someone you know may be negatively affected by alcohol. You are not alone. Understanding the impact of alcohol misuse or abuse — not only on your life but on the lives of those around you — is the first step to getting back on track.
Statistics show the impact that alcohol has on individuals’ lives. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 20.3% of adults in the state reported binge drinking in 2018. Furthermore, in a span of four years between 2013 and 2017, there were approximately 1,745 alcohol-related deaths each year solely in Minnesota. In the United States in 2017, there were over 72,000 alcohol-related deaths, more than double the amount recorded in 1999.
Many are familiar with the crime of driving while impaired (DWI), a common alcohol-related offense. Minnesota Statutes Chapter 169A. Driving While Impaired lists the numerous statutes associated with alcohol use and driving, including driving while impaired, underage drinking and driving, and possession of an open bottle while driving. The Minnesota Department of Health reported that in 2017, there were nearly 25,000 arrests for DWI. We are often advised to find a designated driver before consuming alcohol, and these statistics and laws show us why.
Many people become aware of or start to question their alcohol problems only after being charged for an alcohol-related offense, such as a DWI or a domestic assault. Once in handcuffs, these individuals believe their future is over and there is no way out. They want to overcome their alcohol misuse, but they don’t know where to start. The good news is there are numerous resources and treatment options available no matter where one is in the process.
What are my options for overcoming alcohol misuse and/or abuse?
The most common and popular ways to overcome alcohol misuse and/or abuse include professional treatment facilities (such as inpatient or outpatient treatment), counseling, therapy, and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). In some instances, medication is also prescribed. The National Institutes of Health suggests resources and plans for individuals who want to overcome their alcohol problems. There is also a variety of local treatment centers available here in Minnesota.
The easiest way to get started on the road to recovery or to help someone overcome their alcohol problem is to express your concerns with someone you trust. Rehabilitation is a long process, but it is achievable through the right means and with the right support system.