Saturday, July 17, 2010

Overheard in Recovery: But Officer, I Only Had ONE

Came across this ad on The Awesomer today.

It will certainly help people who have to have something to tell their significant other, family, or arresting officer.

The thing is, people who are alcoholic will believe in the midst of their denial that they really did only have one. I once talked to a person who just couldn't figure out why or how their blood alcohol level was .18. They had only had two and that wouldn't get their BAC that high.

Finally we figured out they had two cans of malt liquor:
  • Which were each 40 ounces (3.25 cans of beer/can)
  • and higher alcohol content than beer.
  • So, in reality they may have had as much as 8-10 beers in those only two cans.

The amazing thing is that many times the person saying these things really, truly, honestly believes them. In that very real sense they are not lying. They believe it is the truth. The power of denial is that strong. Which is why it is so difficult when a person in such deep denial goes into treatment. The denial is reinforced by blame or anger or any of a number of other issues.

Which is also why residential and inpatient treatments can often take a month of intense group just to get a person ready to begin to talk about the possibility of maybe having an issue. Yes, it can be that tenuous. It is also why for people who are more advanced in the disease of alcoholism outpatient treatment and perhaps only a couple AA meetings a week can be such a difficult early path.

But with support and a lot of AA meetings, things can pick up. The world will begin to make a little more sense and the denial a lot less. Which is why my co-counselor and myself will often refer to what happens in our groups as miracles.

Oh, and one aside about the above advertised item- it appears that it holds two liters of wine. That is over half a gallon (!) or 67.6 ounces (!!) or 10-12 standard drinks!!! Depending on length of time, that could be well over a BAC of .20!!!!

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