New data has revealed that one in eight Americans are now alcoholics due to an alarming rise in alcohol consumption in women, elderly people and ethnic minorities.
Experts at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism say that the rise could constitute a public health crisis that is being overshadowed by the opioid epidemic and marijuana legalization.
During an 11 year gap, the number of people who received a diagnosis of alcoholism shot up by 49 percent, meaning 12.7 percent of the population – or roughly one in eight Americans – are alcoholics.
Megan, with 11 hours since her last drink, shares her story
[5:15] Paul Introduces Megan. I’m from Baltimore, Maryland. I am 38, single, with a live-in boyfriend.
[7:19] Paul- What forced you to reach out to me again, and give us a little background.
Megan- The whole point of what you are doing is when you can relate to other people. I love that you are an advocate for the acceptance part of it. People are ashamed to come out so to speak. I didn’t start drinking until late in college. I liked the way it made me feel. I wasn’t self-conscience. It was never really a problem. One day in my late twenties I realized I was drinking everyday.
[23:49] Paul- Talk to me about your withdrawal symptoms.
Megan- It’s usually worst the second and third day. The shaking and the anxiety is the worse. I can’t shut my brain off.
[26:36] Paul- What’s your plan? How are we going to do this?
Megan- I am going to get through today. One day at a time. Right now it is just getting through today. I know that I want to get sober and stay sober. Am I done yet? I’m not entirely sure. I want to be there, but I don’t know if I am.
[32:36] Rapid Fire Round
- What was your worst memory from drinking? Blacking out. I started drinking after a run; I woke up the next day and had no memory of how I got home.
- Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? About a month ago, I got up in the morning and was walking to the grocery store and I couldn’t walk. I inched across the street and went back home.
- What’s your plan moving forward?
- What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I love podcasts. The HOME Podcast, the Shair Podcast, Recovery 101.
- What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? Don’t beat yourself up.
- What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? You are going to feel crappy. Don’t make it worse on yourself by pouring poison into yourself. It’s going to get a little bit better everyday.
- You might be an alcoholic if the liquor store on the corner knows exactly who you are, and lines up 4 mini bottles of Fireball everyday at 9:00 in the morning.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
It’s a public health crisis: 1 in 8 Americans are now alcoholics By Abigail Miller for Dailymail.com
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“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”