Episode 444 – Alcohol Consumption by State


Today we have Chad. He is 51 from Southern Indiana and took his last drink on March 25th, 2022.


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[02:47] Highlights from Paul:


Something heard often while interviewing guests is “you don’t know what it’s like to grow up in Wisconsin, Texas, in Las Vegas, in Trenton, New Jersey, or you don’t know how much we drink in…” fill in the blank. So yes, it is ubiquitous, but there is a front runner.


Check out the full list and see where your state ranks: Alcohol Consumption by State


In 2012 British researcher Dr. David Nutt was tasked by the government to put harm scores on 20 of the world’s most harmful drug. Alcohol came in at #1 beating out crack, heroin, meth and cocaine.


Paul shares some stats about the costs of alcohol use disorder in Montana. You can see stats for all of the US here: Alcohol Abuse Statistics


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[11:48] Kris introduces Chad:


Chad has been sober for a little over 15 months at the time of this recording. He is 51 and lives in a small town in Indiana. Chad is married, and they have three children. He works for the government. He enjoys talking recovery, umpiring softball, and cycling.


Chad’s parents divorced when he was young. He never felt like he fit in at either of his parents’ homes and was a people pleaser doing whatever he could to fit in. Chad moved in with his dad when he was 13. After an ankle injury he was sidelined from sports, and he ended up finding a new group of friends that dabbled in drugs and alcohol. He says he struggled through high school and was looking at the military instead of going to college. He was looking forward to having some structure that he didn’t feel he had growing up between two households.


After graduating, Chad spent the summer partying and started basic training in August. He was sent to Germany after more training, and they drank a lot there. He started to notice that he needed to drink just to feel normal. He ended up leaving after one deployment and realized the military wasn’t for him.


Chad left the military and went into construction work. He and his wife hadn’t married yet, but she was pregnant, which was frowned upon by her family. Four years after having their daughter they got married and while they got a house together and continued to grow the family, Chad drank to deal with his stressors. It got to the point where Chad couldn’t do anything without a drink in his hand. He says drinking took a front seat to everything else. On days when he could not drink, he was starting to have symptoms of withdrawal. He began to hide alcohol and his tolerance grew.


After a bad blackout and confrontation with his wife, he felt terrible and realized that he needed help. His wife encouraged him to seek inpatient treatment which is what Chad was hoping for. With his wife’s support he found a rehab that helped him a lot. He was able to talk to therapists and realize that he wasn’t alone. After 30 days in rehab, Chad started AA, started reading more books about recovery and has found Zoom meetings and listening to the RE podcast very helpful.


Chad’s plan for recovery moving forward: Dig deeper into his recovery and be of service.


Chad’s parting piece of guidance: A life worth living can be found in sobriety. You’re worth it, give yourself a chance. “No” is a full answer.


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