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Alcoholism
article [ Society ]
- the wound of a society, a danger for all -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
by [Zeu deghizat ]

2004-09-26  |     | 



Human being is made by love, through love and for love. A life without love not only that cannot be imagined but is not possible. Born from another human being, a person is a part of an infinite genetic chain. Having birth as a way of relating one to another, the human genetic chain can’t be broken, but only through a life without giving birth. Even that doesn’t mean that you interrupted the whole human chain, but only one possibility of enlarging it. As an expression of the Trinitarian love, God created the human being as an image of Himself and with the possibility of resemblance. The image of the perfect love, the Holy Trinity fulfils love in sharing it inside this ‘triangle’, but also by creation; creation is an act of love and has as a result love. The divine act of love towards the creation acts like a boomerang, God makes everything through His divine love, putting in His creation the call to Himself, waiting for an answer. Image of God, human being is the one that should make this answer possible, by turning itself to God, but bringing along also the whole creation.
It always fascinated me one of the remarks of a Moral Theology Professor. He told us on a lecture that, in sharing love, every person should be able to get out on the streets and embrace every passer by in a genuine act of Christian love. It is very interesting when you think that nowadays humans pass by other humans without even look; they are too ‘busy’, they have their own thoughts, their own problems, actually, their own world. Opposite to the Christian model of building a world of loving and caring for those around, our days are the witnesses of a ‘new creation’. Every man or woman tends to take the world and re-create it in the way that suits him or her. Very strange that the way that suits me don’t suit anyone else. Even though a city is an immense agglomeration of people, very often you feel through being in the middle of a city like being in the middle of desert. People passing by you, looking downward, not even noticing the others, cars and speed, nothing makes you think that you are within a community. Considered the ‘speed age’, our age brings with it the danger of being taken over by our own creation. Various ways of communication are, actually, a reason for not seeing the others. A life lived ‘to the max’ makes us ignore the real life, the real ‘adventure’. Dealing so much with our selfishness made us ignore other people around. ‘Time is money’ and other expressions like that became the label of a new kind of world, where the time is more important than the person.
In a world like this ‘loneliness’ and ‘depression’ became very important and ‘familiar’ words. The ‘mechanism’ works like falling into a ‘black hole’, together with the feeling of going deeper and deeper, from not fitting in, to loneliness, towards depression and addiction.
What does ‘loneliness’ mean?
“The pain of a felt inability to satisfy the basic human need for intimate relations with other persons.” There are some more proposed definitions, the criteria being ‘the experience of loneliness’ and ‘the conditions which precipitate or perpetuate it’. From these “three are important: (1) Loneliness arises from the lack of distortion of an inborn drive for intimacy, ‘attachment’ or ‘bonding’ which persists and develops as a need for a mutual, personal I-Thou dialogue;(2) Everyone has an ideal notion, an optimum, of relations with others. If the optimum is exceeded, if it is ‘all too much’, then a person is distressed by the invasion of his or her personal space, feeling ‘crowded’. If, however, the person perceives and construes a wide gap between desired and perceived degrees of interaction then he or she will adopt the label ‘lonely’;(3) Behaviourists regard loneliness as a defect of (potentially measurable) quantity and type of ‘social reinforcement’.”
The experiences of loneliness are legion. They range from a frightening, gnawing, distress or restless, bored hostility to a frozen emptiness. In a world of self-focus, loneliness is something ‘normal’. Not trying to find others, living separately and depending on a certain amount of money, being satisfied only with food and material pleasure, these are only few reasons for loneliness. When you don’t know your neighbours and you don’t even bother to do that, loneliness is the first reaction that appears. Loneliness doesn’t necessarily mean a lonely life; loneliness could mean also changes in social situations, such as the loss of a close personal relationship (death, divorce, physical separation), but so too, loss of more superficial contacts as movement to a new area.
Certain personality characteristics predispose to loneliness. Shy, self-deprecating people with low self-esteem take less social risks. These kinds of people are more likely to fall into such a phase. It is very easy for them to feel insecure, marginalized and even forgotten by others.
Other type of loneliness is existential loneliness. Often met is the fear of separation from, and loss of, a loved person. Because of our new system of values, the circle of our relationships becomes smaller and smaller; living in a very small circle of family and, sometimes, friends, the fear of losing somebody very close increases very much. As long as we have only few close persons, is ‘normal’ that the fear of losing them to be bigger than for somebody who has a better interrelation system. Of course that the loss of a friend is same painful, but is a better reason for loneliness when you don’t have others to go to. So everything goes around personal relationship. “A personal relationship may be conceived as a state of aloneness-togetherness. The hyphen is important. I can only be alone insofar as I can be together with another. I can only be together insofar as I can be alone. When I am able to be alone (as distinct from being isolated and lonely), I can stay with, and perhaps rest in, solitude…” So, solitude is not a reason for falling in other bad habits, only loneliness as a result of our own selfishness and misusing of love can be a way to depression, a lower stage of our fall.
What is ‘depression’?
“A psychological state of extreme low spirits characterized by a sense of hopelessness and despair; meaninglessness; constant, often unaccountable, weeping; poor or total sense of self-esteem which may mount to self-hatred; self-criticism and self-accusation; and loss of energy.” This is depression, a low state following loneliness, not the fact of being alone, but what we showed before – a state of selfishness and renouncing at the others’ love.
“It is wrongly supposed that people want to be important to each other because they don’t feel important in themselves. On the contrary, it is because a person feels that he/she is ‘special’ – and it is impossible for the self-aware being not to feel special – that he/she wants for this specialness to make a difference to another. The rage that neglect or contempt – especially by the beloved – causes in people is unaccountable for by any other hypothesis.” Interesting how, actually, our need for others is only to satisfy our ego, to ‘embellish’ our image about ourselves. Losing also this ‘last frontier’ of selfishness, and caring for the others because of their needs, not ours, this is what the Christianity is about. But if the way that we choose is by building a castle around our self-esteem and wanting that others to climb the walls, which become higher and higher, is no more than a step to depression.
A depressed person may speak and move slowly and heavily, as if to do so were a great effort, as indeed is. He or she may recount blackness of mood, evil and frightening thoughts and wishes; experience difficulty in having to speak, or be almost totally unable to do so. Not being able to eat or to sleep is another sign of a depressive behaviour. This person may have murderous feelings towards others and/or express suicidal wishes or make suicidal attempts.
An interesting view on depression we find at Dorothy Rowe: “What is the difference between being depressed and being unhappy? There is a difference and when you have experienced both you know what this difference is.
When you are unhappy, even if you have suffered the most grievous blow, you are able to seek comfort and let that comfort come to you to ease the pain. You can seek out and obtain another’s sympathy and loving concern; you can be kind and comfort yourself. But in depression neither the sympathy and concern of others nor the gentle love of oneself is available. Other people may be there, offering all the love, sympathy and concern any person could want, but none of this compassion can pierce the wall that separates you from them, while inside the wall you not only refuse yourself the smallest ease and comfort, but you also punish yourself by words and deeds. Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer.” We used the bold type of writing for these last words to underline the important image of depression as prison, but a special type, where the prisoner is also the jailer. It is very interesting that human beings, for whom it is more likely to blame others for everything bad that happens to them, now renounce at everything and lock themselves into a fortress. We can find now a worse degree of loneliness, a loneliness taken as a punishment by persons who try to escape from a frightening reality. A state of depression appears to arise in a vulnerable personality at times of stress, especially bereavement or some other forms of loss. “It has been compared to a state of mourning, and can be understood as a condition of repressed anger, which would be dangerous if directed to the one who caused hurt or deprivation in the first instance, for fear of losing essential love and care. The anger is therefore turned in on the self, so that it is the self rather than the other who becomes the object of destructive rage.” This reality that hurts is suppressed by an interior world, where the whole environment can be about guilt and rage against the self, or about protection of the hurt self.
Dr Jack Dominian says: “The principal feature of depression is a change of mood in a direction away from what is normally experienced as comfortable and acceptable towards fluctuating or persistent misery, sadness, gloom or apathy. This change in mood can take one of two opposite directions, moving either towards depression or towards euphoria, the latter being known technically as mania, or hypomania, depending on the severity of the change.” It is very interesting that this protection of the self can become ‘euphoria’ or ‘mania’, the person who suffers not having any idea about what is going on. Dr Dominian enables one patient to tell his story, in which you can see a man who enters into a very bad state of mind, with a feeling of depression and contemplating suicide, for a period of one to four months, a short period of ‘normality’, followed immediately by another one to four months period of ‘euphoria’, when he feels ‘on top of the world’. Even if a person in this state of ‘euphoria’ enjoys making new friends and being around other people, the other pole is completely different for some people. Not only that doesn’t provoke suicidal feelings or other bad thoughts or deeds, but is very much enjoyed by the person that passes through it. “When I’m depressed I feel I’m in a bathysphere deep under the water. There I’m in complete darkness except for a small circle of light which must be coming from the surface. The bathysphere is floating in the deep water, so I have to be careful not to move about too much. If I did the bathysphere might plunge to the bottom and I would be done for. When the depression ends I suddenly go up to the surface, and that is terrible, because floating on the surface is the wreckage of my ship – all the things that have gone wrong while I’ve been depressed and now I have to put them right. I always think of it as a Spanish galleon that’s blown up, and now I have to gather up the pieces and build it again. I hate that.” As we can see, depression can be a refuge from greater horrors. For some people is a prison from which they would be very happy to get out, for others is a prison in which they lock themselves as many times as possible and throw the keys. The main thing remains – it is a prison, and one self-made prison.
Why did we talk about all these?
Every one of these – loneliness, sadness, and depression – is a start for an addiction state. Human beings, by the way in which are made, are ‘addicted to love’. If they feel that they cannot receive as much love as they want, they turn their desire to something else. So, if a person feels lonely or depressed, most of the times it turns its desire to something else that should be able to replace the object (or the feeling) that couldn’t be obtained. Here can start an addiction period. So, what we wanted to show was that loneliness and depression can be very easily a reason for addiction.
What is addiction?
“From addictus, pp. of addicere: assign, devote to. Ad = to + dicere = say. (1) To be an addict is to apply or devote oneself persistently or habitually; or to cause, to pursue or continue to practise continually (Britannica World Language Dict., vol. 1) (2) An overdependence on the intake of certain substances such as alcohol or drugs, or performing certain acts, such as smoking. (3) The inability to overcome a habit or behavioural pattern (Dict. Behavioural Science).” So, acts that are repetitive, compulsive and which create a dependence, which is very difficult to break, are always a sign of addiction. Addiction is not an extraordinary fact, it could happen to everybody: addiction to work, religion, persons, food, sex or anything else. Going further, we can say that it is very hard to find a person who is not addicted to something or someone. But even like this, addiction is still bad, because it “shields people from themselves and leads to a sense of euphoria and well-being” .
Even though it was often used to designate the abuse of drugs, ‘addiction’ is more a state of mind that is termed ‘psychic dependence’ . It is pointed out that, even with drugs, this mental state may be the only factor involved. In any case, we cannot talk about addiction, even related to drugs, as intoxication or as a physical disease. “Addiction is caused by human weakness, not by drugs and is a symptom of a personality maladjusted, rather than a disease in its own right. Usually people who become addicted are either hedonistic, psychopaths or psychoneurotics.”
We will talk further about alcoholism.
This term is very vague. Nowadays drinking has become a social habit. The majority of men are socially drinking (that means not in big quantities, but quite often), and many women join them very often. This problem is not taken seriously, most of the times those who drink and get drunk being more the subject for jokes than for some medical worries. But the problem of alcoholism is made more difficult by lack of technical terms that are generally understood. Drinking is a problem and alcoholism is an addiction. Being an addiction, drinking is also a psychical problem.
In the book, Alcoholism , we can find those who have alcoholic problems classified as:
- Social drinkers – this category includes most people who drink moderately and may, from time to time, get drunk;
- Excessive drinkers – the people whose excess is shown either by the frequency with which they become intoxicated or by the social, economic, or medical consequences of their continued intake of alcohol;
- Alcoholics – people “with a disease that can be defined in medical terms and requires a proper regime of treatment” .
So, alcoholics are addicted to alcohol. They are unable spontaneously to give up drinking. Their problem started with a psychical problem and became also physical. Even though they could renounce alcohol for few days, they always return to its use. For them, alcohol becomes not a problem, but a disease, they need proper psychological and physical treatment in order to enable them reintegrate in social life, but they will never totally recover. “We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking. We know that no real alcoholic ever recovers control. All of us felt at time that we were regaining control, but such intervals – usually brief – were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better.”
It is very interesting to see how this alcoholic problem works. Starting from loneliness, depression or from a form of a mental disease, alcoholism soon takes over the whole body. An alcoholic cannot think well, even when is not drunk, because the alcohol took control of his brain.
We can see now the World Health Organization definition of the alcoholic:
“Alcoholics are those excessive drinkers whose dependence on alcohol has attained such a degree that they show a noticeable mental disturbance or an interference with their mental and bodily health, their interpersonal relations and their smooth social and economic functioning; or who show the prodromal signs of such developments.”
A report from 1983 has pointed: “in any population there exists a small percentage of people whose drinking is on the borderline between relatively safe and harmful drinking. However, in a population of millions, a small percentage will imply hundreds of thousands of people…” Going to another report, from 1986, will find the incredible amount of £36 million a day as the money spent by the nation on alcoholic drinks! It is interesting, but sad, to see which are the most important things in our lives. Taking into account that with this money you could build at least two orphanages in a third world country, we can say no more.
From a pastoral point of view, it is a very big problem because, on the one hand, we know only few things about this addiction and how to treat it, and on the other hand, we do less. It is also very hard to enter in a human’s life and say that you came for help, when they don’t think they need help. There are so many commercials nowadays for alcoholic products and so few about what they can do to you. Is not easy but is important to attend the problem, to discover as much as possible about it. Learning the language, learning from those who suffer, without letting them know or by attending open meetings of the various groups established to help them, is a first step on this pastoral way. Another important step is by understanding how the alcoholic person feels, without condemning the person or the situation. Relations are very important in life, vital, and more important in one situation like this, when the problem takes a person out of the community, the society. Helping the person to be more aware of how others react to this addiction or to establish a pattern further makes another step. That can be used also because the human nature, our ego, reacts very promptly by not recognizing the problem, or more, by showing the ‘benefits’ of this behaviour. Only when it realises that the pain overweighs the ‘benefits’ of the alcohol, a person might want to change.
Interesting how only pain makes us conscientious that we do something bad. Any pleasure or sin has this ‘mechanism’ – pleasure followed by pain – you cannot have one without another. The human struggle is to eliminate pain, to take part only in pleasure. The whole human life is made on this pattern; the sinful being likes pleasure, but for it pleasure doesn’t mean doing the things of God, but doing what it pleases the body. From here we have addictions as a result of our unsatisfactory life; we cannot attain pleasure from others and the result is loneliness; nothing from the ‘earthly goods’ satisfies us anymore, so we go to one of the other extremes – suicidal behaviour or euphoria. And if nothing can satisfy us, we want to forget and the closest answer is by drinking or drugs.
We want to bring in front of your eyes a very mature dialogue, taking place in a children’s book:
“ "I am drinking," replied the tippler, with a lugubrious air.
"Why are you drinking?" demanded the little prince.
"So that I may forget," replied the tippler.
"Forget what?" inquired the little prince, who already was sorry for him.
"Forget that I am ashamed," the tippler confessed, hanging his head.
"Ashamed of what?" insisted the little prince, who wanted to help him.
"Ashamed of drinking!" The tippler brought his speech to an end, and shut himself up in an impregnable silence. “
“I drink to forget the shame that I’m drinking” – good answer, no?
Starting drinking for social reasons, going further pushed by the failure of our lives, drinking to forget about our problems, we reach a point when we can’t remember the real reason, we also cannot stop, so we continue drinking, we continue our suicidal flight. Once on a slide is very hard to stop going down. Even though you feel that is not right, you cannot stop. In this situation, the only person who can help the alcohol addict is itself. Only a person ready to change can be helped. Helping these people means: “encouraging reference to the general practitioner, local addiction centres, hospital or social service department… For some people a private clinic will be the place of choice for help” . But we’ll come back to solutions at the end of this essay.
Let’s see what we drink.
There are many different alcohols. The one humans use for consumption is called ethyl alcohol. This type of alcohol has three chemical elements: Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. “Two linked atoms of Carbon have five Hydrogen atoms attached to form the ethyl radical. A hydroxyl (or alcohol) group completes the chemical molecule.” Alcohol is prepared more often from different plants, from fermentation by yeast of sugars that occur naturally in plants. More than that is insignificant. The colour of a product, its taste and flavour are not important in our research. Only thing that counts is alcohol, anything more that that is pure advertising. No matter what beverage is drunk the alcoholic effect depends on the amount of alcohol consumed. Alcohol exerts, according to its strength, an effect on the lining of the mouth, the oesophagus, the stomach and the upper part of the intestines. In the mouth this is experienced as a burning sensation, pleasant or slightly painful. From the stomach and intestines the alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream and passes rapidly into the tissues and fluids of the body. Gradually is destroyed by oxidation, principally in the liver, and it is eventually broken down into Carbon dioxide and water.
The principal effects of the alcohol are upon the nervous system, but changes occur everywhere in the body. When we drink, we can find alcohol even in our urine and in the breath. The heart rate may rise a little and there is an increased flow in the blood vessels resulting in flushing and a warm sensation in the skin.
One of the most expensive foods, alcohol is a provider of calories. It is a carbohydrate and because of its rapid absorption from the stomach is a quick source of energy. This is only a mirage, because you cannot use the energy when you are intoxicated by alcohol.
Alcohol is also considered to be an aphrodisiac and to promote sexual functions. That is a wrong opinion, because alcohol nay stimulate desire, but upon potency, it exerts a dampening action. The effect of alcohol upon the nervous system is to reduce its activities. That is what really happens, even if alcohol is well known as a stimulant. Alcohol has an anaesthetic effect over the body (often we see men falling or falling asleep after consuming a big quantity). This is because it alters the rhythm of brain waves recorded electrically from the head. Even small quantities affect judgement and balance.
Even though is considered to be something that gives you strength and stimulates you, the damages produced by alcohol are huge. From the somatic point of view the most serious consequence of alcohol abuse is malnutrition. Only drinking satisfies those who become chronic alcoholics and eating becomes first something subsidiary and afterwards even something hard and painful. They also feel that they cannot spend money on food, all their financial resources being concentrated on buying drinks. The lack of appetite (anorexia) is quickly installed and the supply of alcoholic calories reduces more feeling of hunger; the effects of this state will be gastritis – an inflamed stomach’s disease – and cirrhosis – a diseased liver. All of these make a vicious circle: malnutrition contributes to cirrhosis of the liver, resulting in further malnutrition. After the trigger was pushed, body’s decline is rapid. The cirrhosis, caused in most of the cases by alcohol abuse, kills about half of those who suffer from it. This is only one of the effects that alcohol could have on the human body, but there are more others, because the use of alcohol damages each tissue of our body, each organ, more or less.
We have seen the effects on the body; let’s see now what alcohol does to our brain. Mental symptoms of chronic alcoholism may be caused in three ways; they may occur as withdrawal symptoms or from vitamin deficiency or from destruction of brain cells.
Withdrawal symptoms are brought by stopping drinking or by a sudden drastic reduction in the amount taken. In consequence there is a rapid drop in the concentration of alcohol in the blood. Symptoms may occur in hours or days. Milder symptoms begin earlier; delirium tremens, the most severe, begins late. The earliest and most often met withdrawal is acute tremulousness . This is what is well known as ‘the shakes’. It is a very quick effect of stopping drinking, which sometimes comes even before the person totally stopped. Developed in few hours after, usually, it is something that the alcoholics are consequently affected by each morning. This state makes the alcoholic be agitated and nothing will calm him, but a drink. It is interesting how very quickly after they had a drink the shaking phase disappears. If they don’t have their ‘dose’, their usual quantity of drink, the shakes will continue for days, even for weeks. This state may be completed by a hallucinatory state, when the alcoholic loses the sense of reality and control. It can be worse of this happens in unfamiliar surroundings, like in a hospital or police station, where the person can have a little difficulty in orientation, in conveying where he is and what time is.
Delirium tremens is “one of the most dramatic conditions in the whole calendar of medicine” . It generally begins two to five days after stopping very heavy drinking. There should be at least ten years of excessive drinking before the first attack. It starts with great restlessness and agitation, going further to violence. This is a short description of one patient in such a state: “He is never still, tossing and turning restlessly, constantly engaged in conversation, switching from person to person, from subject to subject at the smallest stimulus and frequently shouting salutations and warnings to distant passers-by. His hands, grossly tremulous, clutch at the bed clothes; continuously he tries to pick from them imaginary objects, shining silver coins, burning cigarettes, playing cards, or bed bugs. He is a prey to ever-changing visual hallucinations and may shield his face from menacing attacking objects, animals or men… He is completely disoriented…” Because of its effects, delirium tremens is treated with large doses of tranquillising drugs. This is not what we would think that a human should endure, but, as always, the only ones who can harm us so bad are we.
Alcoholic epilepsy is another effect of stopping drinking. It is quite the same with symptomatic epilepsy. The effect of alcohol withdrawal is to increase the susceptibility of the brain to undergo spontaneous electrical discharges resulting in fits. There are generally major convulsions in which consciousness is lost.
We have seen till now which are some of the causes of addiction, what addiction is, what alcoholism is and how this type of addiction manifests. Now is the moment to talk more about how these ‘diseases’ could be treated. Even if it is obvious that an extreme situation, like chronic alcoholism, needs special treatment, a medical assistance more than a ‘simple’ human help, this kind of situation can be prevented, or, at least, pre-seen.
As members of the Church, the Body of Christ, we are asked to take care of the sick members of the Body. Christian Church has special services for that, but this doesn’t mean that it can provide miracles. Church and people in prayer can do this ‘miracle’ by human hands. “…The dangers of the miraculous cure is that we can come to see the power of God as primarily present there, whereas it is equally important to see the power of God continually sustaining those who suffer and who in this life may never be cured.” It happens that even if people pray for those who are ill, nothing good happens. That doesn’t mean that God is not there, we should learn to work alongside to God to produce ‘miracles’.
We started with this term – ‘miracle’ – because in many situations we can say that something like that is needed to resolve an addiction problem. Is not enough to pray, but is a beginning. And pastoral care can come from everybody. Everything starts at the lowest level – in the street, with our neighbours – a level that asks for personal involvement: “The practical nature of pastoral care often draws the carer into intense and personally involving experiences…” Also Kenneth Leech , an Anglican priest, teaches us to start from a street level when we want to help somebody. His experience shows that only by going in their environment you can help addicted people. Learning how to cope with them, with their lives, with their problems will make a good pastor or a good social worker. We can identify in his experience the four steps that the Dictionary Pastoral Care point , when he starts by going to the streets and finding out the problems, how this problems are seen among people with same addictions. Being among them and learning to listen to them will make you learn how to treat people without judging and more by listening than talking. In a very short time the ‘helper’ becomes one of ‘them’ and will be able to teach them from inside how to see that they have a problem, which other people have too, so they will find a common language and common roots; these will enable them to see that what they are doing is wrong and they need to do something about that. The next step will be the real help, the action, the most important fact, when the results will be possible to be seen.
We have seen how can we generally help – not that will be that easy (!) – an addicted person. Let’s see what should be done to help an alcoholic person.
In the book Alcoholism there is an entire chapter dedicated to this problem. For the alcohol addicts, or chronic alcoholics, the answer given in this book is ‘treatment’. Persons with very difficult alcoholic problems need medical help need a special treatment. But this is not all; the treatment includes the help given by family, friends and employers as well as social agencies and physicians. Directly or indirectly alcoholism is everyone’s concern. When a part of the community has problems like these, the whole community is affected, but also the whole community should help for stopping it. More than that, when an alcoholic begins having problems like those said before – shaking, hallucinations and many others – it needs help. That person cannot help himself. “The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defence against the first drink.”
The treatment, from a pastoral point of view, should follow the steps mentioned before. Of course that all the time, the carer will use prayer for the alcoholic, that till this one will be able to accept his/ her need for prayer. “Except in a few rare cases, neither he (N.B. the ‘helper’) nor any other human being can provide a defence. His defence must come from a Higher Power.” This is a major statement found in an “A. A.” book, this making it even more important. So, in the end, the main help comes from God.
Some guidelines for those who want to help we have in B. S. R. report. Few general principles will be:
- Praying
- Own information about alcohol
- Information about local services for problem drinkers
- Understanding the problem
- Diplomacy
- Love and respect for the individual
- Being close to the alcoholic when needed
- Trying to resolve the problem, not to increase it
It is, after all, very important to relate people’s lives to God and to make them aware that they are not alone; there is always Somebody who loves us, who is giving us all His love, waiting for our answer. ‘Addicted to love’, and us like Him – being His image and likeness -, God is always with us, waiting for us.

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