Alcoholism Addiction - A Case Study of an Alcoholic

Alcoholism Addiction  - A Case Study of an Alcoholic

When one realizes that no matter how much they may know about theoretical drug problems and alcohol problems, it is still possible to be staring in the face of a full on alcoholic and not know it until after the fact. Alcoholism and drug problems, much like other chronic illnesses, are not things one can identify just by looking at someone’s face. However, if one pays attention there are probably warning signs that are indicative of a substance abuse problem. However subtle the signs may be, they are usually consistent. A story, with not so subtle signs, may be in order to properly illustrate the point:

George is a 30 year old junior marketing executive. He shares an apartment with his brother and is not in a relationship. George has a very active social life. Almost every night of the week, George can be found at some sort of festivity that is at a bar, club or restaurant. At all of these occasions, liquor is present. George often jokes about how he must look like an alcoholic because in most pictures he is holding a drink. In addition, the woman he has begun a flirtation with finds that every time she calls him he is drinking. She thinks nothing of it, since this man must just enjoy one or two social drinks. The fact that he drinks every night does not flag him as an alcoholic in her eyes. They have spoken on the phone scores of times, spent time together and been in constant communication for a two month period. In addition, he really is such a nice guy. He casually mentions that his mother has asked him to promise not to drink. They laugh about how parents often refuse to view their children as adults.

One night before George goes out with his new lady friend, he tells her a few stories. One included waking up one morning after a night of drinking with blood on his shirt. The caveat being he had no idea where the blood came from. On another occasion, upon being shoved by a young woman in a club after drinking for a while, George pushed her back and the woman went flying across the room. George admits that at this point, he realized he did not know what his alcohol limit was. He stated this in past tense; these events had happened about a year prior and since then, George had allegedly altered his drinking habits. This statement was made as George pulled out two small bottles of vodka. One was for himself one for his lady friend. When she declined the offer of drink he downed both bottles himself.

Two hours later at the club the couple had gone to George has drunk two beers and was ready for a shot of tequila. He at this point is holding his liquor well. However; once the shot of tequila comes into play George succeeds in alienating his new friend. He spills salt all over the bar then begins dancing sloppily and says more than a few insulting things to his date. By the end of the evening the young lady wants nothing more to do with him. George can’t understand why.

George is in a state of denial about his drinking problem. The main issues here include the following:

  1. An inability to stop drinking
  2. Inability to see conflicts arising subsequent to drinking
  3. Spending excessive money on drinking to the point of putting oneself in a financially precarious position
  4. Jeopardizing existing relationships
  5. Damaging potential future relationships
  6. Does not correlate his poor decisions with the outcomes they procure
  7. Not understanding the concern those around have for him and his poor behavior

George continues to drink excessively, regardless of the concern expressed by his family and friends. He holds that he does not have a problem and does not seek help. In the long term, George is never able to find a more secure job position or maintain a serious romantic relationship with any woman he meets. The issues here are many. George’s inability to stop drinking will also eventually erode his body functioning. This will result in a financial strain both on George, his family and society. The most common health risks for alcoholics include strain on the liver and kidneys.

Should George ever decide he wants to stop drinking, what he may not realize is detoxification from alcohol unsupervised can be life threatening. The purpose of writing down George’s story is his experience may be able to help someone you know. If you read this anecdote and see a bit of yourself in it, or someone you know please contact someone who can help you.

Rachel Hayon, MPH, RN

Topic Discussion

  1. Addict

    thank u for george's story...I have been battling with alcohism for close to 3 years now....been in rehab twice but my question still remains.....why do i go back to drinking..!!!!????

    • Addict

      Because you are addicted to the alcohol that your body wants how the drink would feel inside you. You must control yourself; you can't directly stop drinking alcohols directly. It will take time to adjust maybe months or a year. Drink moderately is the only way.

    • Addict

      You just need Jesus. He is the answer to your addiction. Some believe in a 12-step program, I believe in a 1-step program and his name is Jesus. He is the healer and a life with him is more satisfying than any drink could ever be.

  2. Addict

    Hi Carol
    My guess is: you havent fully accepted your an alcoholic and all that entails. We can never drink again in safety if you are an alcoholic of my type, its the first drink that gets you drunk!! One is too many and ten is never enough.....acceptance is the key. We are never cured from this disease, but we can be recovering one day at time. I presume that you have heard of a 12 step programme of recovery with experienceing rehab. Do you attend AA meetings?

  3. Addict

    Hi: I drink almost everyday. 3-4 times a week I will go to gym and on my way home buy 3 24oz of BudLights. I drink my BudLights smoke a cigarette, eat a late dinner which I feel reall guilty about and go to bed. I feel like it's my way of relaxing but I know it's not good. Time and time again I tell myself I'm going to stop but end up doing the same thing over and over again. Seems as the only days I don't drink are days my boyfreind comes over or I'm just too tired to drink. My boyfreind only drinks on certain ocassions and he's able to keep it to a one beer max. I can count the times he's drank on one hand and we been together for a year in January. I've gone to an AA meeting once or twice but felt very out of place being that I hear some very sad stories and I feel like I am not that bad. But I do know I need help. I been drinking since the age of 13 I am 40 now. The only time I stoppped was when I became a born again Christian but that ended when drama became a focus at the church. I've passed out once at home thank God and hit my car a few times while driving. I no longer drive under the influence beacuse of those incidents. Last week a went to a recovery meeting with a freind from church and heard some very touching stories. It was a much older crowd but it was very nice and felt welcomed. I was advised by one of the ladies at attend AA meetings. I'm thinking about it.

  4. Addict

    Hi Patricia-

    Good for you. The first step is recognizing you have a problem. It takes a very strong person to address an issue like this. Keep up the good work.


    • Addict

      Please do not let any event in life, especially those that happen with church people, cause you to forget that God still loves you. There are number of helps open to you that can aid in your recovery, but God is still the power that will make you strong enough to stay away from letting alcohol control you. James

  5. Addict

    Hi, reading your posts made me feel quite sad, I lived with an alcoholic father for 15 years before being in a position to detach myself from the family home, my mother, brother and I would be regularly beaten while he was in one of his drunken stupors, alcohol made him very aggressive, I am now nearly 40 and did not see my father for nearly 20 years, he did not know either of his grandchildren who are now adults themselves. My father passed away 3 years ago, he had cancer throughout his body, psoriasis of the liver. All of his systems shut down, much of this through alcohol. I would really like for individuals with an alcohol dependency to think and reflect about the damage they are not only doing to their bodies but also the emotional damage they may be doing to families and loved ones who may care about them. My father found out 3 weeks before he died that he was dying, his family found out 3 days before he died as he could not tell anyone as he was coming to terms with it himself. He died a very lonely man.

  6. Addict

    Such a nice topic this is my topic of our case study

  7. Addict


    No one who drinks can understand it. They do for their enjoyment and its very tough to get them out of it, my husband used o drink I tried my best and finally I lost him in an accident.

  8. Addict

    hey u done your case study ?

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