April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Here are some statistics from the excellent book Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for Dummies that might seem surprising. They also shed light on the link between substance abuse issues and PTSD.
- Thirty to 60 percent of people seeking treatment for substance abuse problems also have PTSD.
- People with severe PTSD symptoms are at greater risk for substance abuse problems than people with mild PTSD symptoms, indicating that drugs and alcohol are used as self-medication.
- Between 60 and 80 percent of Vietnam veterans seeking treatment for PTSD also have alcohol problems.
It may be hard to believe, but 18 million Americans have an alcohol use disorder!!
As someone who has spent a lot of time in Al-Anon and Open AA meetings, I have seen the amazing results that can come when one is open to learning about what alcoholism is, and how it affects lives.
I’ve seen people come back from the pit of hell and been awed by how they were able to turn their lives around into living a sane and productive life.
I’ve also known those who have refused to change, and paid a tremendous price; not only financially, but by death and lost relationships.
Today, there is a tremendous wealth of knowledge on addiction in its many forms. There are so many great resources available too, if one is open to becoming educated. I’ll be writing more on this important subject throughout the month. Stay tuned.
Here are a few great websites to check out on the subject:
To help determine a drinking problem, a test is available from Alcoholscreening.org (www.alcoholscreening.org) a service of Boston University’s School of Public Health.
Narcotics Anonymous offers a self-quiz that can give you insight into how drug use is affecting your life. Visit www.na.org/ips/an/an-IP7.htm and click on “Am I an Addict?”