Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Average Guy and a Tree

As long as we're on the subject of dependency, allow me to clarify something.

Professionals have to determine if substance use (excessive alcohol, pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs)is compulsive behavior, an indication of dependency, or sporadic but potentially destructive behavior abuse, like wrapping oneself around a tree in a car, stoned.

Take Bart (not his real name) an average guy. A college graduate, Bart works for the phone company, makes a decent living. He doesn't use illegal drugs. He's a very nice guy, has friends, helps his Mom. In fact he describes himself as an Average Guy.

Bart's out one night having a few drinks with his friends. He remembers he wants to visit someone else and leaves the bar. He's been there, he tells me, 2-3 hours and has only had four pints of beer. For him this isn't much.

He leaves the bar, walks to his car, drives to his friend's neighborhood. Driving through the suburbs he somehow doesn't see one of those raised circular islands in the middle of the street that have arrows indicating which direction he's supposed to go, right of left.

His car hops the curb, flies through the concrete roadblock with the sign, and smashes into a parked car. Miraculously, no one is hurt. Both cars are totaled.

"I wasn't even drunk," Bart tells me.

Ah, but he was.

This is an incident of alcohol abuse.

Professionals opine that any amount of alcohol, any amount of cocaine, any amount of any substance can and very well may contribute to a serious accident. Sure, senility can, too, and so can fatigue. But we're talking about what people think of as normal drinking-- an average guy drinking an average amount of probably average beer.

Could have killed someone, is the truth.

Copyright, 2006 TherapyDoc

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