April is National Alcoholism Awareness Month a time for outreach programs and substance abuse intervention facilities to educate communities about the true nature of this addiction. Though alcoholics still face an undeniable societal stigma, new studies surface each year that reveal just how substantial a hold addiction has on the brain.
Recently, writer, public speaker and recovering alcoholic Jennifer Boykin detailed her experiences for The Huffington Post. Alcoholism has long been known to have genetic ties – though family history isn't the only risk factor. Boykin explains that this form of substance abuse was a pervasive presence in her family, and that she had seen the devastation it caused at an early age. However, that didn't stop her from developing the addiction as an adult.
"I'm the daughter of an alcoholic who was the son of an alcoholic who was the son of an alcoholic, etc. And, in spite of my plans to the contrary, when it was time, I got the disease too," Boykin wrote.
Though Boykin's father had sobered up and even coordinated alcoholism intervention groups and other services to help those in his community who drank. But, he eventually relapsed, and when Boykin was 11 years old, he passed away.
Following his death, the public speaker admits that she had difficulty accepting his passing – and was angered by those who returned to their old habits after initially overcoming their addiction. Her opinion of alcoholism has changed dramatically in the years since, though.
"Alcoholism is a powerful foe. I have lived long enough to understand that no alcoholic really wants the suffering they experience and bring to others," she wrote.
If someone you love is an alcoholic, they may have hurt you, and deceived countless other family members and friends. However, at this time they need your compassion and strength more than anything. Contact Intervention Services to learn more about our alcoholic intervention programs.