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There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ alcoholic

There are many myths and misconceptions when it comes to alcoholism. Despite its classification as an illness by the American Medical Association in 1956, many people see the disease as something that sufferers bring on themselves. In addition, alcoholics are often stereotyped as drunks who can't hold jobs or take care of their families. This, of course, isn't true as we have seen from the incidents involving Toronto mayor Rob Ford and Florida congressman Trey Radel. Anyone – even those in the public eye – can find themselves struggling with addiction. 

"The two most recent episodes of the ongoing saga of the mayor in Toronto and our congressman show these problems are truly equal-opportunity," said Kevin Lewis, president of a Florida treatment center to The News-Press, a Fort Meyers, Florida, publication. "The problem emerges often when a crisis occurs. It doesn't require daily drinking or daytime drinking for a person to have an alcohol problem. It's a disease that's not a one-size-fits-all."

According to Heather Burton, clinical director of a Naples, Florida, facility, individuals with addiction problems are often successful overachievers. She told the source that they do well at their jobs, but often their substance abuse problems catch up with them. 

At Burton's center, the treatment plan usually involves an initial assessment followed by six-week programs designed to improve their emotional, physical and mental health. After discharge, a coach is assigned to watch over the patient for 18 months – the period when there's the greatest potential for relapse, said Burton. 

Rep. Radel announced that he would take a leave of absence from Congress and immediately enter a treatment facility, although he did not disclose which one. 

If someone on your life is abusing alcohol, the best thing that you can do for them is convince them to enter an effective treatment program. For more information about staging an intervention for an alcoholic, contact Intervention Services today. 

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