Ad JS

Collapse

Leaderboard

Collapse

Leaderboard Tablet

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Police and Alcoholism - what questions would YOU want answered?

Collapse

300x250 Mobile

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Police and Alcoholism - what questions would YOU want answered?

    Hey all -

    I'm going to be creating as presentation on alcoholism/substance abuse existing in police work. I'm both a still actively serving 37 year cop and a 32 year sober alcoholic. In any presentation I make, I tell my own story, claim my own alcoholism and NEVER label anyone else as alcoholic. Lacking any test audience, at the moment, let me ask you: If you were in the audience, which questions would you want answered? What would you want to learn?

    If it's okay, I'll try to answer the questions as I go along.

    Thanks,
    Kieth Moreland
    "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

    Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

    Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

  • #2
    It's tough.

    I've never been a big drinker and quit entirely when I started carrying a gun in the civilian world. Don't smoke, don't do other drugs... pretty vanilla.

    If _I_ were the audience I'd want to know what I could do to help. What signs, how to approach the subject, how to support someone.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

    "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

    Comment


    • #3
      Honestly, I doubt anyone will ask anything unless they are forced to do so. Always around the holidays on my job we'll have a someone come to a muster and give a talk to tell their story about their days on the bottle. Usually the room is totally silent. I don't drink much anymore so I couldn't really say what a problem drinker would want answered but its a good thing what you are doing and I commend you for trying to help.

      Comment


      • #4
        Not so much a question that needs answering, but a showing that reporting a co- worker with a problem is the correct action to take. Also, explaining that if the officer is hurting he/she should seek competent help before a career is ruined

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by tanksoldier View Post
          If _I_ were the audience I'd want to know what I could do to help. What signs, how to approach the subject, how to support someone.
          In my case, work was the last place I wanted my alcoholism to make itself known. Work provides the pay which supported my drinking lifestyle. So, in my case, it was the off-duty and home where problem drinking first gathered attention. Frequent "illnesses and accidents", problems with my significant other, spending money I didn't have in order to make up for past bad behavior.

          At the extreme end, ISOLATION drinking - not drinking with buddies, or continuing drinking AFTER they've called it a night or gone to bed.

          But the worst thing anyone of my peers could say would have been, "Hey, I think you're an alcoholic!" I would mentally have lined up every other peer member who drank like I did, exposed their dirty laundry, and asked if I really had a problem, when compared to ____, or ____!

          Better to show concern without trying to take control: "Bob, I'm beginning to worry about you. You doing okay?" Bob will likely deny any problems, but you tell him, "I'm here to LISTEN (I said listen, rather than TALK), anytime you want to." Bob may ask why you've asked him if there's trouble. Lay out your evidence: tardiness, frequent illnesses and accidents, crankiness, T/C damage, rumors of current IA, separation from spouse...etc. Do not ask for details about any of these, just repeat concern. "I've known you, worked alongside you __ years. I don't want you to end up another sad cop story."

          When Bob is visibly hung over, or just plain battered and bruised after another drinking spree, and admits to having had his @55 kicked - that's the opportunity to suggest that drinking may be doing more harm than good. Has he considered using his health plan or any other employee benefits to seek assistance. There are cop only AA meetings, can you help him look those up?

          "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

          Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

          Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dinosaur32 View Post
            Not so much a question that needs answering, but a showing that reporting a co- worker with a problem is the correct action to take. Also, explaining that if the officer is hurting he/she should seek competent help before a career is ruined
            Yes!
            "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

            Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

            Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

            Comment


            • #7
              Do you think at any point, had someone talked to you that you could have remained a social drinker? In other words, can I " save " someone before it is too late?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jordon198 View Post
                Do you think at any point, had someone talked to you that you could have remained a social drinker? In other words, can I " save " someone before it is too late?
                Not sure, because it seems to me that I have two drinking speeds: Full out and dead stop.

                Every time I drank "just one" I was pi55ed that I would not have more. If there was a magic pill, that would allow me to drink "just one" and not want any more, I wouldn't take it. For me, toward the end, it was NEVER about the taste of what I was drinking. It was about the EFFECT I was chasing. The buzz.

                Perhaps there are some lucky few who can return to drinking with "control", but I know that I'm not one of them. I choose to remain sober, one day at a time.
                "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I gotta ask, who is your audience? Are you going to be talking to a bunch of drinkers, the general public, family members?

                  I came from a family of drinkers. Oddly enough, I am the only male in three generations who doesn't drink and for whatever reason cannot stand the taste of alcoholic beverages, be it beer, wine or liquor - they all taste like crap to me.

                  As I grew up, I saw male family members in frequent states of intoxication and never understood they had a problem, I just thought they liked to drink. I saw one family member bring new bottles of liquor into the house and pour them into old ones. The new bottles were then taken outside and buried in the bottom of the trash where no one would discover them. In another case, my grandmother would take a pencil and mark the levels of liquor on my grandfather's bottles and chide him when they lowered. Living in 120 desert heat, he somehow managed to convince her there was less liquor due to evaporation in the capped bottles.

                  Being young, I never understood the significance of all this and just took it as an amusing part of people's drinking rituals. It wasn't until I reached my adult years that I began to slightly understand alcoholism.

                  If you are addressing non drinking family members, you might want to speak about early recognition of warning signs, rituals, etc. and what they can do to help address the problem.

                  Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The NYS court system has good Eployee Assistance Program. It actually developed out of the work of a couple of reformed substance abusers who reached out to other officers who needed help. These officers were not trained professionals and still did good work. Management recognized that and the EAP was created for all employees. Professional help was available for a wide range of problems. Other LE agencies in the NY area have similar programs to assist those willing to accept help. Nothing wrong in letting a supervisor know that a fellow officer may need help. Part of supervision.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                      I gotta ask, who is your audience? Are you going to be talking to a bunch of drinkers, the general public, family members?

                      If you are addressing non drinking family members, you might want to speak about early recognition of warning signs, rituals, etc. and what they can do to help address the problem.
                      The audience will likely be law enforcement, from top management to ground pounders.

                      One funny thing I noticed about people, in general, is their drinking isn't so bad when compared to (fill in the blank with friend or family member) who has multiple problems as a result of drinking. Kind of like the woman who was battered by her first husband six days a week. Next guy only beats her three days a week. She's thinks she's got a pretty good deal going compared to the first guy.

                      I prefer to focus on my own stuff. My feelings. The damage done to me. I'm looking to stay sober and avoid trouble, altogether. Not compare my troubles to the other guy's. If drinking is making a mess of one's life, they should consider stopping, if they are unsuccessful in cutting back.

                      "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                      Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                      Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would love to participate in your presentation. I can talk about my own demons. The more people like us, understand they are like us, the sooner it can be discussed, diagnosed, and helped.
                        September 11, 2001 - All gave some, some gave all. Never forget -- Never forgive.......... RIP Brothers and Sisters.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kieth M. View Post

                          The audience will likely be law enforcement, from top management to ground pounders.

                          One funny thing I noticed about people, in general, is their drinking isn't so bad when compared to (fill in the blank with friend or family member) who has multiple problems as a result of drinking. Kind of like the woman who was battered by her first husband six days a week. Next guy only beats her three days a week. She's thinks she's got a pretty good deal going compared to the first guy.

                          I prefer to focus on my own stuff. My feelings. The damage done to me. I'm looking to stay sober and avoid trouble, altogether. Not compare my troubles to the other guy's. If drinking is making a mess of one's life, they should consider stopping, if they are unsuccessful in cutting back.
                          Back in the 70s, a coworker and his girlfriend had an apartment in the same building as I did. He drank like a fish off duty. His drinking was so bad that other tenants would come home at night and find him sitting in his POV, engine running, parked in front of his garage bay door, driver door open, with him passed out behind the wheel. On many mornings he was so drunk, his girlfriend couldn't wake him up to go to work, so she would call in sick for him (which for some strange reason made him mad). OTOH, if she didn't call him in sick and he got marked AWOL on mornings when he was too drunk to wake up to go to work, he was equally mad at her.

                          I tell this story because no one at work suspected he had a drinking problem. They just thought he was sick a lot. (I never said anything because he was a neighbor with the personality of Mick Belker from Hill Street Blues and I didn't want to be subject to the resulting retaliation.)

                          His career eventually ended when as a Sergeant, he drove a take home unit, a marked black and white, to work with the odor of an alcoholic beverage about him. That cost him a demotion from Sergeant to Detective. When he did it a second time a year later, it was decided he needed to retire before they could terminate him.

                          My whole point here is, back in the day, most of us were not drinkers and were unfamiliar with the signs of alcoholism. If you are addressing supervisors and managers, try to spend some time educating them on early warning signs and steps they can take to provide assistance to head problems off. While no one wants to be a nanny, it's nice to know you at least have the tools to point people in the right direction when needed.

                          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Some questions I have always wondered is how did your use of alcohol progress over your drinking time period? Did you slowly increase your intake over several years until one day you woke-up and realized you were drinking 4X your body weight in booze? Also, looking back at your drinking habits during those years, do you see anything we can use as "signposts" per se if we have a loved one (or partner/co-workers) who is following down the same path? Thanks
                            Chris

                            XBOX Live: Citizen GaKar


                            http://i36.tinypic.com/1zoxgtc.gif

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Maverick1701 View Post
                              Some questions I have always wondered is:

                              (1) How did your use of alcohol progress over your drinking time period?

                              (2) Did you slowly increase your intake over several years until one day you woke-up and realized you were drinking 4X your body weight in booze?

                              (3) Also, looking back at your drinking habits during those years, do you see anything we can use as "signposts" per se if we have a loved one (or partner/co-workers) who is following down the same path? Thanks
                              Thanks for asking, I've parsed your questions:

                              (1 & 2) That's pretty simple. As I started off my drinking life, my tolerance grew from a single can of beer to get me silly, to two, upwards until finally a six-pack (which I promptly threw up!). Then it was a twelve-pack. Three six-packs and finally the day I drank a case of beer all by myself. This was from 17 to 22 years of age. I worked at it. I was aware of every amount I drank. I never once drank for taste because, frankly, I don't care for the taste. I was after the effect, THE BUZZ. The feeling of not caring about whatever was going on. Toward the end, I was looking for cheaper ways to get drunk and drink less to get it. I was considering getting Everclear, or perhaps even INJECTING booze in to my bloodstream - I thought that's the craziest thing anyone could ever do and that I was the only one who considered it an option. Nope! I met a man in AA who DID IT!

                              (3) People seem to always ask about the "magic number". The number of drinks per week which establishes whether their loved one, their friend, or even themselves is "officially" an alcoholic. It is not about amount, so much as it's about "attitude versus results" (AVR).

                              On the good side of AVR, 40 y/o Bob has a scare. He almost runs off the road while driving home from the bar. He blacks out and wakes up in his kid's playhouse in the backyard. his wife and kids proceed to tell him what a complete *** he made of himself. He re-assess his life and drinking habits. He realizes he's a 40 y/o dad, businessman, and not in the best of health. He thinks to himself that he's no longer the 20 y/o Lance Corporal in the Corps, and the all knowing, all drinking king of Okinawa, who will live FOREVER. He MODIFIES his behavior. He modifies his drinking.

                              Jim on the other hand has the same experience...maybe even crashes the car. Drives through the playhouse. The kids and wife complain. He tells them they don't know who they're talking to, he has NO problem and all he needs to do is switch from one brand of tequila to another. That's the bad side of AVR. He's got all the evidence of a problem and IGNORES it, or explains it all away. Maybe perhaps Jim does modify his behavior...he exercises more, he decides not to drive after drinking and relies on his wife, or licensed child to drive him where he wants to go. Maybe he drinks to oblivion only on weekends, and not during the work week. In that case, Jim is doing everything about he problems caused by drinking EXCEPT stopping drinking. It's not a workable plan in the long run.



                              Last edited by Kieth M.; 01-17-2017, 09:54 AM.
                              "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                              Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                              Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

                              Comment

                              What's Going On

                              Collapse

                              There are currently 10581 users online. 555 members and 10026 guests.

                              Most users ever online was 19,482 at 11:44 AM on 09-29-2011.

                              Welcome Ad

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X