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How Long Can Alcoholism Stay Hidden

The story of Diane Schuler is so tragic.  She killed eight people including herself in a wild wrong-way highway collision back in July.  The official reports say she had a high blood alcohol level, undigested alcohol in her blood, and high levels of an ingredient in marijuana.  Diane’s husband vehemently disagrees with these conclusions.  We don’t know the whole story right now, but this story begs the question – can drug addiction or alcoholism really stay hidden?

Untreated High Functioning Alcoholic Will Still Pay A Price

This whole situation has become highly controversial.  Just a little internet research on forums and blogs showed me differing opinions from public figures and everyday people leaving comments.  Some people think the facts don’t add up, some believe it points to alcoholism and drug abuse.  I’m not writing this to take a definite stand right now.  I want to focus on the bigger picture, the not so obvious alcoholic.

If a person is alcoholic, one thing is certain.  No matter how high functioning they are, their untreated alcoholic body will show the damaging effects in some way.  No matter how good their job is, their untreated alcoholism will eventually affect their circulatory system, their immune system, their liver, or other internal organs.  No matter how well spoken they are, their untreated alcoholism will eventually make their body pay a steep price including death.

Was Diane Schuler an alcoholic in hiding?  It is certainly possible, but we don’t have the whole story yet.  Perhaps, if it is true, it will take some time for the family stories to come out and complete the picture.  Or, evidence and stories that point to a different explanation may come to light.  Either way, it highlights a truth about addiction very clearly.  Some people can be alcoholics even if they don’t fit the low-functioning stereotype.

Alcohol Rehab The Next Step Toward Sobriety

Regardless of the outcome of the Diane Schuler story, I hope you come away with something important here.  Alcoholics can come in all shapes and sizes.  Drinking excessively and fairly regularly is your tip-off no matter how put together the person may seem.  Alcohol rehab is probably the last thing on their mind, and they have the perfect reasoning.  They aren’t homeless and jobless, right?  So the denial can be even stronger than the more typical alcoholic.

If you recognize that you have a high functioning alcoholic in your home or in your life, don’t let it keep slipping under the radar.   Get together some good facts about alcoholism and be ready to talk about the impact their drinking has on relationships.  This is where the alcoholism will hit them first.  Alcohol treatment can help an alcoholic get sober and keep their important relationships intact.  And if you know all of this is true about your loved one, don’t sweep it under the rug anymore.  Talk to them about alcohol rehab and encourage them to take the first step to sobriety.

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