On February 21st of 2020 my wife of twenty five years passed away from alcoholism. Her nearly two decades of decline was both traumatizing and exhausting to myself and our son Griffin who is now 23. Amanda went through seven rehabs, four DUI convictions and several accidents during her career. She succumbed after a month in the Intensive care unit of UCLA after falling down a flight of stairs at her seventh rehab. The stigma and shame attached to the disease only made her situation more difficult as it drove her into isolation and depression. Many of her friends and family members deserted her which also added to her isolation and mental decline.
I would expose the reader and listener to alcoholism as a health disease no different than cancer or heart disease. I would also explain how a village of support who acted with understanding and empathy rather than judgemental to persons who never asked for the disease would be crucial for individual sobriety.
The concept of including “The Village” in assisting in the sobriety of persons suffering from alcoholism is a different perspective. Involving the community to take part in both understanding and empathizing with people who are afflicted with this disease is an important step in educating the general population.
I’m also suggesting legislation that puts into place regulating alcohol sales to persons who have two or more DUI’s on their DMV record. This could be accomplished with a designation on one’s drivers License and would again involve the participation of the community. It will take the cooperation of liquor store owners and grocery store chains in California.
This idea sprang from the times I would go around to our local liquor outlets and beg the managers not to sell to my wife. They had little recourse in stopping sales to anyone unless they were acting in a belligerent manner.
Involving the community through education and participation allows for less reliance on law enforcement. This alone is a novel idea.