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The Many Faces of Addiction

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Janis Robinson was a stay-at-home mom who seemed to do it all. She successfully juggled her kids’ activities, was an avid runner, and still made time to socialize with her friends. After she put her kids to bed at night, she’d had a glass of wine or two.

“I was always a work hard, play hard kind of person,” the mother of two says.

But after her divorce, two glasses turned into three, and three turned into an entire bottle.

“I can honestly say that I drank to make myself feel better,” Robinson says. “I looked for any excuse to have friends over so that we could have wine with whatever we were doing.”

Take a good, hard look at the face of addiction. It isn’t always the person drinking from a paper bag in the alley (though sometimes that’s the case, as well). It could be a friend who has one too many glasses of champagne at a dinner or a hungover parent at a little league game.

“Nobody plans on becoming an alcoholic,” Ramsen Kasha, executive director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Clinic in Chicago, says. “The idea is to have a drink, to have some fun, to relax, to do all those things and eventually one leads to two, two leads to three, and the dependence develops.”

Janis says she had to hit rock bottom before she realized the severity of her addiction. Waking up in a hospital bed, she knew she needed to seek help. Janis enrolled in the intensive outpatient program at the Hazelden treatment center in Chicago. Now eight years sober, Janis says she’s still working to repair her life and relationships.

“It’s been tough but what I’ve learned is that I can be strong and I’m determined to be healthy,” she says.

If you or someone you know suffers from an alcohol addiction, please seek help. For more information on alcohol addiction and how to get help, visit the following sites:

Hazelden, Chicago

Betty Ford Center

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

 

 

 

 

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