The Tipping Point

by The Discovering Alcoholic on January 12, 2009

original pic by visnup at The Discovering Alcoholic It’s just a light hearted point to ponder, the picture with the wooden blocks and the glass of whiskey. Will the next drink be the cause of a toppled mess… or was it going to fall anyway? More serious- what about the fight with the spouse last night, would a little more patience have been shown if not for the second gin and tonic? Not legally drunk, but if the driver had just a hair quicker reaction would an accident have been avoided? Did one beer make the difference?

They are great questions that I do not believe are asked often enough, especially when investigating the root cause of our problems. It’s my opinion that there is a whole host of issues from infidelity to murder that should be considered alcohol and drug related but are rarely viewed in this manner. I think when people are teetering on the edge of tragedy it could be that last sip or extra milligram serving as the tipping point to a catastrophic fall.

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Another way to look at it is whether or not a substance abuse problem is the primary cause of not just an event, but a psychotic break. In the news today is Tony Declues who stabbed his 73 year-old mother to death for drug money. Watch the video, obviously this man is disturbed but the specialist says suggests that it is probably drug induced behavior.

My guess is that it is both. The man probably has some serious mental health issues that have been exacerbated by chronic drug use. Would he have had the mental faculty to behave within societal bounds if he had not abused drugs? Same for post traumatic stress disorder; without the cognitive and lifestyle disruption caused by an addiction would most suffering from PTSD be able to work through their issues?

Once again good questions, but the answers are neither easy nor definitive. One thing is for sure though, those that drink and drug will say those that go too far under the influence are just morally deficient. Of course that is until they are pulled over for DUI or miss work with a hangover. I tend to believe there is a tipping point and the only sure way to avoid sliding into to trouble is just to avoid drinking and drugging in the first place.

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