Addiction to alcohol and drugs is a serious disease affecting millions of individuals and their families. Several therapists at the Manassas Group work with people who abuse or are dependent on alcohol and/or drugs.
Mike, a prominent doctor, started drinking socially in high school and college. He finished medical school and joined a family practice in his early thirties. He and his wife, Maggie, enjoyed their lives—Mike made enough money to support his family, so his wife stayed at home with their 3 children.
Lately, Mike had been coming home late from work. He told Maggie the stress from being a doctor was causing him not to sleep well, so if he stopped at the local bar before coming home, he might be able to wind down, relax and “drink a few” with the guys. After all, wouldn’t she rather he drink away from the kids rather than in front of them?
Maggie agreed to this until his returns home became later and later. One night, she got the dreaded phone call, not from Mike but from a police officer. Mike had been pulled over on the way home and was being charged with a DUI. The officer wanted Maggie to pick Mike up at the station.
After Maggie brought Mike home, she asked him to go to counseling. She realized her unhappiness in the marriage was greater than she thought. He reluctantly agreed to go. During his first visit, the counselor did a thorough assessment to determine if Mike was in any danger of going into withdrawal due to his excessive drinking. The counselor determined it was safe for Mike to quit on his own, but recommended he see his primary care doctor soon to have a full medical work-up. She also recommended he go to Alcoholics Anonymous and that Maggie attend Alanon meetings for additional support. Then, the counselor and Mike set out to work on the issues and feelings he was using alcohol to cover up. This was a challenging process, but Mike soon realized that facing life on life’s terms was better than living life intoxicated and oblivious to feelings, relationships and intimacy.