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Addiction and Driving Under the Influence

The month of December is a time of heavy drug and alcohol use due to festivities and the emotions that accompany holidays. Unfortunately, higher alcohol and substance use rates mean more people will decide to get behind the wheel intoxicated. A DUI is often a sign that a person has a problem with addiction.

Given the prevalence of drunk driving during Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. During December 2018, 839 lives were lost in alcohol-related crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That year, 108 people died in drunk driving accidents on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, which accounts for nearly half of traffic fatalities those two days alone.

Fortunately, there are far more DUI arrests than drunk driving-related deaths during the holiday season. Each arrest is an opportunity for an individual to identify that they have a problem. Once a person admits that they have an issue with addiction, they can take steps to recover.

From DUI to Addiction Recovery

One of the “penalties” of drinking and driving arrests and convictions is having to attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. Many, if not most, people who find AA rooms because of a DUI think that they do not belong initially. However, a large number of those same people quickly realize that taking the risk of drinking and driving is not normal behavior.

Some people will see that their relationship with alcohol is unhealthy, and they will take working a program of recovery seriously. Many individuals with long-term recovery found their way to AA via a court card—a slip of paper that shows the judge you are meeting the DUI sentence requirements.

If you got a DUI this year and are attending AA meetings, we implore you to have an open mind. It’s often said that nobody finds the rooms of recovery by accident. Your relationship with alcohol may be problematic, and it is impacting your life in ways beyond getting caught driving under the influence.

Listen to what people have to say in the meetings; you will likely hear your story coming from another person in the room. After the meeting, talk to the person who has a story similar to yours and see if they will help you work the steps. Your life quality can improve exponentially by taking AA seriously.

Not Everyone Thinks They Have A Problem

A DUI is not a guarantee that a person is an alcoholic. However, it’s often the case that a DUI is the first sign that alcohol has taken over a person’s life. Many people will just go through the motions; they will tell themselves that the DUI was just a fluke. Those same people are poised to get another DUI.

Some people in recovery had to get multiple DUI’s before they conceded having a problem with alcohol. If your loved one got a DUI or more than one and you think that they have an alcohol use disorder, then a conversation may be in order. Perhaps you are not alone in thinking that a person you care about has a problem with alcohol?

A DUI is often one sign of many that a person has an alcohol use disorder. Does your loved one’s drinking cause job troubles or school problems? Does their drinking cause trouble with friends and family? Have they gotten hurt from being under the influence or exhibited signs of withdrawal when not drinking?

All of the above are signs that there is a severe problem that must be addressed. If you’ve suggested that they get help and they refuse, you may consider seeking professional assistance. Enlisting the help of an interventionist could help you get your loved one the assistance they require to get on the path toward recovery.

Staging an Intervention

At Whitman Recovery Service, we can help your family stage an intervention to get your loved one on the path toward addiction recovery. We have a 98 percent success rate and have staged over 1000 interventions across the United States. Please contact us today at (210) 291-0278 to learn more.



Whitman Recovery Service is a Telehealth provider for addiction and mental health guidance. Please call (210) 291-0278
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