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No Matter How They Try, Hopeless Alcoholics Can't Quit Drinking

Alcoholics of the Hopeless Variety

By BuddyT

Hopeless alcoholics are those who cannot stop drinking regardless of the consequences. No matter how many times they try, or how sincere their desire is to stop, they just cannot maintain abstinence for any significant length of time.

In this day when no one is ever diagnosed as an alcoholic, but rather has a severe alcohol use disorder, the reality is there are still alcoholics of the hopeless variety among us.

Some of them have lost jobs, lost relationships or their families, lost their health, lost everything and became homeless, but through it all they continue to drink.

Drinking In Spite of Consequences

Many of them have been through rehab, sometimes multiple times. They have completed 90-day outpatient programs or 28-day residential programs, but as soon as they hit the street, they go straight for a drink.

They have been told that their livers are failing and if they don't stop drinking they will surely die. Yet, they continue.

We have seen alcoholics literally on their death beds and their only desire is to get well enough to get out of the hospital so they can go get another drink.

And, of course, we have seen those who never left the hospital.

Full-Blown Alcoholics

In the book "Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book" alcoholism is referred to several times as "a hopeless condition of mind and body."

This is not referring to someone who simply has a drinking problem, or on occasion drinks too much, or someone who has developed a mild alcohol use disorder.

It refers to people who are full-blown alcoholics, described by Dr. William D. Silkworth in the Big Book:

    "All these, and many others, have one symptom in common: they cannot start drinking without developing the phenomenon of craving. This phenomenon, as we have suggested, may be the manifestation of an allergy which differentiates these people, and sets them apart as a distinct entity. It has never been, by any treatment with which we are familiar, permanently eradicated. The only relief we have to suggest is entire abstinence."

What Is the Answer?

What then if you are one of these distinct people, or you have a loved one who is suffering from a seemingly hopeless condition? Again, Dr. Silkworth writing back in 1939 supplied the answer:

    "What you say about the general hopelessness of the average alcoholic's plight is, in my opinion, correct. As to two of you men, whose stories I have heard, there is no doubt in my mind that you were 100% hopeless, apart from Divine help."

And there is the answer those "more than one hundred men and women" discovered those many years ago. Only God can help this type of alcoholic.

No amount of evidence-based treatment, intervention, cognitive behavior therapy, or counseling is going to help the hopeless alcoholic for any length of time. The only solution they can hope for is Divine intervention.

Could and Would if He Were Sought

The writers of the Big Book said they came to the following conclusions:

  • That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
  • That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
  • That God could and would if He were sought.

If you think that you may be an alcoholic of the hopeless variety, if you have tried everything and nothing has worked, and if you have a sincere desire to quit drinking, there is hope.

May You Find Him Now

You can find that help right here and now as you read this article.

All you have to do is admit that your life is no longer manageable, sincerely believe that only a higher power can help your situation, and make a decision to turn your life over to the care of God, however you understand Him.

Then say the Third-Step prayer as suggested in the Big Book:

    "God, I offer myself to Thee - to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!"

As millions of so-called hopeless alcoholics have discovered since 1935, there is One who has all power-that One is God. May you find Him now!

Source: The Anonymous Press. "Alcoholics Anonymous." The Original Manuscript Accessed August 2017

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