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Back to stress.  If you're a person who
drinks alcohol on an infrequent basis, you
know that a drink really does provide a
calming effect after a particularly stressful
experience.  It should since it's a
depressant drug, but like any other drug,
frequent and prolonged use will diminish
the effect of a single dose.   

Unfortunately, you'll work with some
police officers who are far beyond the
single dose.  They may stay sober during
their tour of duty, or at least they'll
appear sober.  When they're really in the
bag, they'll spend most of their time
avoiding supervisors.  The age, sex, and
police experience of the alcoholic police
officer isn't really relevant.  The more
experienced officer has just been a drunk
longer than the others.

When, or if, it becomes necessary for the
alcoholic police officer to confront his or
her addiction, the stress of police work
will be the first, and most obvious,
excuse.  The truth is that most brought
the problem with them when they came
on the job.  The stress of police work
just makes their own personal
acceptance of their addiction more
justifiable.

The thing to remember is that if you
need a drink to function, you've got a
problem.  If the stress of police work
really is your reason for drinking more
than you normally would, policing
probably isn't the career for you.  It may
not be all your fault.  Today, medical
studies are being cited which claim an
alcoholic drink a day is actually good for
you.  Studies of the past claimed a drink
a day was the making of an alcoholic.  
Any study about anything is the product
of data beneficial to the researchers'
preconceived ideas of the proper
conclusions. So, when it comes to
alcohol, the words little and infrequent
should be your definition for  
moderation.  

The saddest thing about alcoholism is
that it's incurable.  The few alcoholics
who have successfully beat their
addiction will tell you that it's a constant
struggle every hour of every day.  If
you're smart, you won't set yourself up
for that struggle.
There would be another benefit.  If all
drugs were legal, just think of all the
choices that would be available to replace
alcohol as the number one stress
reliever.  No…on second thought, that
wouldn't work.  If you're already an
alcoholic, you'd just use the added
availability of other drugs to enhance
your destruction.

Of all the drugs in existence, alcohol is
the most insidious.  Many people can
drink alcoholic beverages in moderation
and suffer no ill effects.  However,
moderation is such a relative word; it
means anything anyone wants it to
mean.  Ask any falling down drunk, and
he'll tell you he's only had two beers.  A
female drunk may substitute wine for
beer, but the number two is almost
universal.

As a police officer, you're going to deal
with drunks frequently.  Did I say
frequently?—just a little sarcasm for
emphasis.  The very first thing you must
understand is that you cannot reason
with a drunk—it can't be done.  
Well…conflict resolution can't work all the
time.
Alcohol and
Stress
"The very first thing you must
understand is that you cannot reason
with a drunk—it can't be done."
~ Barry M. Baker
It should be obvious to everyone that
alcoholic beverages have been around
forever.  It's not surprising that
prohibition of alcohol in the 20th Century
didn't work since people have been
addicted to the poison since the Stone
Age.

A lot of very intelligent people use the
legal and regulated state of alcohol as a
model for the legalization and regulation
of other currently illegal drugs such as
heroin and cocaine.  Of course, there are
so many drugs around, it's hard to
imagine where the legalization would
stop.  Legalization certainly would bring
the cost of say heroin down from a $200
a day habit to a $5 dollar a day
expenditure.  Just think of all the
productive time the addict could spend
killing him or herself instead of stealing
everyone blind.
Copyright © 2016  Barry M. Baker  
CareerPoliceOfficer.com
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