Freedom from Glass in Hand, WOMEN in RECOVERY

DECEMBER is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

National Impaired Driving Prevention Month focuses on both drunk driving and the growing problem of drugged driving. Drugged driving has been overlooked for a number of years, but research shows it may be responsible for more than 20 percent of car crashes.

Below are some resources for your chapter to plan activities as part of this month.

Sobriety is the condition of not having any measurable levels, or effects from mood-altering drugs. According to WHO “Lexicon of alcohol and drug terms…” sobriety is continued abstinence from psychoactive drug use.

Sobriety is also considered to be the natural state of a human being given at a birth. In a treatment setting, sobriety is the achieved goal of independence from consuming or craving mind-altering substances. As such, sustained abstinence is a prerequisite for sobriety. Early in abstinence, residual effects of mind-altering substances can preclude sobriety. These effects are labeled “PAWS”, or “post alcohol withdrawal syndrome”. Someone who abstains, but has a latent desire to resume use, is not considered truly sober. An abstainer may be subconsciously motivated to resume drug use, but for a variety of reasons, abstains (e.g. such as a medical or legal concern precluding use).

Sobriety has more specific meanings within specific contexts, such as the culture of Alcoholics Anonymous, other 12 step programs, law enforcement, and some schools of psychology. In some cases, sobriety implies achieving “life balance.”

Sobriety in this context may refer to being clear of immediate or residual effects of mind-altering substances.

Sometimes it refers to a specific substance that is the concern of a particular 12 step program (alcohol, opiates, marijuana, tobacco).

“Clean and sober” is a commonly used phrase, which refers to someone having an extended period of abstinence and subsequent sobriety. This is often thought to take a minimum of six months.
 

The 12 step program that Alcoholics Anonymous follow is shown below:

  1. We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol- that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Field sobriety tests and breathalyzer testing are two ways law enforcement officers often test for sobriety in a suspected drunk driver. These “standardized field sobriety tests” are at the officer’s discretion.

Standardized tests that can be performed include:

  • One-leg stand test
  • Walk and turn test
  • HGN (eye) test (horizontal gaze nystagmus test)

Non-standardized tests include:

  • Romberg’s test
  • Finger-to-nose test
  • Finger-count test
  • Hand pat test
  • Alphabet recitation test
  • Counting numbers backwards

Since these tests rely on cooperation of the subject, the final result often depends on the presiding officer’s interpretation. There are many factors that can lead to inaccuracies in sobriety testing including orthopedic or neurologic conditions, and fatigue.

Freedom & Sobriety

My first video blog on freedom that comes from giving up attachments!

Happy Holidays, be safe and drive sober

 

SPECIAL STORY

Last year, Pat Saucedo participated in the annual Holiday Drive for DUI Victims. The red ribbons tied to car antennas are a reminder about the costs of drunk driving. Saucedo wants others to remember because she can never forget.

When asked what she would say to people this holiday season,
Saucedo said:
“ I would like to say ‘Happy Holidays’, be safe and drive sober.’”

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