What is alcoholism?Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence, is a disease that includes the following four symptoms:
Craving - A strong need, or urge, to drink.
Loss of control - Not being able to stop drinking once drinking has begun.
Physical dependence - Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety after stopping drinking.
Tolerance - The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to get "high."
For clinical and research purposes, formal diagnostic criteria for alcoholism also have been developed. Such criteria are included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, published by the American Psychiatric Association, as well as in the International Classification Diseases, published by the World Health Organization.
Is alcoholism a disease?Yes, alcoholism is a disease. The craving that an alcoholic feels for alcohol can be as strong as the need for food or water. An alcoholic will continue to drink despite serious family, health, or legal problems.
Like many other diseases, alcoholism is chronic, meaning that it lasts a person's lifetime; it usually follows a predictable course; and it has symptoms. The risk for developing alcoholism is influenced both by a person's genes and by his or her lifestyle.
Is alcoholism inherited?Research shows that the risk for developing alcoholism does indeed run in families. The genes a person inherits partially explain this pattern, but lifestyle is also a factor. Currently, researchers are working to discover the actual genes that put people at risk for alcoholism. Your friends, the amount of stress in your life, and how readily available alcohol is also are factors that may increase your risk for alcoholism.
But remember: Risk is not destiny. Just because alcoholism tends to run in families doesn't mean that a child of an alcoholic parent will automatically become an alcoholic too. Some people develop alcoholism even though no one in their family has a drinking problem. By the same token, not all children of alcoholic families get into trouble with alcohol. Knowing you are at risk is important, though, because then you can take steps to protect yourself from developing problems with alcohol.

Can alcoholism be cured?No, alcoholism cannot be cured at this time. Even if an alcoholic hasn't been drinking for a long time, he or she can still suffer a relapse. To guard against a relapse, an alcoholic must continue to avoid all alcoholic beverages.
Can alcoholism be treated?Yes, alcoholism can be treated. Alcoholism treatment programs use both counseling and medications to help a person stop drinking. Most alcoholics need help to recover from their disease. With support and treatment, many people are able to stop drinking and rebuild their lives.
Does alcoholism treatment work?Alcoholism treatment works for many people. But just like any chronic disease, there are varying levels of success when it comes to treatment. Some people stop drinking and remain sober. Others have long periods of sobriety with bouts of relapse. And still others cannot stop drinking for any length of time. With treatment, one thing is clear, however: the longer a person abstains from alcohol, the more likely he or she will be able to stay sober.
Do you have to be an alcoholic to experience problems?No. Alcoholism is only one type of an alcohol problem. Alcohol abuse can be just as harmful. A person can abuse alcohol without actually being an alcoholic--that is, he or she may drink too much and too often but still not be dependent on alcohol. Some of the problems linked to alcohol abuse include not being able to meet work, school, or family responsibilities; drunk-driving arrests and car crashes; and drinking-related medical conditions. Under some circumstances, even social or moderate drinking is dangerous--for example, when driving, during pregnancy, or when taking certain medications.

Are specific groups of people more likely to have problems?Alcohol abuse and alcoholism cut across gender, race, and nationality. Nearly 14 million people in the United States--1 in every 13 adults--abuse alcohol or are alcoholic. In general, though, more men than women are alcohol dependent or have alcohol problems. And alcohol problems are highest among young adults ages 18-29 and lowest among adults ages 65 and older. We also know that people who start drinking at an early age--for example, at age 14 or younger--greatly increase the chance that they will develop alcohol problems at some point in their lives. America has 6.8 Alcohol Bingers, and 2.1 million heavy drinkers under the age of 21.
76 million Americans have an alcoholic in their family.
Three million violent crimes occur each year under the influence of alcohol.

Here’s a portrait of a typical inmate in America’s prison systems:

 57% are from broken homes
 60% have been incarcerated before
 63% are drug and/or alcohol abusers
 60% are functionally illiterate, i.e., cannot read above a fifth-grade level
 66% have never completed high school
 95% have had no loving father relationship
 45% were unemployed or had only part-time jobs at the time of their arrest
Prison is the ultimate rehab for the incorrigible and those unwilling to change.
How can you tell if someone has a problem?Answering the following four questions can help you find out if you or a loved one has a drinking problem:
 Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
 Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
 Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
 Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

One "yes" answer suggests a possible alcohol problem. More than one "yes" answer means it is highly likely that a problem exists. If you think that you or someone you know might have an alcohol problem, it is important to see a doctor or other health care provider right away. They can help you determine if a drinking problem exists and plan the best course of action.

Can a problem drinker simply cut down?It depends. If that person has been diagnosed as an alcoholic, the answer is "no." Alcoholics who try to cut down on drinking rarely succeed. Cutting out alcohol--that is, abstaining--is usually the best course for recovery. People who are not alcohol dependent but who have experienced alcohol-related problems may be able to limit the amount they drink. If they can't stay within those limits, they need to stop drinking altogether.
If an alcoholic is unwilling to get help, what can you do about it?This can be a challenge. An alcoholic can't be forced to get help except under certain circumstances, such as a violent incident that results in court-ordered treatment or medical emergency. But you don't have to wait for someone to "hit rock bottom" to act. Many alcoholism treatment specialists suggest the following steps to help an alcoholic get treatment:

Stop all "cover ups." Family members often make excuses to others or try to protect the alcoholic from the results of his or her drinking. It is important to stop covering for the alcoholic so that he or she experiences the full consequences of drinking.
Time your intervention. The best time to talk to the drinker is shortly after an alcohol-related problem has occurred--like a serious family argument or an accident. Choose a time when he or she is sober, both of you are fairly calm, and you have a chance to talk in private.

*Reprinted from National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism


The Dry Drunk Syndrome

A reason for those Post-Active-Using Rages and Impulses

"That's the trouble with you, you never listen to what I'm saying!" the former abuser's face is red and he is using 3 more decibels of volume than is actually needed. "I want dinner on the table at 6pm, not 6:05 or 6:10 or 6:15!" With that, the former abuser sweeps his arm across the table breaking several plates, spilling their contents all over the floor.
The happy couple is leaving church, where the former abuser is a deacon. He screams, "You will listen to me! You will do what I say. To his daughter, "You f------- b-------! Why can't you ever do what I tell you?"

After the abuser stops the use/abuse of substances she/he is left with a behavioral, attitudinal problem with angry impulses. The problem is particularly baffling to evangelicals who stoutly believe that the miraculous new birth cures all past sins, behaviors and attitudes. The salvationists insist that if you get an abuser "saved," they will automatically be sanctified (holy). I believe that salvation is "walked out" and "worked out" by the believer in Christ. Every day that a believer walks with Christ in the spiritual sense, she/he gets at the root of old attitudes and behaviors and they gradually cease. But it takes a lifetime and discipleship type accountability to "hold the former abuser's feet to the fire."

Unfortunately, there are many "cold turkey" abstainers who quit their abuse instantly, but do not make any type of spiritual link to help them clean up the aftermath of the abuse. Internally, the aftermath results in often permanent damage to the abuser's endocrine system. The "DRY DRUNK SYNDROME" is the decimated endocrine system putting the body's arousal system on full alert. Adrenalin pumps and the rages begin. It is as though the biological cells of the abuser's body at the primal level of the individual cell is screaming out for more of the intoxicant. The abuser, with the act of the will, says, "No! No more substance!" The cells cry out for more and more.

"Dry Drunkers" will blame everyone around them for their bad moods, and their unrighteous rages. Everybody else "pulls the trigger" on their angry impulses. "Everybody else" causes them to get angry. This blaming is typical of the "toxic-shame-based" former abusers. Their marriages often are in shambles. Their families cower in fear of their "lashing out" behaviors.
Hostility, guilt and fear run rampant through the former abuser's mind. They deny problems (remember denial?) exist. Former abusers are notoriously irresponsible in relationships with others. Codependent behaviors persist unless they are identified and rooted out. Codependents around the Dry Drunkers hate confrontation. It sometimes leads to violence and physical injury by the abuser, so codependents are reluctant to confront former abusers or one another.

Pharmacological treatment is possible through the use of the modern SSRIs (serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors) [mood lifters]. They help to restore the damaged endocrine system and replace the brain's inability to generate endorphins ("feel good" hormones). As the post-abuser's mood lifts, so does their thinking ability, and their self-control of impulses. The caution for mood lifters is that
1) They must be taken religiously for a minimum for 21 days and at least one year. (This commitment is mandatory for the "Dry Drunkers, who may have to take them permanently.)
2) There often is a 4 to 6 day window of side effects, that goes away, and may happen again if the medication is withdrawn too quickly.
3) If the patient is medication sensitive, the physician must be willing to try several of the SSRIs until a suitable one is found.
4) The Dry Drunker should be prepared for long-term counseling to help with understanding emotional dynamics, communication
problems, eradication of toxic shame, self-esteem issues and accountability for their own behaviors.

Pastor Phil Roland, 724-981-5683

For further study look up: Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a brain disorder involving loss of specific brain functions caused by advanced alcoholism and its delilitating effects on the human body.

T H E    M O C K E R S

PROVERBS 20:1; 23:29-32
"Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise."
Prov. 20:1


a. Nazarite Vow: Numbers 6:1-7
b. Weaker Brother - Romans 14:21

a. Marriage at Cana - John 2
b. Jesus was a moderate drinker - Matt. 11:19
c. Paul to Timothy - I Tim. 5:23
d. Compared with being Filled With the Spirit - Ephesians 5:18

HEBREW WORD, "Mockery" = "LOTZ”
1. "An act of redicule, contempt, scorn or derision"
2. "An act of imitation/counterfeit"


A. Experimentation - 75% will move into stage 2
B. Social Use - 20% will move into stage 3
C. Seekers - Three characteristics:
1. Cannot cope w/emotional pain
2. Unable to deal with the normal stresses of life
3. Adopt the standards of others easily
D. Habitual Users - Alcoholism!

A. Learn three things: Don't Communicate; Learn Not To Feel; Learn Not To Trust
B. Learn Toxic Shame

A. We are made in God's Image - Isaiah 5:11,12
B. We are responsible to God to not tarnishing His Image in us!


Courtesy of Sheepfold Ministries, Sharon, PA


ALCOHOL is a chemical that possesses amazing properties.
As a mood changer it will take your mood and lead you to even lower levels of despair.
As a medicator it can numb your conscience, rendering it ineffective, so you can do inhumane, outrageous things to others.
As a counselor it can cancel your guilt and help you to blame others more easily for all your failures, while you remain shameless and above reproach.
As a tranquilizer it can keep in a stupor all inner motivations that lead to healthy change.
As a psychiatrist it can suck out your brains and leave your head as empty as an empty beer bottle.
As a stain remover it can remove stains from all your clothing, but it cannot purge your soul from the inner stain of sin.

There are some things ALCOHOL can remove:
ALCOHOL will remove furniture from your home when consumed in sufficient quantity.
ALCOHOL will remove rugs and drapes from the home.
ALCOHOL will remove food from the hungry mouths of children;
clothing from the family's bodies;
lining from the abuser's stomach;
vision from the abuser's eyes; and
reason from the abuser's mind.
ALCOHOL will also remove good character and reputation;
good jobs;
good friends;
happiness and peace from children's hearts;
relationships with others.


Adapted pastor Phil Roland



We drank for joy and became miserable

We drank for sociability and became argumentative

We drank for sophistication and became obnoxious

We drank for friendship and became enemies

We drank to appear intelligent and became dull and stupid

We drank for sleep and awakened exhausted

We drank for strength and became weak

We drank for exhilaration and ended up depressed

We drank for medicinal purposes and acquired health problems

We drank to get calmed down and ended up with the shakes

We drank for confidence and boldness and became afraid

We drank to make conversation flow more easily,
and the words came out slurred and incomprehensible

We drank to become powerful and became powerless

We drank to diminish our problems, and saw them multiply

We drank to feel heavenly, and ended up feeling like Hell

We drank to cope with life, and invited death


Adapted by Pastor Phil Roland
Courtesy of Sheepfold Ministries, Sharon, PA - 724-981-5683

Roots of Compulsions

See him lying there facing the house: one shoulder is against the building; the other against the dirt.
Hear him snore!
He is sleeping away the smoldering fires of last night's booze.
I punch him awake!
How can he lie here under the all-seeing eyes?
As I shake his shoulder his slathered lips evoke a drinking song.
Again, I punch the drunk that is My Dad!
He throws up the putrefaction of my shattered self-esteem.
My forgotten fear is seen again.
It spews forth for all to see: the guilt of forgotten commands,and poorly done chores.
It hauntingly lies there.
We could have fished rivers and streams; hunted through mountain forests together;
discovered as one the beauty of relationship.
And I awake with pain of mind and heart to remember the humiliation and the waste.
And in my memory, I punch the drunk that was My Dad.

Phil Roland, 1978


D E F E N S E S      A G A I N S T :



Inner Perception of Worthlessness/The Murder of Self

r a g e
O U T - O F - C O N T R O L

Isolation - Fear of Being Cut-Off from God, Others, Self
Toxic shaming is the root of all addictions. Pastor Phil Roland

Biblical Addiction Texts

Prov 23:29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
Prov 23:30 Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
Prov 23:31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly!
Prov 23:32 In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.
Prov 23:33 Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things.
Prov 23:34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging.
Prov 23:35 "They hit me," you will say, "but I'm not hurt! They beat me, but I don't feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?"
Prov 24:1 Do not envy wicked men, do not desire their company

Adult Children of Alcoholics


TRUST - ACoA’s have trouble trusting others. They learn from experience they cannot trust the abusers. They also painfully learn that the co-abuser/enabler isn’t trustworthy, either. Even siblings are not trustworthy for they may betray their peers for an advantage. Eg. A sibling may “rat” on another to escape the pain of another beating by the abuser. Betrayal by significant persons of trust is a hallmark of learning for children in the Toxic Shame Based Alcohol Dysfunctional Family System.

COMMUNICATION - Since ACoA’s find no one they can trust, they learn from earliest childhood not to self-disclose anything. They may discuss simple, surface things. But deep issues of the heart and/or family secrets are hidden deeply in the heart.

EMOTION - ACoA’s are unable to show emotion on their faces. Their feelings are never affirmed. The alcohol abuser is not able to deal with their own emotions. Years of abuse have turned off their ability to feel and express their own emotion. As the controlling tyrants they are, abusers punish their families for expressing emotion. A good counselor looks for the “affect” of their counselees. “Affect” is the countenance or facial expression a person displays as they react physically and emotionally to their environment. Often, ACoA’s faces are frozen and plastic as are the faces of their abusers. It’s extremely hard for people from these family systems to both feel and express their deep or tender emotions to others.

EXTERNALIZED SELF ESTEEM - ACoA’s have zero self-esteem. They either are not present in their own skin or are unaware of their own feelings, thoughts or desires. Self esteem needs are projected outward to the approval of others. If others like them, ACoA’s will like themselves. If others disapprove of them, ACoA’s will be unhappy with themselves. They become very passive in relationships and will do anything to please others. They hate conflict and see it as a personal threat.

PERFORMANCE ORIENTATION - ACoA’s often give up their basic humanity in their need to please others. They become “human doings,” rather than human beings. It is so very important to gain the approval and acceptance of others, that self-esteem is based on what they do rather than who they are. By Pastor Phil Roland

Adult Children of Alcoholics

Are you an adult child of an alcoholic? Following are sixteen questions you may find you experience in your life and personality.

1. Do I often feel isolated and afraid of people, especially authority figures?

2. Have I observed myself to be an approval seeker, losing my own identity in the process?

3. Do I feel overly frightened of angry people and personal criticism?

4. Do I often feel I'm a victim in personal and career relationships?

5. Do I sometimes feel I have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, which makes it easier to be concerned with others rather than myself?

6. Do I find it hard to look at my own faults and my own responsibility to myself'?

7. Do I get guilt feelings when I stand up for myself instead of giving in to others?

8. Do I feel addicted to excitement?

9. Do I confuse love with pity and tend to love people I can pity and rescue?

10. Do I find it hard to feel or express feelings, including, feelings such as joy or happiness?

11. Do I find I judge myself harshly?

12. Do I have a low sense of self-esteem?

13. Do I often feel abandoned in the course of my relationships?

14. Do I tend to be a reactor, instead of an actor?

15. Do I over-react to issues in which I feel out-of-control, making “mountains out of molehills?”

16. Do I have a strong need for approval and affirmation?


By Pastor Phil Roland - Sheepfold Ministries, Sharon, PA