We all know now that Adam was an alcoholic, but at the time we thought it was just how he was. We thought that he knew what was best and handled it the way that he needed to. That wasn’t the right thing to do.
Since all of this happened, I’ve learned a lot more about alcoholism than I ever knew was possible. I learned that alcoholism is actually something that can rewire your brain. The Adam we all knew and loved was changed because of alcohol, we just didn’t know it.
Alcohol can change the chemical makeup of your brain, especially if you use it all the time as Adam did. He was drinking all the time, which meant his brain and body didn’t even know how to function without it anymore. He tricked his body into thinking it needed alcohol.
If we had known what we know now then maybe we could have helped him before it was too late. Alas, we didn’t. Alcohol statistics show that too many people have an alcohol dependence but don’t know how to stop drinking alcohol.
What Happens As You Continue To Drink Alcohol
So when Adam started constantly drinking, those times he’d drink in class or before we went out, he was actually training his body to resist the effects of alcohol. Yeah, crazy, I know. We thought it was just Adam being Adam.
He kept on drinking and then his body grew tolerant as he went. This meant that his body built up a resistance to the effects of alcohol so if he was looking to get buzzed he would have to drink more.
This is actually super common for alcoholics and is why he ended up getting drunker and drunker as time went on. It’s probably how he ended up getting drunk and driving when he should not have.
He didn’t think he was as drunk as he really was because he could “hold” his alcohol or was tolerant. But the problem was he still had way too much alcohol in his system. He couldn’t even recognize when he was drunk anymore.
There’s a lot of stigma surrounding alcoholism these days. Stigma is like a belief about something even when it’s not backed up by reality. Like you think all alcoholics have the choice to stop, so they’re just lazy and weak-willed. That isn’t true.
This is part of why we never realized the extent of Adam’s problem. We thought alcoholics were old bums who stumbled around drunk, not our buddy who got wasted every night. He was just chill.
It’s important to look past this really basic idea of an alcoholic and truly understand. Alcoholics don’t have a choice after a while. They physically cannot stop; that’s what addiction is. Addiction is a compulsive action regardless of negative consequences.
If we had known what an alcoholic truly was and not just considered a basic definition, then Adam could have been helped.
It is not normal to need to drink every day or even to hide how much you’re drinking like Adam did while being a heavy drinker. Knowing that can save lives.