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Ask an Expert: Will His Alcoholism Return If He Starts Drinking Again?

By Janice Dorn 04/19/15

"Today's question is on whether alcoholism continues to thrive within someone even while they are sober.
I have a loved one who is an alcoholic and stayed sober for about 5 years. He recently started drinking again. I have heard that the disease continues to progress while someone is sober, and because of that he will have a rapid increase in his drinking and a decline in mental and physical health. Is this a myth, or is there truth here? If true, how does the disease progress while someone stays sober?"


Compulsive drinking can return if the cause returns and the person does not have the tools to deal with the situation. The purpose of addiction is a behavior intended to reverse a profound, intolerable sense of helplessness. This helplessness is always rooted in something deeply important to the individual. Addictions are never random and always serve an emotional purpose. If a person that was abstinent is now drinking to escape the feelings of being helpless, trapped, powerless and out of control again, then the issue is how to address the cause.

People always have a choice in order to address (regain control)  their helpless overwhelmed feelings and circumstances:

1. Displaced behavior: The person is drinking again, in excess, in order to regain control of their life, escape the helpless feeling, with the quick fix or mood changer of drugs. (Addicts don't drink for no  reason. There is always a reward and in this case the reward that is given is taking temporary control of one's feelings with the mood changing drug).

2. Direct Behavior: The best healthy direct behavior is Christ Driven Behavior based on a personal relationship that empowers us with the values and virtues of Jesus Christ. When we practice these values, we find motivation and purpose, joy and competence. If and when we surrender our lives to Christ we have the wisdom and  capacity to see things from God's perspective and respond according to scriptural principles.

The best antidotes to addiction are joy and competence—joy as the capacity to take pleasure in the people, things, and activities that are available to us; competence as the ability to master relevant parts of our environment and the confidence that our actions make a difference for ourselves and others. This is exactly what we can achieve if we choose to have a better life, a Christ Driven life.

Change your thinking and change your life.


"I am a Surrendered Believer in Jesus Christ with Free Will and I CHOSE Surrender (Intelligent Delegation) in my victory over, “Recreational Chemical Abuse, my weekend, "False Idols."
"I chose DIRECT health assertive Christ Driven Behavior (CDB) instead of DISPLACED behavior in order to regain control over feeling helpless, powerless, trapped and lacking control. I changed my, "Thinking," and God changed my life."
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There is no reason why anyone with any hurt, habit, or hang up cannot be helped. The Person-God partnership simply needs to be more powerful than any hurt, habit or hangup.

Behind everything you do is a THOUGHT.

Every BEHAVIOR is motivated by a BELIEF.

Every ACTION is prompted by an ATTITUDE.


With respect to behavior, life is about, emotions, beliefs, thinking and control.

"A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back."Proverbs 29:11 (Displaced Behaviors)

"Do not be conformed by this world but instead by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2 (Direct Behavior)

When you think and empower yourself and surrender control to God, when you Intelligently Delegate Control to God (2 Corinthians 12:9-10),

God returns that control to you with a, “Helper," the Holy Spirit, (John 14:16) a form of Reciprocal Innervation.

You regain control: "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

No longer are you subject to corrupted displaced thinking but instead are transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).

This is where science and scripture intertwine, where Christ Driven Behavior brings, values, control, cause, character and purpose driven behavior, the fruits of the spirit Galatians 5:22-23 .

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.


Proverbs 29:11 "A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back."

Romans 12:2: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

2 Corinthians 12-9:“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

John 14:16: "He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—"

Philippians 2:13: "for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."

Galatians 5:22-23 "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Ephesians 4:22-23 "...put away the old person you used to be. Have nothing to do with your old sinful life. It was sinful because of being fooled into following bad desires. Let your minds and hearts be made new."

Life is about finding Purpose. When you have a, "Global Purpose," in life, healthy direct assertive thinking and behavior follow.

Change your thinking, change your life!

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