We Do Not Say “Alcoholic.” Here’s Why.

By April Wilson Smith, MPH, Lisa Chiodo, PhD, & Amanda Wilson, MD At North-Star Care, we do not use the word “alcoholic.”  We do not believe that a person should be defined by a problem they struggle with.    “Alcoholic” and “alcoholism” are not scientific or medical terms.  The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) is the […]

When Will My Loved One Be Fixed?

By April Wilson Smith, MPH & Lisa Chiodo, PhD Patients, families, and friends (we like to call family and friends “allies”) come to Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) treatment with some big expectations.  The media has popularized the notion of rehab as a place that “fixes” people.  It’s kind of like getting your car serviced; drop […]

If My Husband Had Cancer

By Kim Renninger If my husband had cancer, went into remission, and then the cancer came back, no one would ask me “why.” They might ask “when” or “how bad,” but they wouldn’t ask “why.”  Nor would anyone ask why someone else got cancer, went into remission, and remained cancer free, while my husband had […]

Enabling or Life-Saving?

By April Wilson Smith, MPH   When I was struggling terribly with alcohol and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, people used to ask my mom, “Has she hit bottom yet?” My mother would answer, “Bottom would be dead.”   My mom was there for me through hospitalizations, running out of money, losing a job, and missing many family holidays when […]

“He Drank Again”

By April Wilson Smith, MPH & Amanda L. Wilson, MD Few words are as scary to loved ones of people in Alcohol Use Disorder treatment as “He/she/they drank again.”  Seeing a loved one consume a substance that has caused harm to themselves or others can bring up upsetting memories and frightening visions of the future.  […]