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psychlady, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of a variety of mental health issues.
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If someone is arrested for underage DWI (April 2002, age 20)

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If someone is arrested for underage DWI (April 2002, age 20) and then 18 months later is arrested for DWI (October 2003, age 21) would this alone be sufficient to meet the criteria for Alcohol Abuse. In addition, if that person has demonstrated the ability to control his drinking for 7 years following the DWI (2003) would they currently meet the criteria for alcohol abuse. Lastly, if a person has demonstrated an ability to control his drinking for seven years (age 21 - 29) would forcing abstinence on that person be beneficial?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  psychlady replied 5 years ago.

I can only speak to this from the perspective of a drug and alcohol counselor that diagnoses every day. If someone has 2 DUI's in a relatively short period of time then they would meet criteria for alcohol abuse. The reason is that abuse is considered binging or outside that of social drinking. To have DUI's it suggests that you are drinking more than a social drinker. This is not the same as alcohol dependence which is an alcoholic who has physical symptoms. If that drinking has been controlled then there are 2 opinions depending on who you ask. One would say that DUI's at any point would indicate that someone has a history of binging and either has stopped or hasn't been caught. When someone has a history of some behavior it is assumed that that behavior can come back at any time. Forcing abstinence is not possible and there is no such thing. All the courts and other repercussions can be in place and it won't matter to some people. If abstinence can be coerced than the person would still be abstinence. Preventing drinking by any method could show an improvement but this is irrelevant anyway


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