Back to stress.  If you're a person who drinks
alcohol on an infrequent basis, you know that a
drink really does provide a calming effect after a
particularly stressful experience.  It should since it's
a depressant drug, but like any other drug,
frequent and prolonged use will diminish the effect
of a single dose.   

Unfortunately, you'll work with some police officers
who are far beyond the single dose.  They may stay
sober during their tour of duty, or at least they'll
appear sober.  When they're really in the bag,
they'll spend most of their time avoiding
supervisors.  The age, sex, and police experience of
the alcoholic police officer isn't really relevant.  The
more experienced officer has just been a drunk
longer than the others.

When, or if, it becomes necessary for the alcoholic
police officer to confront his or her addiction, the
stress of police work will be the first, and most
obvious, excuse.  The truth is that most brought
the problem with them when they came on the job.  
The stress of police work just makes their own
personal acceptance of their addiction more

The thing to remember is that if you need a drink to
function, you've got a problem.  If the stress of
police work really is your reason for drinking more
than you normally would, policing probably isn't the
career for you.  It may not be all your fault.  Today,
medical studies are being cited which claim an
alcoholic drink a day is actually good for you.  
Studies of the past claimed a drink a day was the
making of an alcoholic.  Any study about anything is
the product of data beneficial to the researchers'
preconceived ideas of the proper conclusions. So,
when it comes to alcohol, the words little and
infrequent should be your definition for  

The saddest thing about alcoholism is that it's
incurable.  The few alcoholics who have successfully
beat their addiction will tell you that it's a constant
struggle every hour of every day.  If you're smart,
you won't set yourself up for that struggle.
There would be another benefit.  If all drugs were
legal, just think of all the choices that would be
available to replace alcohol as the number one
stress reliever.  No…on second thought, that
wouldn't work.  If you're already an alcoholic, you'd
just use the added availability of other drugs to
enhance your destruction.

Of all the drugs in existence, alcohol is the most
insidious.  Many people can drink alcoholic
beverages in moderation and suffer no ill effects.  
However, moderation is such a relative word; it
means anything anyone wants it to mean.  Ask any
falling down drunk, and he'll tell you he's only had
two beers.  A female drunk may substitute wine for
beer, but the number two is almost universal.

As a police officer, you're going to deal with drunks
frequently.  Did I say frequently?—just a little
sarcasm for emphasis.  The very first thing you
must understand is that you cannot reason with a
drunk—it can't be done.  Well…conflict resolution
can't work all the time.
Alcohol and
"The very first thing you must understand is
that you cannot reason with a drunk—it can't
be done." ~ Barry M. Baker
It should be obvious to everyone that alcoholic
beverages have been around forever.  It's not
surprising that prohibition of alcohol in the 20th
Century didn't work since people have been
addicted to the poison since the Stone Age.

A lot of very intelligent people use the legal and
regulated state of alcohol as a model for the
legalization and regulation of other currently illegal
drugs such as heroin and cocaine.  Of course, there
are so many drugs around, it's hard to imagine
where the legalization would stop.  Legalization
certainly would bring the cost of say heroin down
from a $200 a day habit to a $5 dollar a day
expenditure.  Just think of all the productive time
the addict could spend killing him or herself instead
of stealing everyone blind.
Copyright © 2019  Barry M. Baker