SAN ANTONIO – Since January, San Antonio police have handled more than 3,500 DWI cases.
David Phipps, CEO & president of Lifetime Recovery — which helps people dealing with substance abuse issues — says alcoholism is something the community needs to discuss more openly.
Phipps hopes the recent incident involving a public figure will bring to light a problem many in the community are battling.
“When it’s in public, then it becomes a very important lesson, and it gives an opportunity for us to talk about it. But it is disappointing, and it’s always embarrassing,” Phipps said. “And you feel for someone who is having difficulty if it’s in public.”
Phipps said it’s not surprising because he deals with clients facing similar circumstances daily.
“You don’t have to hit bottom to get help. There’s help available. You don’t have to go all the way to the bottom. But very often, the bottom comes up and hits you,” he said.
Family and friends can look for signs of trouble in those facing substance abuse like financial troubles, injuries, tasks or promises not followed through, anger, injuries, and high absentees. Phipps said families and friends could help point out the need for help, but a person has to have self-realization.
“If you try to deal with this all by yourself, it’s a very lonely disease,” he said.
Phipps says that lack of money should not be an excuse to get help. United Way offers a list of treatment centers that can help. Call 211 or 210-SAY-CARE (729-2273) for more information.