Non-Profit Corporation

The Marina Dock Newsletter November 2006

Dear Marina Dock Members and Patrons:

Thank you for your ongoing contributions and financial support, we could definitely need some additional support this month, quarterly payroll taxes and rent to pay, all due by November 1st. Every once in a while I hear comments or rumors about how The Marina Dock always seems to be strapped for funds. Have you listened to your radio or watched public television recently? Everyday we are subjected to fundraisers and requests for donations from members and listeners, it is the nature of the beast, and nonprofits are always on the edge financially and would cease to exist without the support of their members. I believe we have done real well to date not only surviving a couple of recessions but actually making some significant improvements to our facility. I could go on and on about this but the bottom line is, we need funds, and I know you will come through for us because 2118 Greenwich Street plays an important role in the lives of a lot of people. On the subject of donations it is possible you know someone who would like to help but are perhaps not aware that we are a nonprofit and all donations are tax deductible, someone who would maybe like to donate, if they were aware of our financial situation.

On a Related Topic

We have two years left on a three year lease ending in December 2008. I just discovered I will be sixty in May of 2008. This came as a great shock to me, for many years I was of the belief that I was only forty. However over the last year or two year I had a few subtle reminders, denial after all is not a "River in Egypt" My goal over the next 24 months is to get my heart rate up and my blood pressure and interest rate down. I know, we live our lives one day at a time, sometimes, in words immortalized by the great Frank B "one minute at a time" but it does not prevent us from looking down the road. Ideally I would like to take us into 2008 and leave everything secure for the next generation of people who are capable and willing to give their heart and soul in the service of others I am confident this can be achieved, in the meantime I will give it all I got. My sister back in Ireland keeps asking me when am I coming home, I keep saying soon, but she has heard that now for 14 years and she is not convinced, she reads the newsletter so maybe now she will believe me.

Whenever Anyone Anywhere Reaches Out

A few weeks ago I had a call from a close family friend, a woman in her early fifties who by her own admission had hit bottom, she was asking for help, she was on the verge of losing her job, her apartment and she could not stop drinking. It is always touch and go in these 12 step situations, sometimes the friendship and familiarity can undermine our neutrality and effectiveness and we make the problem worse not better. I know when I first came around I never liked people telling me what to do, even though my situation was desperate and I needed all the help I could get. Then I started reading the literature and other related material on alcoholism and that somehow reached me in a medical and scientific way, when the human approach did not work for me. We get a lot of first time visitors to our facility and our website who are in the early stages of alcoholism and substance abuse. People who are looking for answers that explain their condition without feeling the sense that they are being admonished or judged because of the societal baggage and stigma long associated with the disease of alcoholism. We need to remember the success of the spiritually based 12 step model of recovery was first articulated by Bill Wilson, a redundant stockbroker, to Dr Bob Smith, an Akron Ohio medical doctor with delirium tremens, in the summer of 1935. Dr Bob later said it was Bill's description of alcoholism being "a physical allergy with a mental obsession" that convinced him of the true nature of his condition. This prognosis was given to Bill a few years earlier by Dr Silkworth, when Bill was a patient of his and a regular in the psychiatric unit of Townes Hospital in York.

The Doctor's Opinion puts it this way

"Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks - drinks which they see others taking with impunity (which means freedom from problems). After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery."

What Is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive, and often fatal disease. It is a primary disorder and not a symptom of other diseases or emotional problems. The chemistry of alcohol allows it to affect nearly every type of cell in the body, including those in the central nervous system. After prolonged exposure to alcohol, the brain adapts to the changes alcohol makes and becomes dependent on it. The severity of this disease is influenced by factors such as genetics, psychology, culture, and response to physical pain.

Signs of alcoholism or alcohol dependence include the following:

  • The only indication of early alcoholism may be the unpleasant physical responses to withdrawal that occur during even brief periods of abstinence.
  • Alcoholics have little or no control over the quantity they drink or the duration or frequency of their drinking.
  • They are preoccupied with drinking, deny their own addiction, and continue to drink even though they are aware of the dangers.
  • Over time, some people become tolerant to the effects of drinking and require more alcohol to become intoxicated, creating the illusion that they can "hold their liquor."
  • They have blackouts after drinking and frequent hangovers that cause them to miss work and other normal activities.
  • Alcoholics might drink alone and start early in the day.
  • They periodically quit drinking or switch from hard liquor to beer or wine, but these periods rarely last.
  • Severe alcoholics often have a history of accidents, marital and work instability, and alcohol-related health problems.
  • Episodic violent and abusive incidents involving spouses and children and a history of unexplained or frequent accidents are often signs of drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Alcoholism can develop insidiously, and often there is no clear line between problem drinking and alcoholism.
  • Eventually alcohol dominates thinking, emotions, and actions and becomes the primary means through which a person can deal with people, work, and life.

Genetic vulnerability of women to alcoholism - adapted from the American Journal of Psychiatry, May 1994

Tips from Other Journals

Both genetic and environmental factors must be considered in the etiology of alcoholism. The influence of genetic versus environmental factors previously has been researched by examining whether adopted children raised in homes where the parents have alcohol problems are at increased risk for alcoholism. Kendler and associates used a new technique - personal interviews of a large sample of twins and their parents - to study the sources of familial resemblance for alcoholism and how parents transmit the vulnerability to alcoholism to their daughters.
A total of 1,030 pairs of female twins of known zygosity and 1,468 of their parents were interviewed. The authors defined three levels of severity of alcoholism, from
Which the following definitions of alcoholism were created:

(1) narrow - only alcoholism with dependence/tolerance;

(2) intermediate-alcoholism with or without dependence/tolerance, and

(3) broad-alcoholism with or without dependence/tolerance or problem drinking.

The study subjects were classified either as unaffected or according to the level of severity.
The lifetime prevalence rate for the three levels of severity of alcoholism in the twins, their fathers and their mothers indicated the highest rates in fathers, next highest in twins and lowest in mothers. For each definition of alcoholism, the prevalence of alcoholism was highest in monozygotic co-twins of affected twins, next highest in dizygotic co-twins of affected twins and slightly lower and similar in the twin daughters of affected mothers and affected fathers.

American Family Physician, Oct, 1994

From Our Readers

Here is a little gem from one of our longest standing members whom I have not seen in over 15 years.

Hi Tony,

Please keep me on the mailing list. Last year I spent 3 months in China teaching English. and when I was there I picked up a 20 year chip-also a big book in Chinese, which is kind of how the English version looked when I first walked in the door of The Dry Dock.

Ben, D
Boulder, CO

Maybe I need time out?

With Gratitude,



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