Tonight it’s Halloween. The kids are outside and the moms and dads are out, too. The grownups are drinking wine, talking, and playing music. We are standing on the sidewalk telling jokes, catching up with the neighborhood news. The lawyer, the doctor, and the nurse are out there with the real estate agent, the postal worker, and the school teacher. Many of us have kids or grandkids rushing about in costume. A lot of the adults are wearing costumes, too.

Now it’s a bit later, but we’re feeling too good to want to go inside. After all, it’s Friday. It’s warm enough to stay outside a little longer. Someone has opened another bottle of wine. The kids have made their rounds and have gone off to sort out their loot. Meanwhile, we’re catching up on some juicy gossip.

Some of the neighbors have had more than a glass or two, like the dad up the street, the one everyone knows is an alcoholic, and he has gone in to put his toddlers to bed. Now, he wants cigarettes. His spouse, still outside with the neighbors, is with him on her cell phone:

 “Yes, dear, I’ll go out to get them for you.”


By reputation, she’s the sensible one, the one who holds the family together despite her husband’s worsening problem. But tonight she’s inno condition to drive either. She doesn’t realize it. Tonight, she will be the one who makes a big mistake. No one will think to talk her out of driving, because, as everyone knows, she’s not the one with the alcohol problem. It’s his problem.

We all know know couples who fit this example. Some of them become our clients. They are in many respects, playing-by-the-rules people. Everyone loves them. They are anxious to please others and to be good neighbors. All seems under control, but it is not.

Perhaps there is family history of alcoholism on both sides. Perhaps each of them has unconsciously chosen to marry someone with the same family history. One partner drinks, and other one doesn’t, or doesn’t appear to drink much. It’s the past repeating itself, as the younger couple falls into a pattern learned by each of them from their parents.

We see many clients as a result of an-alcohol related arrest, good, upstanding people with families. They come to us all the time.

Ingerman & Horwitz can help. We live in neighborhoods, too. We know alcohol is a complicated problem. If you are arrested for an alcohol-related offense, we can help you through it. You can tell us just about anything, confidentially. I’m pretty sure you can’t shock us, and we’re not judgmental. We will help you with your legal troubles, but of course, you need to do the real work to get your life back on track. The arrest was just a symptom, and now you’ll also need to treat the disease. We’ll make sure you have a referral.