Here’s an article from the Holland Sentinel. It’s called “Getting Treatment When It All Falls Apart”.
The article opens with the statistics:
In 2008, Ottawa County alone had four alcohol-related crash deaths. In one year, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office reported 206 car crashes involving alcohol, 54 injury crashes involving alcohol, and 686 suspected drunken driving arrests. In 2009, the Holland Police Department arrested 246 drunken drivers; 21 of the drivers were arrested at the scene of an accident.
At Holland Hospital’s emergency department, 507 admissions were alcohol related: domestic abuse incidents, drunken driving crashes, and alcohol withdrawals.
According to one local treatment center specializing in alcoholism, Ottagan Addictions Recovery, 32,850 people are alcohol or drug dependent out of Ottawa and Allegan counties’ combined population of 365,000. OAR serves about 25,000 people per year, what director Edgington called “the tip of the iceberg.”
And here’s what they mean by “treatment”:
Court ordered intervention
David said many new AA members start coming to meetings because they’ve been ordered to by the courts after a drunken driving conviction.
Holland District Court Chief Judge Bradley Knoll and Judge Susan Jonas implemented a sobriety court several years ago to give drunken drivers an alternative to jail.
“At the outset, it involves AA meetings five times per week, mandatory counseling, daily sobriety testing, random drug testing and random home visits,” Knoll said. [Emphasis mine.]
Relapses happen, and the defendants know they can be sentenced to jail time if they don’t follow the program.
Now, I don’t know where we’d get the stupid idea that people are coerced into attending AA meetings. For chrissake, no one’s putting a gun to anyone’s head, amirite?