Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: Alcohol Awareness Month

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Apr 29, 2013 10:13 AM

Radio Smart Talk for Monday, April 29:

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Did you have an alcoholic drink this weekend?  Most Americans did.  A Gallup poll conducted late last summer indicates that two-thirds of Americans consume alcohol.  Some are what are referred to as social drinkers who drink only on special occasions or very rarely.  But others drink a whole lot more.  Of the Americans who say they drink, 52% said they had one-to-seven drinks in the seven days before they were polled.

Then there are the problem drinkers or alcoholics.  

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence defines alcoholism as, "Alcoholism is a primary chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations.  The disease is often progressive and fatal.  It is characterized by impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, mostly denial.  Each of these symptoms may be continuous or periodic."

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, sponsored by the NCADD and designed to increase awareness and understanding aimed at reducing the stigma associated with alcoholism that prevents individuals and families from seeking help.

To address the issue on Monday's Radio Smart Talk will be Deb Beck, President of the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of Pennsylvania (DASPOP). Ms. Beck is also affiliated with a number of drug and alcohol treatment and prevention organizations and Jennifer Storm, who is recovering from alcohol and drug dependency and author of The Blackout Girl and other books.

For more information on Alcohol Abuse and to take a self test regarding your alcohol consumption visit National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD).

For more information on Alcoholics Anonymous click here.

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Deb Beck and Jennifer Storm on Radio Smart Talk


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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-04-29 08:13

    Email from Thomas, Manheim twp.

    i would like to know, if society knows all of the problems stemming from drinking, why is there such an urge to make liquor and wine more available to the public. i would like to see this abused drug controlled more then it is.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-04-29 08:21

    Email from Greg,

    It adds to the confusion for the general public when the disease is described by 2 names Drug Addiction and Alcoholisim. it is one disease the disease of Addiction.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-04-29 08:30

    Email from Alison,

    Thank you to Jennifer for continuing to share her story. Her book Blackout Girl is one that I share often with children and teens with whom I work. Its truth empowers youth (and adults as well) to begin the journey of facing their own addictions, trauma and traumatic memories.

    • Jennifer Storm img 2013-04-29 09:50

      Alison, thank you so much for recommending my books to young people, I hear regularly from people who have been helped them in some way. It's always such a honor when someone reaches out so thank you for doing that! If anyone is interested in a personalized copy of any of my books, go here under books and you can order from me and I can personalize them for you. For the luck 6 winners, your books will be going out in the mail today so THANK YOU for calling in!!!!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-04-29 08:37

    Email from Donna, Elizabethtown,

    Great show this morning! Just got into work so I’ll listen to the rest of the show this evening.

    My questions is this: What is the relationship between alcohol and physical and mental abuse? So often I hear from people—and grew up with my mom saying it—“he only gets that way when he drinks.”It seems that so many of us, although we often go too far, drink to escape the day, let loose a bit, laugh and relax. Why do some have the threshold of getting angry and even violent?

    Also – I always thought alcohol was the same, but why do so many have that “one” kind of drink that does them in. For example, vodka makes me cry; whiskey made my ex-stepdad violent. Wine makes me “huggy” – is this all in our heads?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-04-29 08:39

    Email from Dave

    I would be happy to help Dennis unload his wine collection.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-04-29 08:41

    Email from Sabina

    Good Day: While the focus is the alcoholic the pain and warrior wounded are the loved ones. I tell everyone the “GREATEST GIFT” I ever gave myself was Alanon.

    I learned that no tears, no screaming, no plates flying through the air would MAKE the alcoholic stop.

    The alcoholic had to make that decision. I had to learn what I needed to do to live with, love or leave the alcoholic.

    So please let people know that they need to go for counseling probably more than the alcoholic.

    You can love them but you don’t have to love the disease. Turn the focus from them to you and life slowly will become better.

    Best to you.

  • Robert D Colgan img 2013-04-29 09:06

    It's amazing that the physiological basis, a genetic one, for substance addiction has not been fully scientifically explained.

    Years ago the tetrohydroisoquinoline hypothesis made all the sense in the world-----that substance addicts are not addicted to the intaken substance but to the intermediary catabolic substance of acetaldehyde which is part of the detox pathway for virtually all substances the body needs to excrete (alcohol, cigarette chemicals, drugs, etc)....that the acetaldehyde was formed in higher quantity in those who had the gene, that the excess acetaldehyde passed the bloodbrain barrier and allied with the tetrohydroisoquinoline and either dopamine or serotonin to form a tertiary feelgood neurotransmitter that then lodged in the synaptic cleft.

    Unfortunately the science didn't fully affirm the hypothesis-----but some variation of that hypothesis may well be the truth.
    It is clearly a physiological event all the way, complicated by spiritual and mental trauma.
    You either have that gene, or you don't.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-04-29 09:16

    Email from Robin:

    I'd like to invite the family members who are concerned about a loved one's drinking to visit the Pennsylvania state Al-Anon website at There are meetings throughout the state and it's really helpful for support.

    Also, you did a show with me and Sandy last summer. Can you re-post the link to that show?


    Al-Anon member since 2011

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-04-29 09:16

    Email from James,
    Hi, I want to know what I can do for a family member who lives about 12 hours away. It is hard to support him regularly, and I am getting to the point where I just want to stop talking to him. I don't want to do that, and I don't know if I could anyway.

  • Deb Beck img 2013-05-10 09:49

    Hi James,
    Does he live in Pennsylvania? If so, talk to him and refer him to his local Single County Authority on Drugs and Alcohol (see local directory) and local AA/NA as part of your loving discussions. You'll be assuring he has help locally.
    Need more info? Contact us at