The son of former President Gerald Ford, Steve Ford, now sober for 20 years, has made a career out of speaking about his and his family’s struggles with alcoholism, alcohol detox and recovery. Most recently, Mr.Ford spoke at the Horry Georgetown Technical College about his own battle with alcoholism, family life in the White House, and his mother’s substance abuse issues.
Betty Ford, former First Lady, mother of Steve Ford and wife of the late President Gerald Ford, changed the public perception of alcoholism when, in the late 1970s, she spoke out about her own battles with the disease. She founded the nonprofit alcohol detox and rehab, the Betty Ford Center, in Rancho Mirage, California.
The First Intervention
Former President Gerald Ford may have staged the nation’s first intervention when, in the late 1970s, he sat down with his wife and children to talk about his wife’s alcoholism. Steve Ford recollects the day well.
“He took her hand and said, ‘Betty, we love you. The kids want their mother back and I want my wife back,’” the younger Ford has been quoted as saying. It was following this intervention that Mrs. Ford agreed to enter alcohol detox, and embarked upon a 30-year recovery and a life of activism on behalf of other alcoholics.
“Not My Son”
Despite her own struggles with substance abuse, Mrs. Ford struggled with denial when, 10 years after her own stint in alcohol detox, Steve came to her to talk about his alcoholism. Steve recalled, “I went to her and I said, ‘Mom, I think I am an alcoholic.’ And she was just like every other mother in the country. ‘Oh, no. My son, you can’t be an alcoholic.’ She wanted to be in denial.”
A Hidden Life
Steve Ford’s own struggle with alcoholism began early in his acting career, when he began binge drinking while on the road. The struggling young actor lived a double life, drinking heavily while on the road traveling for film and television roles, and hiding his addiction when at home. The never-married Ford eventually broke off his engagement to Laura Carlos in order to enter recovery for alcoholism in the early 1990s.
“I thought I was on top of the world, but inside my life was falling apart.” Ford recalls standing in the shower of a hotel room “trying to wash the shame off of me.”
Ford did not enter the alcohol detox center his mother founded. Instead, he sobered up through Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 step program. Ford attended 90 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in 90 days, he says. Today, Mr. Ford has an impressive acting resume of more than 30 films, including such works as “Black Hawk Down,” “When Harry Met Sally,” and “Armageddon.” Though he travels around the country speaking about his experiences with alcoholism and addiction, he also hopes to continue acting.
You Can Quit Drinking Safely with Alcohol Detox
Despite Mr. Ford’s experiences, quitting drinking on your own, without medical supervision, is not recommended. This is especially true if you are drinking heavily on a daily basis. Alcohol withdrawals can lead to serious medical complications.
These complications can include seizures, delirium tremens and even death. Your chances of experiencing serious complications of alcohol withdrawal increase the longer you have been drinking, and the more heavily and more regularly you drink. Binge drinkers like Mr. Ford, who often don’t drink heavily every day, but instead consume a copious amount of alcohol over a few hours or days and then may consume none at all for several days or weeks, are at the lowest risk for complications of alcohol withdrawal.
When you are physically dependent on alcohol, checking into an alcohol detox is the only way to safely quit drinking. In a detox facility, you can get the prompt emergency medical care you will need if life-threatening complications arise.
If you are struggling with alcoholism, don’t wait. Get help today. Alcoholism is a serious disease with life-threatening consequences.
Call Florida House Detox today at 888-342-1456 to find out more about our alcohol detox programs and what we can do to help you or someone you love break free from the disease of alcoholism. We’re waiting to hear from you.