Hello my name is Kevin

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The average American tries alcohol for the first time as a teenager. Kevin McCracken was no exception to this, trying alcohol for the first time at 15 or 16. Kevin says that his drinking was casual at first, and his alcohol use didn’t pose any problems to his personal life. Within a couple years, his drinking picked up. While those around him would enjoy a couple beers, he would drink until he blacked out. Kevin says he has a vague memory of being a young man on a date, and his date tell ing him “that she had never seen someone drink like you do.”

Hello, my name is Kevin...

As Kevin grew older, he continued to drink regularly, but learned to drink just enough that he could still function. He considers himself to be a functional alcoholic. He was able to have a career and a family, all the while drinking heavily throughout the week. He figured that drinking wine made him look more sophisticated and labeled himself a “wine-o.” Kevin says that he was so dependent on alcohol that he would drink small bottles of wine in his car while driving. Once, he was pulled over and his car was filled with little wine bottles. Kevin was terrified of getting arrested, but the officer didn’t notice and Kevin got away with it.

How one local with alcoholism turned his life around

Kevin was so addicted to alcohol that even when he tried to regulate his drinking he would still drink heavily. Kevin was elected to a 3-year term on the Vestry to help run his church. The vestry met once per month, and Kevin, wanting to look sober, tried to limit himself to six drinks before the monthly meetings. “I thought I could function and seem normal on six drinks, but of course people could still tell I was drunk,” Kevin said.

As time went on, all the drinking began to take a toll on Kevin. In the mid 2000’s he found himself shaking when he stopped drinking, a sign of severe alcohol addiction. The situation became so bad that his wife, DeeDee, would sleep in another bed. Doctors told Kevin he had to stop drinking or die. Kevin did not stop until he had to… when he hit rock bottom.

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In 2007, Kevin’s life came crashing down. He had been working for a national food company and was called to a meeting in New Jersey. They told Kevin he was being demoted, and he knew that it was because his drinking had affected his work. They wanted him to go to a meeting in Indiana before he was demoted, but Kevin said he couldn’t. Instead he bought four bottles of alco hol for the drive home to Maryland.

Kevin doesn’t remember what happened next. At the time, his son and grandchildren were living with them. He arrived back at his house, stumbled inside and got into an altercation with his son before passing out. He awoke the next morning, hung over, and found his wife, DeeDee, sitting at their kitchen table. She asked him if he knew what he did last night, and he broke down. “Forty years of alcoholism suddenly came crashing down, and I ended up on the floor… they call it a moment of clarity. For the first time in decades, instead of wanting to drink I wanted to live.”

Kevin says at that moment, he was willing to do what ever DeeDee thought he needed to do to get better. She said he needed to go to rehab. DeeDee took Kevin to the emergency room where he was given medication to detox. “I don’t remember a lot from detoxing,” Kevin told me. “I slept for two days straight, I sweated, and I had hal lucinations.”

After a few days in the hospital, Kevin checked him self into a rehab facility for 28 days. Kevin didn’t know if his life would be the same after he got out of rehab. “I didn’t know if I would still have a job, if my wife would stay with me, or if my son would ever speak to me again. I immersed myself in the 12-step program and focused on recovery.” At rehab Kevin learned that alcoholism was a disease without a cure, and that in order to go into remis sion he needed to stop drinking.

While in rehab, Kevin received a letter from his son. “He told me how ashamed he was because he knew I was sick, but didn’t know how sick I was. He told me he was glad I was finally getting help, and he told me that he loved me. I broke down and cried, and I still have the letter 15 years later. The love my son showed me gave me the strength I needed.”

At the end of 28 days in rehab, everyone in the pro

gram and their families gathered together for a group meeting.

There, the families had the opportu nity to speak to the group. “DeeDee got up and she couldn’t even look at me,” Kevin explained to me. “She pointed in my direction and said ‘You see that guy there? That’s my hus band and I’m giving him one more chance, but if he ever drinks again I’ll divorce him.’ I remember thinking ‘Wow... am I so lucky to have another chance?’”

After leaving rehab, Kevin threw himself into the recov ery community. He attended 145 12-step meetings in just the first 90 days after he got out of rehab. “I knew that the 12-step programs were the best way to stop drinking, and more than anything I wanted to never have another drink again,” Kevin told me.

Kevin is now 15 years sober and has no intention of going back. “I want to be sober more than I want to be alive. I’d rather die than start drinking,” Kevin told me. Kevin says that occasionally, at a nice restaurant, he’ll think about how nice it would be to have a glass of wine, but then he remembers just how much harm just one drink can do. “There’s a great AA saying… ’one drink is too many and a million is never enough.’ That one drink will turn into two, three, four, five, six and seven or a million.”

Kevin considers himself very lucky to not have any alcohol-related health problems from his years of drinking. When he initially went to the ER, his liver function was low, but not so low that it couldn’t resume normal function. Kevin’s brother-in-law also abused alcohol throughout his life. After years of abuse, he decided to get sober and moved in with Kevin and DeeDee for support. He success fully quit, but it was too late and he passed away from alcohol- related complications.

If you’re struggling with alcoholism, Kevin says the most important thing is to seek help. “Alcoholism leads to three things: jails, institutions and death; and it is a hell. You can’t just stop; your body screams for alcohol. You need to reach out to someone for help. Talk to someone.”

Kevin recommends that someone in crisis should call 211, the Essential Community Services number, who can direct

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“Alcoholism leads to three things: jails, institutions and death... there are people who want to help, you just have to reach out.”
“I knew I was different from an early age.”
Mom & Pop Marriage
I had great parents and awonderful childhood.Who wouldhave known?

those in need to recovery centers and AA. “Don’t try and go through this alone… there are people who want to help, you just have to reach out.”

The rehab program stated that the best way to get and stay sober is to get involved with a 12-step program with groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Chemical Dependency Anonymous. Kevin agrees and states “without the fellowship of AA I would be drunk or dead; it saved my life. Being involved with al coholics and addicts is an important part of my recovery. I hope I never stop being involved and die sober.”

Step nine states “make amends whenever possible,” and that step has been important to Kevin’s recov ery. “Words are meaningless. Anyone can say they’ll be better; that they’ll stop drink ing. But you have to make living amends by living right and doing right by those you’ve wronged,’ Kevin explained to me. “I’ve made amends with my ex wife, my wife, and my kids. Even though I wish I had done things right in the first place, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have made amends.”

Near the end of our interview, I asked Kevin just what made him feel comfortable sharing such an intimate story with the public. He paused and told me, “One of the things that haunts me is that my children will never know what it’s like to have a sober father. One of my daughters said you weren’t such a bad alcoholic; you provided; you took us to our sporting events; but, you were never there for us emotionally and that does hurt. If I carry the mes sage out to the public and help give one child a sober parent, I have done a service to this world.”

In her words...

DeeDee shares why she decided to give Kevin another chance?

It was not my intention to give Kevin another chance in our marriage. I had experience with alcoholics all my life and had seen and experienced the damage it does to families and individuals. It takes a long time and a lot of work to repair what alcohol does to everyone affected, especially all the silent victims.

The rehab Kevin went to had a family weekend with social workers talking to everyone affected by the addict. It was there, during the weekend, that I got educated about this sickness. A social worker sat us down and said, “What is the plan if he relapses?”

After coming up with this plan, for the first time, Kevin under stood there were no second chances. He agreed to the plan, which included being driven back to rehab and when he left rehab, no marriage just divorce. I had permission to call the police and have him picked up for DUI. If he put anyone in an unsafe position, for the first time, I had control, say and power in this matter. There were no more excuses. I didn’t have to worry about hurting other innocent people.

For the first time, I had permission, a say in the matter, con trol and power and a plan in place that would end the night mare if he continued. This is what allowed me to try.

There still has been a lot of work though in the past fifteen years, but it has made both of us and our mar riage stronger.

Families have to get over the silence of ad diction, get help, get educated, get a plan to help yourself and the ad dicted person or a plan that stops the addicted person from hurting you, your family or others. You cannot do it alone.

Area addiction resources on

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“The love my son showed me gave me the strength Ineeded.”
DeeDee & KevinMARRIAGE RESTOREDDeeDee and I now have astrong and beautiful marriage.Miracles do happen.
“For the
time in decades,
of wanting to drink
next page. Enjoying Ocean City... and life. 5 Generations

Before It’s Too Late Prevention, Treatment, Recovery beforeitstoolate.maryland.gov

Maryland’s coordinated & comprehensive strategy to combat the opioid and substance use crisis and to mobilize resources for effective prevention, enforcement & treatment.

I Wish I Knew MidShore www.iwishiknewmidshore.org www.facebook.com/IWishIKnewMidShore

The Opioid Misuse Prevention Program from health departments in all five Mid-Shore coun ties. Program is supported by SAMHSA and the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration.

Maryland Department of Health Behavioral Health Administration www.health.maryland.gov/bha/Pages/988md.aspx

If you or a loved one is struggling with thoughts of suicide, anxiety, depression or problems with drugs or alcohol, reach out to the 988 Lifeline. You can call, text or chat with a caring call specialist who can assist in directing you to information and resources in your area. Need to talk? Call or text 988: •Thoughts of suicide •Depression or anxiety •Problems with drugs and alcohol Or chat online: www.988Lifeline.org

Narcotics Anonymous Freestate Region

Regional Service Center: 217 N. Warwick Ave, Baltimore, MD www.freestatena.org; 24 Hour Helpline: 1-800-317-3222

Project Chesapeake

202 Coursevall Drive, Suite 104, Centreville www.projectchesapeake.com/find-a-location/centreville 443-262-0425, pccentreville@projectchesapeake.com

Alcohol and drug rehabilitation facility providing substance use treatment and education, fam ily counseling and employment counseling and training, and other services.

Queen Anne’s County Department of Health

205 North Liberty St, Centreville; 410-758-1306 www.health.maryland.gov/qahealth/Pages/qacdoh-home.aspx Services: screenings, Medication Assisted Referrals, Recovery Housing Referrals, Care Coordination, Narcan Training, Outreach.


Eastern Shore Crisis Hotline: 888-407-8018; www.thesantegroup.org

Work in partnership with public health departments, mental health agencies, law enforcement & others to promote a wide array of tailored treatment options to help people who experience emotional health challenges receive the support services they need to heal and recover.


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov; 1-800-662-4357

A confidential & anonymous source of info for persons seeking treatment facilities in the United States or U.S. Territories for substance use/addiction and/or mental health problems.


For more details visit: https://test-health.maryland.gov/qahealth/substance-abuse/Pages/ Good-Samaritan-Law.aspx

Maryland’s Good Samaritan Law protects people assisting in an emergency overdose situa tion from arrest, as well as prosecution, for certain crimes.

The purpose of the law is to encourage any person, regardless of age, who experiences or observes a medical emergency caused by the ingestion or use of alcohol or other drugs to seek medical assistance without fear of arrest or prosecution for:

•Possessing or using a controlled dangerous substance

•Possessing or using drug paraphernalia

•Providing alcohol to minors


QAC Department of Health www.qac.org/325/Emergency-Services; 410-758-0720

QAC Health Dept, 206 N. Commerce St, Centreville

QAC Department of Emergency Services www.qac.org/325/Emergency-Services; 410-758-4500

Queen Anne’s County Drug Task Force 410-758-TIPS (8477)

Office of the Sheriff for Queen Anne’s County www.queenannessheriff.org, www.facebook.com/QACSO/ 505 Railroad Ave, Centreville; 410-758-0770, sheriff-info@qac.org

Maryland State Police, Barrack ‘S’ Centreville mdsp.maryland.gov/Organization/Pages/FieldOperationsBureau/BarrackSCentreville.aspx 311 Safety Dr, Centreville; 410-758-1101, msp.centreville@maryland.gov

Centreville Police Department www.centrevillepolice.org; 410-758-0080; 420 N. Commerce St, Centreville

Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney’s Office www.qacstatesattorney.com; 410-758-2264; 107 N. Liberty St, Lower Level, Centreville


Office of the Sheriff for Queen Anne’s County 505 Railroad Ave, Centreville; 410-758-0770

Maryland State Police Barrack 311 Safety Drive, Centreville; 410-758-1101


Prevention… Wellness… Recovery www/test-health.maryland.gov/qahealth/substance-abuse/Pages/Substance_Abuse.aspx

Following is from the QAC Department of Health Web Site: Alcoholism and drug addiction are chronic, progressive, potentially fatal diseases. A personal commitment with the support of community resources helps individuals and their families in this lifelong recovery process. The following services are available:

Peer Support Services: Individual & Group Peer Counseling; Discharge Planning; Care Coordination; Community Outreach; Narcan Training Clinical Services: Adult Screenings for Treatment; Referrals to Appropriate Levels of Care; Medication Assisted Treatment Program; Fentanyl Test Strips Prevention Services •Community Education and Outreach

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Maryland Midshore Intergroup

114 N. Washington St, Suite 8, PO Box 643, Easton https://www.midshoreintergroup.org/meetings info@midshoreintergroup.org or 410-822-4226

The primary purpose of the Maryland Mid-Shore Intergroup (MSIG)

Sunday Meetings https://www.midshoreintergroup.org/copy-of-sunday-1

•ON THE BEAM. 10am. Alano Club, 103 Dixon Dr, Chestertown.

•ON GOD’S TURF. 5pm. Alano Club, 103 Dixon Dr, Chestertown.

•CHESTERTOWN ALL AGES-Open Discussion. 7pm. Church of the Nazarene, 6943 Church Hill Rd, Chestertown.

•JUST FOR TODAY-Daily Reflection Discussion. 7:30pm. Island Alliance Church, Stevens ville.

Monday Meetings https://www.midshoreintergroup.org/copy-of-monday

•EARLY RISERS GROUP 7am. Alano Club, 103 Dixon Dr, Chestertown.

•BROWN BAG-Open Discussion. 12N. Alano Club, 103 Dixon Dr, Chestertown.

•MONDAY NIGHT STEPS 8pm. KI United Methodist Church, 2739 Cox Neck Rd, Chester.

•MONDAY NIGHT LIVE 8pm. Presbyterian Church, 905 Gateway Dr, Chestertown.

Tuesday Meetings https://www.midshoreintergroup.org/copy-of-tuesday

•EARLY RISERS GROUP 7am. Alano Club, 103 Dixon Dr, Chestertown.

•THE BREAKFAST CLUB 7:30am. (temp. loc.) Cracker Barrel, Stevensville.

•BROWN BAG-Open Discussion. 12N. Alano Club, 103 Dixon Dr, Chestertown.

•BIG BOOK GROUP 12N. KI United Methodist Church, 2739 Cox Neck Rd, Chester.

•TUESDAY NIGHT BEGINNERS 7:30pm. St. Luke’s, 7208 Main St, Queenstown.

•BIG BOOK MEETING-Men’s/Women’s Group. 7:30pm. 103 Dixon Dr, Chestertown.

Wednesday Meetings https://www.midshoreintergroup.org/copy-of-wednesday

•EARLY RISERS GROUP 7am. Alano Club, 103 Dixon Dr, Chestertown.

•BROWN BAG-Open Discussion. 12N. Alano Club, 103 Dixon Dr, Chestertown.

•STEP SISTERS-Open Women’s Group. 7:30pm. Trinity Lutheran Church, 101 Greenwood Ave, Chestertown.

•TOPIC MEETING 7:30pm. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 301 S. Liberty St, Centreville.

•WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIG BOOK 7:30pm. Christ Episcopal Church, Stevensville.

Thursday Meetings https://www.midshoreintergroup.org/copy-of-thursday

•EARLY RISERS GROUP 7am. Alano Club, 103 Dixon Dr, Chestertown.

•K I LUNCH GROUP 12N. KI United Methodist Church, 2739 Cox Neck Rd, Chester.

•BROWN BAG-Open Discussion. 12N. Alano Club, 103 Dixon Dr, Chestertown.

•GRATEFUL ALIVE GROUP (closed meeting for AA members only). 8pm. Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 101 N. Cross St, Chestertown.

•THURSDAY NIGHT GROUP 8pm. Church Hill Methodist Church, 508 Main St.

•VARIETY IN SOBRIETY 8pm. Queenstown Methodist Church, 7113 Maryland Ave.

•KI GROUP (closed meeting for AA members only). 8pm. Living Water Lutheran Church, 121 E. Main St, Stevensville.

•LITTLE ACORN GROUP 8pm. Episcopal Church, 14114 Old We Mills Rd, Wye Mills.

Friday Meetings https://www.midshoreintergroup.org/copy-of-friday

•EARLY RISERS GROUP 7am. Alano Club, 103 Dixon Dr, Chestertown.

•BROWN BAG-Open Discussion. 12N. Alano Club, 103 Dixon Dr, Chestertown.

•FOCUS ON RECOVERY (closed meeting for AA members only). 7:30pm. Sacred Heart Church, 508 High St, Chestertown

•AS BILL SEES IT 7:30pm. KI Christ Church Parish, 830 Romancoke Rd, Stevensville.

Saturday Meetings https://www.midshoreintergroup.org/copy-of-saturday

•NO EXCUSES (closed meeting for AA members only). 7:30am. Alano Club, 103 Dixon Dr, Chestertown.

•EYE OPENER 8:30am. Calvary Methodist Church, 113 Maryland Ave, Queenstown.

•NEXT RIGHT THING GROUP 2pm. KI Christ Church Parish, Romancoke Rd, Stevensville.

•EARLY DOSE OF SOBRIETY-Group Grapevine Discussion. 6:30pm. Alano Club, 103 Dixon Dr, Chestertown.

•SATURDAY NIGHT TOPIC GROUP 7:30pm. Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church, 931 Love Point Rd, Stevensville.

Tuesdays (thru 12/15) BEREAVED PARENTS-join anytime. 6pm. KI United Methodist Church. Info or to register: 410-490-3484, 410-925-7227, griefshare@kiumc.org. kiumc.org.

Wednesdays CELEBRATE RECOVERY 7pm. Church Sanctuary, KI United Methodist Church. Info: celebraterecovery@kiumc.org. www.kiumc.org.

Thursdays (thru 12/15) ALL BEREAVED-join anytime. 6pm. KI United Methodist Church. Info or to register: 410-490-3484, 410-925-7227, griefshare@kiumc.org. www.kiumc.org.


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is to provide assistance & resources to alcoholics. The meetings listed below are in person or online. Other meetings are scheduled as online meetings only. To view all meetings, click on the MSIG web link.
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