Q&A: Dr. Meunier on Alcoholism

  1. Dying for a Drink, The Hidden Epidemic of Alcoholism deals with the disease of alcoholism.  What is the definition of alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a progressive three-fold disease characterized by a physical addiction (allergy), a mental obsession and a soul sickness.

  1. Why is alcoholism referred to as a disease instead of just an addiction?

The “disease” of alcoholism is no longer thought of as a subjective diagnosis, but as a medical diagnosis of a brain disorder.  Medical research reveals that genetic make-up, hormones, brain chemistry and enzymes play a role in making the alcoholic different from other drinkers.

  1. You said that alcoholism is a progressive disease. Can you explain that further?

Alcoholism progresses in 3 distinct phases. There is the early-adaptive stage, middle stage and the late-deteriorative stage. In the early stage, also known as the honeymoon stage, the alcoholic feels good. Alcohol is working for them. It is helping them to feel better than they do when they are not drinking.  The middle stage the alcoholic needs to drink more and more to achieve that early stage euphoria. This leads to a variety of problems in one’s life and in one’s health. At this stage the alcoholic has to drink to avoid withdrawal symptoms, even though they may not be aware of that fact. Denial is a strong dynamic in alcoholism. By the time the alcoholic reaches the late stage it is obvious to everyone that they have a problem. Alcohol has extensive organ damage, and the overall health of the alcoholic is deteriorating. If left untreated the alcoholic will die.

  1. In your book, Dying for a Drink, The Hidden Epidemic of Alcoholism,

           You refer to alcoholism as an epidemic. What do you mean by that?

There are over 20 million active alcoholics in this United States alone, costing the nation 30 billion dollars a year. Hidden beneath misreported medical statistics it is thought to be the #2 killer in this country second only to cancer. The center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 45% of all teenagers drink, and that 64% admit to binge drinking. In addition, 25% of all children are exposed to family alcohol problems. That is a staggering 27.8 million.

  1. If someone thinks that they may have a problem with alcohol what should they do?
    What are the latest treatment options?

If you think have a problem with alcohol you can talk to your doctor or look in your local phone book for Alcoholics Anonymous. Most cities will have a central office number that can answer questions and direct someone to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous that is close by.  The web has numerous sites that deal with questions about alcoholism, as well as, outpatient and inpatient treatment centers nationwide.

For additional information, to receive a review copy of
Dying for a Drink, The Hidden Epidemic of Alcoholism, or to schedule an interview with Santi Meunier – call 401- 667-7399 or email her at

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Practical Spirituality 
Practical Spirituality teaches us how to develop and nurture a powerful partnership with the human and spiritual aspects of our nature.  By practicing the tools and the principals of Practical Spirituality we discover our unique role in the Divine Plan. 

Dr. Meunier on Practical Spirituality

  1. What is Practical Spirituality and how is it different than other forms of spirituality?

Practical Spirituality is a 3-part system of healing and empowering an individual by employing specific tools to:
Realign the mind, heal the body and contact the spirit.
All spiritual beliefs have common truths, but the main difference is that Practical Spirituality is just that-practical. It is to be used to enhance and enrich our lives, not take us away from them.

  1. What are some of the tools that you teach in this 3-part system?

To realign the mind, we first have to examine its contents. Many of us are ruled by core beliefs formed in out childhood by our experiences. If they are limiting and self-defeating we go through a process of re-programming them. Much like we do with our computers. Save what is functional and helpful and delete the rest. 

  1. Can you tell us more about the seven core principals and how you help an individual to incorporate them into their life?

The Seven Core Principals of Practical Spirituality are:
Trust, Discernment, Intention, Love, Honesty, Commitment and Discipline.
These serve as a foundation. When we look at trust for example, we first evaluate our relationship with ourselves, others, life, money, fear, and a Higher Power. By examining these relationships we uncover our trust issues. Before we can adapt a new perception we have to be willing to release our old ideas. In order for my new glasses to help me see clearly, I have to take off the old ones.   

  1. Is it necessary in the Practical Spirituality program to believe in God?

No, not at all. This is not allied with any religious belief or dogma.  It is, however, important that you believe in something greater than yourself.  It can be a Higher Self, Universal Love, Collective Consciousness, or even the belief that you don’t know what it is, but it is not you. As a person integrates the concepts of Practical Spirituality into their lives they come to believe in their own way, and learn how to align with their own personal rightness.

  1. If someone were interested in learning more about Practical Spirituality what should they do and is this program for everyone?

They can contact me or go to my web site for information on workshops, talks and private consultations. Practical Spirituality is for anyone who wants it. We are all spiritual beings at different stages of evolution, but we have all come into this physical reality with a set of lessons and a purpose. Life is like a long day at school. If we have a desire to learn more about who we are, and why we are here, than Practical Spirituality is the answer.

The Fearless Living Program
Fearless Living is for people who want to live out their dreams, not their fears.

Dr. Meunier on Fearless Living

  1. Fearless living sounds a bit reckless and unrealistic.  Could you explain what you mean by fearless living?

On the contrary, I think it is reckless to live without it.
The Fearless Living Program is a two part process:

  • Part One is designed to identify our relationship with fear and all the ways that if keeps us from realizing our highest good and happiness. We will also learn how to employ specific tools and methods to correct these self-defeating patterns and thought systems.
  • Part Two is the formation and integration of a new way of being in the world, and with yourself
  1. What do you mean by our relationship with fear? Isn’t there such a thing as normal fear and abnormal fear?

A normal fear would be we are a bit nervous about going to the dentist for a tooth extraction.  It is no secret that they can be painful, but we go because it is necessary. We know that the dentist does this everyday, and that he is trained for whatever situation may occur. So even though we are afraid it does not stop us from doing what is best for our health and well being. That is a normal fear.
An abnormal fear is a lot more complex. We are afraid of terrorists for example. This fear is perhaps based on the events of 911, and the subsequent wars. The news coverage has increased this fear to a point of immobility. Let’s just say that we have a very good job, and we are very good at what you do. It requires a lot of plane travel, and in the past that was not a problem. The fear of terrorists is making you unable to board a plane. This is putting your job in jeopardy, but the fear feels too great to overcome. Now our fear has grown to encompass even more fears, and so it goes.

  1. Can you give us some specific tools that help someone who is overcome with fear?  Like the example you just gave us.

Certainly. When fear has reached a point of immobilizing us we feel stuck and procrastinate, which over time just makes everything worse.  The first step is to stop blaming yourself. Anyone can become overwhelmed with fear.  It is what happens next that separates the fearful from the fearless.
In fearless living we recognize that we strengthen what we focus on. Focusing on our fears creates more fear. Because we are all in a constant state of creating both consciously and unconsciously, it is very important to pay attention to what our mind is doing. Mental discipline begins when we realize that we are focusing on our fears, we “Move a muscle change a thought”. Positive self-talk is very important. Listen to what we say to ourselves. Is it helpful or not helpful-positive or negative?

  1. You speak of self-defeating patterns.  Can you give us an example and a method for overcoming it?

I have a simple test for identifying self-defeating patterns. Simply ask your self in any given situation, “Is this helpful or unhelpful to my health and well being?” If the answer is unhelpful,  don’t do it today. If the answer is helpful, and honesty is very important here, do it today. Then witness the result and evaluate if it is worth doing again. Identifying and taking “right” action is the beginning to freeing ourselves from fear. We act our way into fearless living.

  1. If someone is interested in overcoming their fears how can they contact you?

They can contact me or go to my web site for information on workshops, talks and private consultations. Fearless Living is for anyone who wants it. We are all afraid and as long as we are here we will have to deal with fear. Better to deal with fear, than have fear deal with us. It is possible for all of us to fear less and enjoy life more.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Santi Meunier call 401-667-7399 or email her at Santi@SantiMeunier.com

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Dr. Santi Meunier - Dying for a Drink


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