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Trace Adkins enters alcohol rehab and understanding his disease

Trace Adkins, the 52 year old beloved Country music singer and icon has always been candid about battling with alcohol in the past. Trace had been sober for 12 years, but during his headliner journey on the Country Cruising entertainment cruise, he apparently let his guard down on Wednesday, January 15, 2014.

Trace Adkins checked into rehab for alcohol addiction after leaving the on the Norweigen Pearl Country Cruise midway in Jamacia.
Trace Adkins checked into rehab for alcohol addiction after leaving the on the Norweigen Pearl Country Cruise midway in Jamacia.
Wikimedia Commons
Trace Adkins performing at the American Country Awards 2013
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Adkins was in the ship’s bar during the trip to Jamaica when something happened that touched off a fight between him and a Trace Adkins impersonator who was singing karaoke. The site reports that a drunken physical altercation followed, and that Adkins departed for rehab after the ship docked in Jamaica.

Adkins was the top-billed act on the the Norwegian Cruise Line country-music seven-night cruise, "Best Country Cruise Ever" with Trace Adkins,, which also features Montgomery Gentry, Wynonna Judd, Craig Morgan and The Norwegian Cruise Line country-music seven-night cruise "Best Country Cruise Ever" with Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry, Wynonna, Neal McCoy, Lonestar and more than a dozen other artists, began in Miami on the Norwegian Pearl and call at Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico.

The lineup also included Love and Theft, Craig Morgan, Steel Magnolia, Brett Eldredge, Maggie Rose, Chris Cavanaugh, McKenna Faith, Bryan Edwards and more.. The cruise began in Miami on the Norwegian Pearl and call at Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico on Jan. 12 and was slated to run until Jan. 19, but Adkins has decided to depart the run early. He is now in an alcohol rehab treatment center.

Sadly, Trace’s performances on the ship have since been canceled. The charity-minded singer is a vocal supporter of the American Red Cross, and recently completed a holiday tour in support of his latest album, the Celtic-flavored The King’s Gift.

The towering baritone country singer, famous for such No. 1 hits as “You’re Gonna Miss This” and “Ladies Love Country Boys,” is a Grand Ole Opry member, actor in films like 2011’s The Lincoln Lawyer with Matthew McConaughey, and winner of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice was taking part in the Country Cruising cruise when he slipped off the wagon. Prior to the setback, Trace, who has always been candid about his battle, was 12 years sober.

In fact, in March, 2003, after a 28 day stay in rehab around Christmas of 2002, Trace recorded and released a song, written by Jim Collins and Sunny Russ, called "Then They Do" to inspire alcoholic fathers to get help and spend more time sober with their kids. It was the first and only single from his album Greatest Hits Collection, Vol. 1 Trace, a father-of-four, blames his 25-year battle with alcoholism for two failed marriages, jail time for drink driving, countless car accidents and a fight with his ex that almost cost him his life.

Trace said in widely published interviews, "The elevator to hell stops on every floor, and I just took a good look at myself and said, 'Look what you've come to - you have to be institutionalized." The country superstar admits one alcohol-related accident led to him being trapped upside down in his pick-up truck. He once grew so intolerable, his ex shot him.

He recalled, "The bullet went through both my lungs and straight through the middle of my heart. I believe it was an accident and I've always just left it at that. Either that, or it was a pretty good shot." He claims his third wife's insistence that he seek help was the best things she could do - because now he recognized his problems and doesn't reach for the bottle.

He adds, "Things that happened in my daily life that would have made me go, 'F**k that, I'll go and get drunk,' now make me smile." That was in April of 2003.

And, those of us who grew up in alcoholic families or are alcoholics, those words are so deeply heartfelt and determined at that time. However, understanding alcoholism, we know that certain situations, stress, surroundings, groups who are drinking around you can easily push that button in an instant. The American Medical Association supports a dual classification of alcoholism to include both physical and mental components. The biological mechanisms that cause alcoholism are not well understood. Social environment, stress, mental health, family history, age, ethnic group, and gender all influence the risk for the condition.

Alcoholism is a broad term for problems with alcohol, and is generally used to mean compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinker's health, personal relationships, and social standing. It is medically considered a disease, specifically an addictive illness. In psychiatry several other terms are used, specifically "alcohol abuse" and "alcohol dependence," which have slightly different definitions.

A complex mixture of genetic and environmental factors influences the risk of the development of alcoholism. Genes that influence the metabolism of alcohol also influence the risk of alcoholism, and may be indicated by a family history of alcoholism. One paper has found that alcohol use at an early age may influence the expression of genes which increase the risk of alcohol dependence.

The World Health Organization estimates that there are 140 million people with alcoholism worldwide.

A spokesperson for Trace confirmed the Louisiana native’s exit from the cruise and provided this statement: “Trace has entered a treatment facility after a setback in his battle with alcoholism. As he faces these issues head-on, we ask that his family’s privacy will be respected.”

Our prayers go out to our much loved Country Music icon, philanthropist, father, Trace Adkins and his family who will not be pushed down. Because, loved ones and we, his fans, will support him for all the priceless gifts of song he gives us and will always will. And we will always be proud of his ability to bounce back and hopefully, spread more awareness of alcoholism as well as his music. God Bless you, Trace.

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