Addiction can happen to anyone, including good people. Unfortunately, many people who do not struggle with alcoholism do not understand the condition, so they blame the drinker rather than the disease. For instance, when left untreated, alcoholism worsens behavior, but other people see this behavior and assume it reflects on the addicts. These misconceptions contribute to stigmas about alcoholics, which can discourage good people from seeking the help they need to get sober. However, if people do come forward, they can reclaim control of themselves and stay sober for the long haul.
Stigmas about Alcoholism
The following information shows the false stigmas about alcoholism and their truthful corollaries:
- Stigma: Alcoholics lack willpower and self-control
- Fact: Alcoholism is a profound neurobiological disease that can affect anyone
- Stigma: The only thing alcoholics need to change is their priorities
- Fact: Addiction physically alters brain chemistry and requires professional treatment to correct
- Stigma: Alcoholism primary affects people who lack moral character
- Fact: Genetic heritage strongly influences who develops alcoholism
- Stigma: Alcoholics lack compassion for whom they hurt
- Fact: Hurting loved ones intensifies the downward spiral into alcohol abuse
- Stigma: Only bad people become alcoholics
- Fact: Diseases do not discriminate between good and bad people
The worst part about these stigmas is that many people still believe them. However, these stigmas are rooted in ignorance and create dangerous social barriers for those who need help. In spite these stigmas, many people are stepping up and addressing alcoholism rather than ignoring it.
Dangers of Alcoholism
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website estimates that excessive alcohol use contributes to 79,000 deaths annually in the US, which results in approximately 2.3 million lost years compared to average life expectancies. In addition to potential fatalities, alcoholism also presents the following risks:
- Serious damage to the liver, pancreas and other vital organs
- Unintentional accidents like falls, burns, cuts and crashes
- Potentially fatal health risks to babies of pregnant alcoholics
- Accelerated mood shifts and mental health issues
Relationships also suffer under addictive behaviors, which can include physical and emotional abuse. Many alcoholics who battle the addiction alone tend to focus more on the behaviors than the disease, which usually results in relapse. The most effective way to treat alcoholism is with professional help.
Alcoholism Treatment Centers
Rehab helps alcoholics through detox with medical supervision, a comfortable environment and possibly pharmaceutical assistance. This helps the body flush out the toxins of alcohol so that treatment can then address the behavioral aspects of alcoholism through the following services:
- Integrated care for concurrent mental health issues
- Counseling to address trauma and unconscious conflicts
- Strategies to combat alcohol cravings
- Behavioral therapies to improve how the brain works
- Family counseling and training that prepares loved ones to assist recovery
- Holistic options to reduce withdrawal symptoms and stress
- Educational therapies about addiction, stigmas and relapse prevention
- Help restoring relationships that alcoholism damaged
- Group therapy to share experiences, frustrations and struggles
Treatment centers are full of good people who are predisposed to addiction. These patients tend to provide added support, and they can always use yours.
Help for Alcoholism
Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day at our toll-free helpline. They can discuss treatment options, rehab facilities and specialty services, and if you have health insurance, they can check your policy for benefits. Reach out for help rather than believing you are too good to be addicted.