Stereotypes Aboout Alcohol Abuse Hurt Everyone

April 8, 2008

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Stereotypes about alcoholism do not benefit anyone in society. They only serve to create a stigma against addicts that is usually unfair and can make them reluctant to get the help that they need for recovery.

Misconceptions about alcohol abuse negatively affect the individual’s family members and friends, the professionals who work with them, and even their entire community, as well.Alcoholism is a disease with many social consequences. If people understood more about it and how it progresses, some of these effects could be prevented. Addiction begins with a conscious decision to drink alcohol, but over time the addict loses their ability to make a choice. This can happen before the individual realizes what is going on. Chemical changes occur in the brain that cause addicts to build an increasing tolerance level, experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit, and drink despite the problems it causes in their lives. Alcoholism is a lifelong condition that often causes relapses in the individuals who suffer from it.

One of the most harmful misconceptions about alcohol abuse is that treatment programs are ineffective. This causes some people to avoid getting help even when they realize that they have a problem. It leads to further discouragement and frustration, as the addict resigns to a life of substance abuse. This is unfortunate and unnecessary. Rehab programs can be very effective when the correct one is chosen for person’s needs, and they are able to commit to changing. Successful addiction treatment has many benefits for society as a whole, as well. It can reduce rates of crime and violence and prevent the consequences of alcoholism in the next generation. Educating people about the truth of substance abuse can go a long way toward helping addicts maintain recovery, helping their families and friends, and also aid everyone else in the community.

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