Addiction and its Stigma – It’s Not a Weakness
The problem that comes with alcoholism is that by the time a person realizes that they have a problem, their chemistry has changed and it will be unlikely they can stop drinking on their own. They likely know that alcoholism is creating problems for them and want to stop. Still, something causes them to pick up a drink again. Alcoholism left untreated will destroy a person from all angles: emotionally, psychologically, physically and spiritually. It can leave a person feeling utterly bankrupt inside and out. One of the major problems with the disease of alcoholism is that there is a stigma that comes with it. People think that alcoholism is not a disease but instead a weakness in character or lack of control. This stigma prevents people from reaching out for help. The truth of the matter is that it is a disease just like cancer or diabetes. Addiction treatment centers that base their treatment methodologies on a twelve step program have helped many to recover from addiction. The twelve step program is a spiritually based program designed to assist a person in recovering from the disease of addiction. In addition, twelve step programs help recovering addicts to live in recovery from their disease, one day at a time. Addiction treatment will help its clients de-personalize their disease, which ultimately allows them to accept help from others to aid in the recovery process. Recovering from addiction requires an individual to change their lifestyle. Friends, work, family and extracurricular activities may all need to change in order for a person to achieve long-term sobriety. No matter how broken a person may be from alcohol or drug addiction, there is always hope. With the right help recovery is always possible. While some need more help than others it is essential to know that people who were close to death have been able to recover and live a happy life free of chemical dependency. Alcoholism comes with a stigma that it is a weakness in character when in fact it is a disease that needs the professional medical attention of addiction treatment.