Alcohol is the third leading cause of lifestyle-related deaths in the United States, after tobacco and poor diet. An estimated 88,000 people die every year due to alcohol-related disorders. Alcoholics often face stigma through negative judgment and exclusion. Besides, the negative perception of mental illness contributes to a worsening of the situation. Many people who are struggling with the disease feel the full impact of alcohol-related stigma.
Stigma and Alcohol Addiction
Society tends to have a negative view of people who are dependent on alcohol. For example, many people assume that chronic drinkers cannot change their behavior; they’re self-pitying, dependent on others financially, or are unreliable. Addicts are also associated with unstable emotional reactions like distrust, anger, and fear. Alcohol addicts frequently experience discrimination because of their chronic drinking. They may try to seek genuine help from others, but usually get ignored or humiliated in specific ways. These issues can lead to excessive drinking as one tries to overcome prejudice, thus causing more self-harm.
Fortunately, you can avoid this downward spiral by seeking treatment from mental health professionals. At rehab, you’ll receive a combination of treatments, including:
- Drug and alcohol detox therapy
- Medication therapy management program
- Sober living program
- Outpatient drug rehab
- Intensive outpatient program
- Partial hospitalization program
How Stigma Hinders Addiction Treatment
According to studies, people who are suffering from substance use disorders have a 60% likelihood of failing to seek treatment. This occurs after they realize that they can face stigmatization due to their illness. Embarrassment is one of the main reasons that can stop people from looking for help. Alcohol dependents can have low self-esteem, guilt, and shame. While these problems can motivate one to change, they’re usually overwhelming. This makes an individual sink deeper into addiction. But it’s possible to avoid severe effects by considering proven recovery strategies in a certified rehab center.
The Impact of Alcohol-Related Stigma on Families
The immediate family members of those who engage in harmful drinking habits can also experience stigmatization. Their lives can change in several ways, including:
- Degrading comments from colleagues at work
- Mistrust with money by friends and relatives
- Children can become a target of bullying
- Reduced social interactions
- Poor communication
Family members can suffer like victims by developing feelings of self-blame and guilt. For example, parents may think that their upbringing was irresponsible, causing their child to slip into adverse drinking habits. They may not be free to talk about the drinking habits of their loved ones due to alcohol-related stigma; they may believe that other people won’t understand them.
The Mental Health Consequences
Alcohol addicts can overcome the negative emotions of stigmatization. However, the problem is when they also believe the prejudice and start to develop self-stigma, which plunges them deeper into alcoholism. As such, these addicts may also suffer from increased anxiety and depression.
When the situation is left untreated for long, addicts will withdraw from society and stop pursuing their goals. According to experts, people struggling with substance use disorders fear disapproval or rejection by others.
Overcome Stigma at Northern Illinois Recovery Center
At our rehab center in Northern Illinois, we’ll help you to overcome stigma and addiction through a series of treatment programs. In our drug-free environment, you’ll interact with other people who are going through a similar experience, which is essential in overcoming stigma. At the group meetings, you’ll get motivation by listening to personal stories from others.
Are you addicted to alcohol, but you’re afraid to seek treatment? Don’t allow alcohol-related stigma to ruin your life when treatment is readily available at our rehab facility. Contact us today at 855.786.1978 to schedule an appointment.