Societal views on alcoholism are shaped by not only the emotional nature and stress of everyday life, but also through movies and songs that depict drinking as a fun activity. Unfortunately, perspectives towards alcoholism are like a double-edged sword; it’s fun if you don’t develop alcoholism – once you do, you may be shamed or looked down upon. The Social Issues Research Centre found that various cultures hold different beliefs about alcohol, but in the United States, alcohol is used in social activities but is mostly associated with violence and anti-social behavior. How do these views impact those with alcoholism?
To begin, alcohol is often only associated with negative outcomes such as spousal abuse, disease, accidents, disorders, violence and more when it is consumed excessively. Although many in the United States use alcohol to relax, it can easily get out of control when too much is consumed, as a person loses their ability for effective decision making and increases their risk for impulsivity. Unfortunately, those with alcoholism are often shunned as stigmas surrounding alcoholism perpetuate negative reactions and cause many to continue spiraling down from lack of support.
There are many myths and stereotypes which are damaging to those needing help to overcome alcoholism. A common myth is that those with alcoholism are immoral and weak. The view is that those individuals were not able to control themselves, and that they could stop at any time, but choose not to. This belief is false and hurtful, as many wish to simply “quit” but cannot do this so easily because their brain has been “rewired or “altered” to crave the substance. Many people with alcoholism need people to love and support them as they find their way back to recovery.
Blaming, shaming, and saying hurtful things to someone while they are using will only cause them to want to further “punish” themselves by drinking more. We must, as a society, change our perspectives on those with alcoholism and provide more love and support to those who need it in our communities. By coming together, we may be able to help one another reverse the damage that alcohol can cause and make a stronger effort towards preventing alcoholism within our families, friends, and country overall.
New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment centers. If you are seeking help, call us today at 888-316-3665 for a consultation. Don’t wait any longer to seek treatment. There are people who care about you and want to see you succeed. You are not alone.