I recently stumbled upon a New York Times article by Jim Atkinson which talks about getting and staying sober with a spiritual program. Most importantly though, he says, "While the image of those of us who manage to sober up has improved quite a bit since the temperance movement, we continue to be considered “lesser” for having had the problem in the first place."
And that right there folks, is the bottom line. There are countless members of society who are sober and doing well; I think the image of the skid-row drunk still crosses the mind of anyone who is not familiar with the treatment process or isn't open to the idea of not drinking.
I always find it interesting whenever I'm in a social situation and other people are uncomfortable with me NOT drinking. I was always pretty sure it would be the reverse. However, not everyone has been exposed to a sober alcoholic; there are, however, plenty of people who have been exposed to ACTIVE alcoholism, and the fact that there are sober people present could bring up a lot of emotion around that.
A study done by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in 2004 showed that nearly 17 million Americans fit the criteria for alcohol abuse. That means one out of every eleven people you meet is either struggling, or has struggled, with alcohol. That's a CRAZY amount for there still to be this kind of stigma around alcoholism and sobriety.
Get the word out! Become an advocate for recovery! And make sure to support measures that provide funding for treatment- not everyone can afford Hazelden or Sober Living By The Sea. As members of a sober community, we have a responsibility to get the message out that hope is available. Try to keep that message strong in your every day life.
For something interesting, check this
Here's a New Jersey PSA about recovery from NCADD-NJ.
"Addiction is a treatable, preventable disease, not a moral failing." Well put.
Have a great weekend. Something funny here.
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