It seems like everyone has an opinion about alcoholics and addicts these days. 40 years ago, and maybe even more recently, the disease of addiction was something that was kept quiet and shrouded in shame. Meetings were usually only held in the basements of churches. However, the last few decades, and with the recent explosion of deadly drugs, has brought addiction and alcoholism to the forefront of many conversations, both at home and in the White House. Because of this new change, this alcoholic would like to set the record straight on a couple of myths and facts about alcoholism.
One of the most common misconceptions of alcoholics is that a person has to be homeless, ragged, and drinking from a paper bag. However, if there is one thing that I have learned from being in Alcoholics Anonymous, it is that we come from all walks of life, and alcoholism does not discriminate. Many people who are unfamiliar with what alcoholism is and looks like, only have the idea that is given to them by the media, so today, we are going to “debunk” some of the myths about alcoholism.
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Myths About Alcoholism – To be an Alcoholic, You Always Have to be Drunk
Fact: There are actually two defining factors of alcoholism, besides always being drunk
- There are so many myths and facts about alcoholism it ishard to know what is myth and fact. Now don’t get me wrong, there are alcoholics who are more or less always drunk, and usually, this is where every drinker ends up. However, according to the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, there are actually two stipulations to truly consider yourself an alcoholic.
- First: That despite an overwhelming desire to the opposite, the person cannot NOT drink (they do it even when they know they shouldn’t/can’t)
- Second: Once this person starts drinking at all, they lose control over how much they consume.
- In other words, if the drinking has begun to severely affect the life of said person, more than likely, they have an issue. Keep in mind though, that everyone is different and some people can hit violent, external bottoms, and other can hit quiet, mental and emotional bottoms.
Myths About Alcoholism – Other People Will be Enough to Get an Alcoholic to Stop
Fact: No one will determine when the alcoholic will stop drinking besides the alcoholic
- This is probably one of the most frustrating aspects of loving an alcoholic. Despite every advantage, or acts of compassion, or fights, or even threats, no one besides the alcoholic is ever going to control when the alcoholic decides to be “done.” I realize that leaves a pretty bad taste in the mouth of many loved ones and family members who try to force or love their alcoholic into sobriety. But the fact of the matter is this,
No real alcoholic will ever stop drinking until they have hit their own personal bottom. This is another one of the myths and facts of alcoholism that makes getting someone help seem hopeless sometimes
- It is going to be hard to watch your loved one put himself through hellish torture when it would seem that it would be so easy to just stop drinking. However, once the alcohol takes over, it separates the person from reality, and there isn’t much that can be done for them, truly, until the person decides for himself.
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Myths About Alcoholism – Alcoholism is an Incurable Disease
Fact: Alcoholism is an allergy and an obsession
- While research on the subject was still relatively non-existent when the Big Book was written, the founders of AA, along with a doctor who had seen thousands of alcoholics during his career, alcoholism was concluded to be not so much a disease, but more of an allergy of the body, and obsession of the mind.
- The definition of disease is “a particular quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people.” While drinking could definitely be defined as a particular habit that adversely affects a person, we feel it is much more than just a habit. For those of us who struggle with alcoholism and addiction, we understand that it is much deeper than a habit.
- The definition for Allergy is “the bodies abnormal reaction to an external substance.” This is exactly what happens to us when we put any form of alcohol into our bodies, we react unlike anyone else. Apart from people who can consume alcohol normally, we turn into Mr. Hyde. When we are not engaging our allergy by consumption, our obsession of the mind is constantly making us want to.
Myths About Alcoholism – Alcoholics are Hopeless
Fact: There is a solution, and we can recover
While from the outside, and for those who watch us slowly kill ourselves, it may seem like there is no hope for us when we are in the thralls of our alcoholism, it is quite the contrary. There has been extensive progress made in the treatment and rehabilitation of alcoholics and addicts who were once deemed hopeless. This period of treatment, when combined with a spiritual program of recovery, have been the only method proven to not only stop the drinking but to completely transform them into different people.
The only thing separating an alcoholic from sobriety and continued relapse is the lack of a solution and the program of action towards that solution. For us, the solution, or the only one we have found effective, is a complete psychic change. In order to achieve this psychic change, 12 steps must be taken. For those people who truly and willingly work their steps with a desire to stay sober, the psychic change occurs. We are not hopeless, we just have to try something we never thought we would.
Whatever way you slice it, the only way to find out more about alcoholism, if you’re an alcoholic and want to stop, is to just stop, find the rooms of AA, and give it a shot. What have you got to loose? If you have a loved one that you fear is an alcoholic, there is a sister fellowship of AA called Al-anon and is designed specifically for the loved ones and family members of alcoholics. Don’t base your decision to not get help off of these myths and facts about alcoholism, it is a grave mistake too many make. We are here to help!
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If you have found yourself or a loved one suffering from alcoholism or addiction, you are not alone! If you are ready to change your life and live free of addiction, then FindAddictionRehabs.com can help. We give you the jump start to recovery you need. Our holistic program is unique in that it doesn’t just treat the addiction, it treats the whole person. For more information on our program, call 1-877-959-7271 today.