The Irrational Fear of Not Drinking
An Alcohol Addiction Treatment Program
Alcohol addiction can be more than just a physical struggle against the urge to drink or take drugs. There is a stigma associated with alcohol addiction that leads addicts to think the process of asking for and receiving help with their recovery somehow makes them weak.
An under considered stigma that exists with alcohol addiction is that addicts don’t want to admit they have a problem because of the way they think they’ll be judged if they get help, simply because they’ll never be able to drink again.
At Lumiere Healing Centers, a full continuum alcohol treatment center in Ohio, we get prospective clients reporting these fears often when they call us for information about our facility and our treatment programs. These are addicts who usually have frequent social interactions with heavy drinkers and worry it after treatment, they won’t be accepted back into the same circles. To them, this feels like a huge hurdle barring their entrance to a beneficial treatment program. To us, this is one of the easiest hurdles to overcome. Here is why no one should fear never having a drink again.
Alcohol Addiction is a Disease
First thing’s first. If you’re seeking treatment for alcohol addiction, you have a disease. Your brain’s chemical makeup makes impossible for you to drink a reasonable amount, and that’s okay, because there’s no possible way for you to control it. It isn’t your fault.
Not drinking ever again shouldn’t be looked on as a curse, and thinking of it this way is the reason many alcoholics exist in vicious cycle of recovery and relapse; they teach themselves that craving alcohol is natural.
Historically, for reasons unknown, when someone exhibits alcoholic tendencies, society doesn’t see it the same way as, say, asthma or heart disease. These are documented medical conditions that often involve changing dietary and lifestyle habits for the rest of your life. Due to efforts from the health and wellness community, however, alcoholism is beginning to be treated with the same thought process as these other conditions. The only difference is that the lifestyle change in question comes in the form of lifelong abstinence from alcohol.
You Can Be Sober and Social
The truth is, if you give up drinking, you aren’t alone, although you might feel that way. As a society, we put pressure on pairing social activities with alcohol, but as shown by a Washington Post survey, this is not necessarily how people act.
30 percent of American adults don’t drink at all, and another 30 percent reported that they drink fewer than 1 alcohol beverage per week. The fact is that if respondents reported that they had even 2 drinks a night, they were in the top twentieth percentile of American alcohol consumption. This paints a different picture than American popular culture and commercial advertising would have you believe, and this reputation of American drinking culture is most likely the reason for the stigma around sobriety.
Slowly, though, people are figuring out that it’s okay to go out with your friends, bowling, to see a movie or even to a restaurant and not have a drink, and in fact, if you do this, you wouldn’t be in the vast minority either.
Heavy Drinking Social Groups
The counterpoint is strong: many alcoholics got that way because they started drinking early in life or because they tend to socialize with other heavy drinkers. This is true, but we take steps to address these issues when a patient comes to Lumiere for treatment.
First, whatever caused a patient to become an alcoholic is seen as a trigger for relapse. That means addicts are not recommended to keep social ties with the people that pressure them or have pressured them in the past, at least not for a period after leaving our inpatient facility.
In fact, the only social interactions that an addict starting their journey to recovery should maintain are those that are constructive, supportive and conducive to continued wellness. Group therapy for alcohol recovery, as well as aftercare programs and lifelong 12-step groups often end up being much better friends to non-drinkers than the people they associated with before the sought help.
People That Judge Non-Drinkers Aren’t Friends
It can be a hard lesson to learn sometimes, but if you attempt to change your life for the better, and someone in your social circle expresses judgment towards your choice, it’s almost certainly better to no longer associate with them then to try to get them to see your issue from another point of view.
It’s usually this possibility, that never drinking again may cause you to sever some friendships that drives this irrational fear, but take it from patients who have successfully completed our programs: involvement in a supportive community that is all working towards similar goals and getting over obstacles will be a much better social circle than one pressuring you to drink.
At Lumiere, we have a 60-bed continuum of care located on a private golf course just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. Our program allows addicts to undergo medical detox, recovery and therapy programs and an inpatient and outpatient basis, customized to each individual client.
Do you or a loved one find yourself struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol? Call Lumiere Healing Centers today to find out how we can help you onto a road to recovery.