SUN KY States Stigma Affects Alcohol Treatment
August 18, 2023 at 16:09
Lexington, KY - SUN Behavioral Health Kentucky in Lexington states that people are less likely to seek alcohol use treatment because of stigma. The most common stigma that prevents people from seeking treatment is social stigma, which involves someone believing that people around them will discriminate against them if they find out about their alcohol use.
“Many with alcohol use disorders are worried about telling their friends, families, and even doctors that they’re managing addiction. This isn’t something that’s ‘all in their heads,’ either. Research shows that some healthcare professionals have biased views on patients with alcohol dependency, including the idea that alcoholics are ‘violent, manipulative, and poorly motivated to change.’ When this kind of stigma is present, whether it’s from a doctor or loved ones, it becomes likely that someone will experience self-stigma, or the idea that their alcohol use is shameful or lazy ‘behavior.’ Because of this, those managing addiction and stigma are more likely to avoid seeking treatment,” the article states.
This type of stigma tends to impact women more than men. Often, women manage multiple tasks and carry the responsibility of keeping the peace at home, working full-time, and raising children. It’s a common misconception that seeking treatment means leaving their children and responsibilities behind, which isn’t always possible. They might even have low self-esteem, mental health conditions, or a constant feeling of being overwhelmed associated with their responsibilities, leading them to self-medicate with alcohol. This might lead them to feel that treatment isn’t worth putting their lives on hold or risking the families/careers they’ve worked to build.
Judgment can make it difficult for people to seek help. It creates a cycle of shame and discourages open conversations. When it isn’t discussed, change for the better doesn’t happen. Judgment can also lead to self-isolation, as people can feel alone in alcohol use. This can lead people to believe recovery is impossible when the opposite is true. Open and honest communication can help people find recovery.
“The words we use as parents, friends, teachers, therapists, or even strangers matter. Positive, recovery-centered language can help reduce stigma, encourage our loved ones to reach out, foster effective communication, and promote recovery. Using non-judgemental language can create a supportive environment and save lives,” the article continues.
Using the right words when discussing alcohol use can help loved ones. One of the ways to know what those right words are is to use “person-first” language. This means not defining people by their alcohol use. A better phrase than an “alcoholic” is “someone managing an alcohol use disorder.” Also, not using words like “alcoholic” and “disease” is helpful because they promote understanding and empathy. Alongside this, don’t focus on their behavior associated with alcohol use. Referring to someone as “lazy” or “weak” discourages them from seeking treatment. They might believe those words are associated with them as a person. Leading them to believe that something is wrong or shameful about who they are, making them less likely to seek help.
SUN Behavioral Health Kentucky in Lexington provides treatment for alcohol use disorders while they meet the needs of their community. They offer no-cost care assessments and 24-hour crisis care that allows people to start treatment when they have decided, even at night.
For more information about SUN Behavioral Health Kentucky or alcohol use treatment, visit their website or call them today at 859-429-5188.
For more information about Sun Lexington Outpatient Center, contact the company here:
Sun Lexington Outpatient Center
2335 Sterlington Road Suite 100