Sadly, the social stigma connected with alcoholism and addiction deters many from seeking effective treatment. This is based in a lack of effective education about the nature of the illness, as well as in the media's chronic portrayal of sufferers as indolent, self-seeking, anti-moralists.
Nature of Addiction
Addiction is a disease of obsession and compulsion. Decades of eminent research and anecdotal evidence have proved no true addict or alcoholic can "just say no"... Even so, after centuries of perceiving the drinker or user as morally deficient, the American public, even in a sophisticated town like Chicago, are slow to change their minds - and even slower to embrace the notion that effective treatment is available. Those who work in treatment know the solution is right here. That knowledge is gaining public acceptance, but culture changes slowly.
Addiction in the Media
On television, on the internet, and in print,great attention is paid to the celebrity addict. We forget the realities of this condition. Heaps of press about a movie star or musician "off to rehab again" has fostered the notion that that addiction is a game played by spoiled brats in a diamond-filled sandbox. We see a famous (or infamous) person arrested for drugs or drinking and our response has become quite jaded: "I wonder if we'll see a nipple fall out of a blouse or a little something more as she exits the car..." This is not the response of civilized Chicago to an epidemic in our town; rather, it sounds like Roman plebes as Christians were thrown to the lions. Our nobler, humane response has been - and continues to be - devalued and stunted.
What follows our inappropriate response to these often-photographed people is inappropriate response to the nature and treatment of their problem - and a continued lack of understanding of how pervasive substance abuse has become in the culture of Chicago.
The Chicago Sober Coach provides a discreet, caring, seasoned professional to guide the newly recovering person through this maelstrom of misunderstanding and vitriol. When newly sober, it's a great boost to rely on an advocate - at home, at work, at play - who has been there and succeeded, and whose only goal is to assist you in crafting your success.