Drinking and drugging are included in many memorable movie scenes. Whether it’s a group of guys drinking around a poker table, or a cocaine addict laying out his lines of coke, or the heroin addicts of Pulp Fiction, Hollywood continues to see the use of drugs as cool or as something needed to be brave.
Furthermore, society readily accepts drinking. That’s what you do after a long week at the office. And it’s natural to want to go out with friends, go to the bar or club, and enjoy yourself.
In fact, in large cities, there are whole communities that romanticize having a drink in your hand. It’s a part of being cool – you work hard and play hard. It’s part of their very lifestyle. It’s part of being accepted by friends.
But if you were in this kind of community, pulling away might have been a challenge. Research has shown that the glamour of drinking and drug use is actually one of the obstacles to getting into drug treatment.
Even when individuals are in treatment, it can be the trigger for relapse. Those who are still identified with the glamour of drinking can more frequently relapse. If someone simply doesn’t seem themselves as living without drugs or alcohol, drug and alcohol treatment is likely not going to be effective. This is particularly true for adolescents and young adults.
The Benefits of Drug Treatment
For instance, Paul is now a social worker but was once a college student trying to find heroin on the streets of Philadelphia. Today, he searches instead for heroin users in an attempt to save their lives. But when asked the question, What could someone have done to get you into recovery?, Paul admits, ” At that point there was nothing anyone could do. I wanted to use. I was 19. I wanted to get high. That’s what I wanted to do.” Fortunately, he eventually went through drug detox and substance abuse treatment.
Today, he’s helping others just like him get addiction help and the treatment they need.
What society judges and idealizes has a large influence on the behavior of individuals. For example, using drugs is seen as cool, but having an addiction is not. Using painkillers is okay, but the use of heroin carries are a stigma.
Drinking is considered normal, but the use of cocaine teeters on being abnormal. In fact, for the most part, mental illnesses carry a stigma, which is one reason why adults prefer to drink alcohol rather than admit they might be depressed.
Knowing What is Best For you
What society holds up on a pedestal influences our choices, and drinking and drugging is one of them. If you can break away from the idealization of drugs and alcohol and instead focus on what is best for you, drug and alcohol treatment will be more effective.
By making the choice to resist the glamour of drinking, you choose sobriety. By ignoring the judgments and acceptances of society, you choose health. By participating in drug and alcohol treatment, you’re not only supporting yourself but others who might have been in the community you were a part of. You’re leading by example.
Although it can be challenging, resisting the glamour of drinking and drug use can facilitate long term sobriety and healthy living.
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