Why Don’t Young People Reach Out For Help With Alcoholism?
“Alcohol isn’t really a drug…” “Alcohol is legal!” “It’s not as deadly as heroin- you know what you’re getting!”
Many young adults who meet the diagnosis of alcohol use disorder aren’t seeking treatment because they don’t think they have a problem. In a recent study of 351 young adults who met the criteria for alcohol use disorder, 96% believed they didn’t need help, and 29% thought the problem would go away on its own as they got older. So why don’t young people think alcoholism is a real problem?
3 Common Reasons People Don't Seek Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol is legal – Many people don’t even consider alcohol to be a drug, and if they do, they justify it by saying its legal or “not that bad.” While alcohol is a legal drug, that doesn’t equate it with being a safe drug. Alcohol poisoning kills six people per day in the US. This statistic doesn’t include the number of people who die in fatal car crashes due to impaired driving or cirrhosis of the liver caused by heavy drinking over long periods of time. Legal does not mean safe. Smoking cigarettes is also legal. However, it is proven to be deadly and cancerous. Eating fast food every day is legal, but we know it is bad for our health and can cause health problems. Not wearing a seatbelt is legal, but we know that increases our chances of being injured if we got in a crash. So, the point is that just because alcohol is legal doesn’t mean you should ask for help if your drinking has began affecting you negatively in any way.
It could be worse – Many people feel that if they aren’t heavily drinking every day, or they don’t get the “shakes” from drinking, then there drinking isn’t really a problem. Many alcoholics minimize their drinking to avoid feelings of guilt or shame; some even believe that their drinking isn’t that bad regardless of one or two negative consequences. The excuses may be “I don’t have any DUI’s” or “I don’t black out every night; it’s just a drink or two!” While these excuses may be accurate, maybe they are experiencing family problems or increased depression and anxiety- which are two symptoms of alcohol abuse and alcoholism.
Everyone else is doing it – The statistics are shocking, and the excuse “everyone else is doing it” isn’t too far off. Over seventy percent of American’s ages 18 and older reported binge drinking in the past year. Does that make it okay? No. Does that make it seem like binge drinking is normal? Possibly. Many people who engage in dangerous drinking don’t see it as a problem simply because they are out drinking with friends who drink just as much, if not more, or because it’s not an everyday occurrence. Binge drinking is actually just as dangerous as drinking every day. It can cause health problems, such as liver, digestive, and alcohol poisoning, as well as legal problems such as DUI’s. If “everyone is doing it” is your best excuse as to why you continue to binge drink, ask yourself- if everyone was doing a “harder” drug would you do it?
Learn the Tools for Recovery from Alcoholism at Amatus Recovery Centers
The hard truth is that 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes per year. So, just because alcohol is legal, it doesn’t mean it is any safer. Also, young adult alcohol abuse slows cognitive development, leading to adverse effects as these young people age. Alcoholism and young adults don’t need to co-exist, and help for this type of addiction is available at Amatus Recovery Centers.
If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol abuse and don’t know where to turn for help, reach out to our Amatus Recovery Centers team by calling 833.631.0525 or completing our online contact form. It is possible to overcome alcoholism with professional treatment, but the first step is up to you. Contact Amatus Recovery Centers for more information about how we can help you or a loved one begin recovery.