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An uncommon barrier to getting help for alcohol addiction

Published On: Apr 18 2014 02:52:45 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 21 2014 07:24:32 AM CDT
Neil Heinen photo

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. I can just hear some of you now: “As if we didn’t have enough awareness of alcohol.” And yes, alcohol use, and abuse, is so ubiquitous in our popular culture as to foster indifference.

Unfortunately it also fosters attitudes worse than indifference whether from ignorance or fear and that in turn results in stigma. So think of this month as not so much raising awareness of alcohol abuse as a contributing factor to the pain and loss suffered by millions of individuals and families, but as awareness of the stigma attached to alcoholism and the barrier to treatment and recovery that represents.

Alcohol use disorders can be treated in a variety of ways. There are a number of treatment programs in Dane County including residential programs like Hope Haven which is helping get the word out about Alcohol Awareness Month. These programs work. There are several great websites that can help including SAMHSA.gov. Finding help is the first step, and that first step is on the road to recovery and health.

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