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Views on Addiction
in London and the UK

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Cultural Attitudes in the UK


Sadly, the stigma connected with alcoholism and addiction deters many from seeking effective treatment. In part, this is based in a lack of effective education about the nature of the illness and its treatments. In addition, our media's chronic portrayal of sufferers as indolent, self-seeking, anti-moralists has contributed nothing toward delivery of effective addiction treatment.

Nature of Addiction
Addiction is a disease of obsession and compulsion; the idea that a true addict or alcoholic can "just say no" has been disproved by every eminent researcher in the fields of addiction and brain chemistry. Even so, after centuries of perceiving the drinker or user as morally deficient, the public 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, and that knowledge is gaining public acceptance, but culture changes slowly.

Addiction in the Media
Attention devoted to the celebrity/addict puts the public onto the idea 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 or the rehab." This is not the response of a civil people; it's the Roman plebes as Christians were thrown to lions. Our nobler, humane responses have been - and continue to be - devalued and stunted.

So, in our inappropriate response to these often-photographed people, what follows is an inappropriate response to the nature and treatment of their problem - and a continued lack of understanding of how pervasive substance abuse has become in English culture.

The Sober Companion 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.