Harms of Joking about Addiction

Harms of Joking about AddictionReality series and late night comics produce countless laughs with jokes about celebrity addicts. The joke usually revolves around ridiculous antics and statements, and while the humor is typically aimed at celebrity entitlement issues, Seattle based viewers may subconsciously tie these laughable behaviors to addiction as well. Of course, a person does not need to be behind a television camera to have his jokes do damage. Addiction-related humor, wherever it is told, can have a chilling effect on a person’s willingness to get substance abuse help.

How Humor Hurts Seattle Addicts

Joking about addiction causes harm in several ways, including the following:

  • Reinforces negative stereotypes about people who struggle with addiction
  • Adds to the stigma that substance abuse reflects a lack of morals and character
  • Contributes to an addict’s social anxiety and fear of exclusion
  • Diminishes the seriousness of addiction as a neurobiological condition

Do not misunderstand – no one is calling the politically correct police. Rather, this is about social responsibility to help Seattle residents struggling with a disease. Addiction is a disease and it involves actual neurochemical changes in the brain. People generally frown on jokes about epileptics shaking wildly or cancer patients going bald from chemotherapy, yet society generally deems it okay to joke about addiction disease? This is a problem because such jokes can cause damage, including the following:

  • Jokes can discourage an addict from admitting to the disease
  • Addicts do not willingly get help until they admit to the problem
  • Solo efforts to quit often fail and result in dangerous binges
  • Social withdrawal becomes a defense mechanism to avoid social humiliation

Addiction is a curable disease if a person is properly treated, and jokes discourage people from getting help. These unintended consequences are nonetheless negative and hurtful. Moreover, the humor is generally based in ignorance.

Misunderstandings about Addiction

Jokes reinforce the stigmas associated with addiction, and these stigmas are primarily based on ignorance. There are numerous misconceptions, including the following:

  • A lack of will power and self-control are why a person does not quit
  • Substance abuse only continues because the person is not serious about quitting
  • Addicts are ambivalent to whatever impact their substance abuse has on others
  • Negative prodding will eventually motivate an addict to quit

These notions are in stark contradiction to the results of medical science. Addiction is a debilitating disease that compromises cognitive function, overpowers behavior, and consumes the user’s thoughts and desires. The best way to help a struggling addict in Seattle is with professional rehab, not jokes.

Substance Abuse Treatment for Seattle Residents

Professional rehab provides many services, including the following:

  • Doctor-supervised detox to eliminate the substance from the body
  • Integrated care for co-occurring mood disorders and emotional problems
  • Behavioral therapies that improve decision making and responses
  • Counseling to determine personal substance abuse triggers
  • Development of new life skills that discourage relapse

Treatment also includes group therapy with other addicts, which should continue post-rehab in local support groups.

Addiction Helpline

If you are a Seattle resident that struggles with substance abuse, call our toll-free helpline 24 hours a day to speak with an addiction counselor about treatment options, warning signs, and aftercare assistance. Our caring staff can answer any questions and even check health insurance policies for treatment coverage. The jokes might do damage, but so does an unwillingness to get help. We can make a difference. Please call now.