At Southeast Addiction, we provide substance abuse treatment in Nashville and Georgia. Through our many sessions with individuals who are new to treatment or have been in treatment before, we learn much about how people perceive sobriety outside of the treatment space.
There are many prevalent myths and misconceptions about sobriety that keep many people away from going to treatment. One of those concerns is often a worry in the back of the person’s head that even though their drinking is a problem, what would their social life look like if they just stopped? Every event that comes into recent memory undoubtedly has alcohol making an appearance.
Many people would love to quit drinking, and many new year resolutions revolve around quitting or significantly cutting back on alcohol consumption. After all, while many people do not suffer from acute substance use disorder, that does not mean that their alcohol consumption doesn’t wreak great havoc on their life.
What’s stopping most people from cutting back or quitting and going to treatment? We believe these 3 persistent beliefs have something to do with it.
#1 – You Have to Drink to Have a Good Time
Most people don’t consciously think this, but they believe it on some level. After all, why would most parties have alcohol if it wasn’t key to having a good time? There’s (unfortunately) a saying that goes something like, “the party is over when there’s no more alcohol”.
Drinking is not a key ingredient to having an enjoyable evening, people only feel that way because they think that everyone else feels that way. On top of that, a lot of “party” circles exist solely as an unhealthy mutual-agreement towards self-destruction.
This is evident in the fact that people claim that drinking by yourself makes you an alcoholic, but they never question the several times they have had a night out or went to a party and effectively binge drank. Partying is just a thinly veiled word for binge drinking, and if binge drinking becomes common…
#2 – If You Don’t Drink, You’re a Buzzkill
One of the key things we stress to our patients when providing substance abuse treatment in Nashville is that who you are as a person is not tied to your substance use—meaning that not drinking doesn’t make you any less of a bright, fun, interesting person.
This can be a frustrating one for those who have entered treatment and are trying to hold onto relationships they’ve had while they were drinking. There is a reason why the friends people make in treatment are often some of the best bonds for people newly in recovery to have. Your friends from treatment all understand why you cannot drink and that there are things that everyone can do and still enjoy themselves.
Outside of the compassionate treatment space, there are several ordinary people who may not understand the importance for you to stay completely sober. While much work has been done to educate the public on alcohol addiction and substance use disorders, there is still a lot of ignorance and lack of respect for people’s boundaries when choosing not to imbibe or consume substances.
Ask yourself, why is it so important to others that I drink when they do? Is it not enough for them to enjoy their drinks? As we referenced in point 1, there exists a kind of pact that people enter when drinking or doing drugs. Adults know that getting absolutely drunk is harmful in the long-term, but if everyone else in on board with the idea, suddenly the temptation is easy to give into.
#3 – It Is Hard to Make Friends After Getting Sober
This is a tough one to convince people otherwise when trying to get them into treatment. That is because it is more of an emotion rather than a conscious thought.
The reason for this is simple, if you have spent a large portion of your teenage and/or adult life socializing with the help (and crutch) alcohol, it can be easy to have tunnel-vision when it comes to making friends. When you think of socializing, you picture clubs, bars, bottomless brunch, breweries, etc.
What about the endless number of things you can do that other people are interested in too? Taking classes for things such as cooking, dancing, kickboxing, cycling, Zumba? Or how about going to wellness meetings such as group meditation or yoga, playing in an intramural sports league, learning to paint, going back to school, etc. There are no shortage of things to do and places to make friends.
Alcohol & Substance Abuse Treatment in Nashville, TN
Whether you receive treatment in Nashville or in our Georgia location, at Southeast Addiction we do our best to show you that there’s a great future awaiting everyone who can take that first brave step.