A not-so-silent thief makes off with $226 billion, every year, robbing the economy, flooding hospitals, clogging courts. And landing million-dollar spots in the year's biggest televised sports events.
"It" is alcohol. Not terrorism. Not obesity. Not cancer or diabetes or Ebola or any other disease. It's alcohol. We'll spend more to combat these other scourges that cause less turmoil and financial damage while alcohol rules the roost, the clubhouse and the corner office.
The third-leading cause of preventable death and illness stays under the radar because of good advertising and bad stigma. Its purveyors are proclaimed as charitable kings. Those who use it and discover alcohol has health and social consequences, are labeled as villains, kill-joys, weak, weird, or morally off.
The stigma of alcohol use disorders, treatment and recovery keeps the discussion of what alcohol does to you behind the wishful-thinking-driven chatter about what it does for you. The tipping point has passed. The status quo: No longer sustainable or acceptable. Adding Fire to the Fuel examines:
How families and communities feed public and self-stigma even while the stigma holds them back;
How stigma has become a barrier to many who want help;
How to hang on to sobriety in a pro-alcohol world;
And how PANonymous alcoholics will reduce stigma more than all the protests combined.