Journal Article Database: APA PsycINFO
Bevacqua, Tony & Hoffman, Edward
Bevacqua, T., & Hoffman, E. (2010). William James's “sick-minded soul” and the AA recovery paradigm: Time for a reappraisal. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 50(4), 440–458.
For most Americans, the hype surrounding celebrity addiction is little more than a distraction in a difficult economic time. As evidenced by widespread Internet chatter, many certainly find it titillating. Perhaps more maturely, others simply look away. Yet overall, this growing phenomenon carries with it a particular burden for addiction professionals. And as one based in Los Angeles with many clients in the entertainment industry, I often find myself at “ground zero” in this regard.
In this article, I'd like to share my observations on how celebrity addiction culture affects our work as addiction professionals, and recommend how to respond most effectively. For whether we're located in New York or Minneapolis, Miami or Seattle, we're all intimately affected.
An estimated 23 million people in the U.S. meet the criteria for a substance use disorder, but only 10% that actually seek help. Since the preconditions for addictive behaviors include chronic stress, anxiety and depression, millions of people are living lives of quiet desperation. Why do relatively so few people who need help actually seek it? One reason may be that conventional thinking about drugs and alcohol (and how to treat every type of addictive behavior) is disempowering, using deficit-based, and emotionally charged terminology that has negative connotations. This old-school colloquial language scares people away by compounding and reinforcing negative self-talk, stigma and shame. The solution is to rethink and reframe our language to change our self-identity in healthier and more empowering ways.
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