Can't find something? Search Here.

Perceived Stigma Can Prevent Alcohol Abusers From Seeking Treatment

Posted in Alcoholism Treatment

An alcohol use disorder can render an individual unable to work, socialize or even function on a regular basis. Treatment programs are available, yet less than 25 percent of those diagnosed with alcohol dependency or disorder actually seek treatment.

A recent Science Daily release examined a study conducted by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health which found that individuals diagnosed with alcoholism at some point in their lifetime were less likely to seek treatment by as much as 60 percent, simply because they believed they would be stigmatized once it was known they had a problem.

This study focused on data from the National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). In an examination of 34,653 individuals, those with an alcohol use disorder were 0.37 times less likely to seek treatment for their disorder when compared with individuals with similar alcohol dependencies who did not perceive this stigma as something real.

The perception of this stigma tended to depend on the age of the individual as younger alcohol dependent people perceived less stigma. At the same time, these younger alcohol dependent people were less likely to seek treatment. Gender also made a difference as men perceived more stigma compared with women.

Ethnicity played a role in the perceived stigma as non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanic adults reported a higher mean stigma compared to whites. This sector was also less likely to seek or use treatment services.

The good news is that those individuals with more severe alcohol disorders had a greater likelihood to seek treatment.