Alcoholic discrimination is prejudicial treatment of people who have the disease of alcoholism.
The disease of alcoholism leads people into a wide range of anti-social behaviours, so it is hardly surprising that people have a negative view of problem drinkers. These negative views of alcoholic misbehaviour reinforce the prejudice about alcoholics being “bad” people.
It is certainly true that alcoholic behaviours are bad. However, it is also true that alcoholics are very sick people. They suffer from the disease of alcoholism, a disease medically referred to as alcohol dependence. People suffering from the disease of alcoholism need help in order to recover.
Alcoholic Behaviour and The Disease of Alcoholism
In order to understand “alcoholic discrimination” it is necessary to separate alcoholic behaviours from the disease of alcoholism.
Everyone can easily identifiy with alcoholic (mis)behaviours: drunkeness; abusive language; violence; crime; sexual assault; infidelity. Problem drinkers are condemned for their behaviour.
The Disease of Alcoholism
The disease of alcoholism is a progressive ailment which is as fatal as cancer. Left untreated it always gets worse, never better.
Discrimination Blocks Recovery from Alcoholism
Public condemnation of alcoholic behaviours masks the associated condemnation of alcoholic to continue suffering from the disease. People fear admission of their alcoholism lest they be labelled “an alcoholic” and so expose themselves to the repeated lashings of alcoholic prejudice and alcoholic discrimination.
Alcoholic Discrimination Spreads the Disease
Unfortunately the discrimination against problem drinkers increases the barriers that prevent people from recognising the disease.
Unrecognised and untreated the disease of alcoholism propogates through generations. For example the victims of alcohol-fueled child abuse feel worthless, and many resort to alcohol to numb the pain of their low self esteem. Ultimately many succumb to the disease of alcoholism.