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UR Medicine


Too Special to Be Alcoholic?

The stigma of alcoholism has diminished greatly, but when it strikes home, loved ones may rush to defend the drinker, convincing themselves and others that their alcoholic is different, as evident in their lifelong employment, achievements, and community contributions. They may believe their alcoholic requires special care, handling, and an elevated respect apart from others. This form of enabling is referred to as "terminal uniqueness" by those in Alcoholics Anonymous because it results in delay in getting treatment, allowing the illness to grow worse and, with it, the risk that the person suffering from alcoholism will never recover.

If you have a family member that you suspect is suffering from alcohol dependence or addiction, learn about the disease from a reputable source, like the Addiction Education Society. Be relentless in pursuit of treatment, and rely upon those who can guide you along the way.

Keith Stein | 5/30/2019

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