One of the primary ways people deny their problems with excessive drinking or addiction to drugs is by making comparisons with others. They believe their drinking problem is “not as bad as some people” they know. They claim that their drug use “hasn’t taken them to the gutter.” They aren’t homeless or unemployed. They don’t fit a racial stereotype. They only drink at home; they don’t drink in the morning. The truth, however, is that alcoholism and drug addiction cross every racial, age, gender and occupational barrier.
Ability to function
Although some people fall to the most serious depths of addiction, such as heart and liver damage or “wet brain,” others – in fact the majority – are functioning addicts. Another way to say it is “high-bottom” addicts. In other words, they still have some semblance of a life that appears to be working, even though alcoholism or drug addiction has become apparent to others and probably to the abuser himself in brief moments of clarity. This does not mean they have to “hit bottom” before they can begin the recovery process; nor does it mean that a lawyer or doctor has a higher chance of recovery. Psychology Today offers insights into functioning alcoholics. Alcoholics and drug addicts sometimes are capable of leading a double life, at least until the later stages of addiction begin to ravish their bodies and minds.
Race, ethnicity and age
Statistical studies show that certain races and ethnicities may have higher incidences of alcoholism or drug addiction, but no race or ethnicity is immune. Addiction is colorblind. Addiction speaks all languages. Whites, Blacks, Native Americans, Asians, Latinos and mixed races may succumb to the problem. Additionally, records show that people from teen-aged years well into senior years can suffer from alcoholism or drug addiction. Although incidences among younger people may be higher, addiction crosses across a wide age spectrum.
Alcoholism and addiction to drugs are cunning and baffling. They can strike anywhere.