With the anticipation of the “biggest storm of the century” battling down on the east coast, there are commonly two ways people react. Many alcoholism experts as well as many former members of Alcoholic Anonymous express concern that the organization is either a cult or cult-like, that it indoctrinates members, obtaining unnecessary fear and panic and then those who are of course skeptics, who believe that the media has overplayed the storm. The same thing is brought to mind with our current “addiction crisis.”

Now while Sandy is currently leaving her battle scars on the east coast, the weather channel and media have those believers scared and panicked. As forewarned east coasters heard more and more bad news, they flocked to local grocery stores to stock up on water, batteries and canned food. Pretty much, anything and everything the news channel has advised to pick up, most of us east coasters ran and purchased.

While the news is trying to be preventative, there has been some bluffing in the past, or over-hyping previous storms. Sandy was a monster, but didn’t reach the impact expected by the weather channel. The point is that our society believes anything the media says, it instills fear in us and can persuade us to think in certain ways. So what’s to say that the media isn’t blowing America’s “addiction problems” into something it’s not?

We commonly don’t hear people say someone is being over dramatic about their alcohol use, because they believe they have a real disease. After all, our culture, especially the media, runs tv special after special about addictions and how they are a permanent part of life. Our culture has blown the “disease of addiction” into an epidemic, but realistically, more people overcome alcohol and drugs by quitting themselves, over those who go into rehab or treatment. The reason why so many people struggle with stopping is because the media, therapists or programs in the past have told them they can’t stop! In an “alcoholic’s” mind, what if their disease is simply fear that others have projected on them?

Fear of the unknown, fear of dying, fear of being hurt. Essentially fear can make us think and act completely uncharacteristically. Every time we hear drug addiction stories from national news to celebrity gossip magazines it raises an alarm in those that are currently using and for their loved ones. Parents shield their teens from the next “drug epidemic” and people live in fear of being addicted to everything!

In the end maybe those skeptics who don’t panic over everything are the ones with the most common sense, who can think the most clearly, when things seem to be spiraling out of control. When it comes to common sense those who understand they have gained power over alcohol and drugs find it revolutionary and those who realize they don’t have a disease of addiction are most successful at abstaining from their habit.

That’s why at Saint Jude’s we don’t blow addiction into something it’s not, we know you aren’t sick, which is why you are educated in our program about what addiction truly is and ways you can overcome alcohol and drug use. You are never treated at St Jude’s. Call our program at 1-888-424-2626 for more information!

**This article has no intention of downplaying Sandy’s wrath, and our thoughts are with all those on the east coast (including ourselves) that have been impacted by the storm but this article is rather to point out how the media creates unnecessary, hype, and fear about, well frankly, everything.