Adele’s Struggles with Alcohol

For those of us who fight for our recovery every day this is good news.

Good news because for every beloved public figure that comes above ground with their struggle for recovery, some of the stigma of addiction is peeled away from all of us. It is also good news because in her recovery Adele proves the value of her sobriety: She does so through her exquisite performances and the manner in which she comports herself under pressure. Too often we’ve seen celebrities crumble in public abetted by their abuse of drugs and alcohol. And in these falls the media often makes too much hay, depicting them with derision and a dearth of compassion. This image of substance abuse takes us back to a time when our benighted understanding saw substance abuse as a moral disorder and not a mental one. Still, within the frame of the media we inflict the addicted with guilt and shame instead of treating them like a person with a disease. The war on drugs didn’t help – its nearly 45 year emphasis on punishment rather than rehabilitation has only served to amplify the stigma. Also blame our health care system for labeling the afflicted as addicts and not seeing substance abuse as a treatable condition.

Adele is also brave.

By facing the stigma head on she allowed the spotlight of that ignorance to shine on her. To wit: According to a 2014 study*, when people were surveyed as to which they considered society’s most ostracized group, the mentally ill or substance abusers, opinions strongly went in the direction of the latter. Those surveyed also said that more people “were unwilling to have a person with drug addiction marry into the family or work closely with them.” And if that weren’t bad enough, they also believed that they’d be “more willing to accept discriminatory practices against persons with addiction.” It’s been argued that many celebrities go public with their addictions as a means to gain publicity. Clearly, as Adele’s admittance came after the fact she had nothing to gain by coming out.

A common myth of alcohol is that enhances both personality and creativity. For Adele, her use of alcohol brought a loss of productivity and a change in the quality of her voice. For her alcohol didn’t enhance, it restricted.

For most of us, coming out about our substance abuse can have very real consequences: it can cost jobs, friendships, and reputations. Celebrities, on the other hand, tend to live on a different plane than the rest of us. Hopefully through the coming out of public figures like Adele, the ugly stigma and myths behind substance abuse for the rest of us will also diminish.

And addiction will be seen at last for what it is: a disorder of the brain and not the soul.

If you or a loved one have an addiction to alcohol, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.

*John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2014, Psychiatric Services

Lessons Learned from Adele’s Struggles with Alcohol