A story hit the news headlines around the world recently, of a 41-year-old Dutch man Mark Langedijk, who chose euthanasia as an alternative to living life as an alcoholic, causing public shock. In countries where euthanasia is legal, like Holland, it is typically used to terminate the lives of people who are suffering from illnesses which are making their lives unbearable.
The use of euthanasia to put an alcoholic out of their misery represents a new departure in the practise of euthanasia, bringing into question whether alcoholism is an incurable disease. There are people who argue that alcoholism is a disease, but by doing so that creates the belief that there is nothing that can be done. However, by suggesting it is not a disease, it implies that the alcoholic chooses that way of life and this dichotomy has been widely debated for many years.
Mr Langedijk had struggled for years with his addiction, is seen by endless psychologists, psychiatrists, GPs and healthcare professionals, but was still struggling with his addiction and so chose to terminate his life. But what is striking about his story and how it was reported is that he seems to have had a resigned acceptance that he could not be helped.
The Answer to Alcoholism
The truth about alcoholism lies somewhere between the two definitions. Alcoholism is not an incurable disease, but it can take hold of your life to the point where you have no control over it and it appears to be controlling you. The difference is that, if you decide that you have had enough and you want to take back control, you can. People who have recovered from their addictions have not needed any kind of surgical intervention to achieve this.
By defining alcoholism as a disease you are planting a seed of belief in the addict’s head that they are going to live a life long struggle and whatever they do they are going to still be an alcoholic. This is a negative approach that sets people up to fail. With this frame of mind it is easy to see why someone who has been living life as an alcoholic sees euthanasia as a way out. Mark Langedijk clearly stopped believing that he could recover.
If you believe that you can recover and you want to, you are on the right path to making a full and lasting recovery.
There are many different forms of alcohol rehabilitation and choosing the right programme of treatment will be an important factor in the success or failure of your recovery. You have a to find a programme that works for you based on your personal level of addiction, your beliefs, your financial situation and your spare time. If the programme is tailored around your personal needs, it is far more likely to work for you.
For free confidential advice on finding the best rehabilitation option for you call us today on 0203 955 7700