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Harms of Joking about Addiction

Harms of Joking about AddictionA joke about getting stoned might garner a chuckle, but addiction is no laughing matter. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) substance abuse is responsible for roughly 900,000 deaths in the US each year, and these deaths can be broken down into the following:

  • Heroin kills 2,000 people
  • Cocaine kills 2,500 people
  • Prescription drug overdoses kill 32,000 people
  • Alcohol kills 80,000 people
  • Tobacco kills 440,000 people

Millions of people, including San Diego residents, who do not die will face any of several different consequences directly related to their disease:

  • Incarceration
  • Divorce
  • Financial ruin
  • Loss of employment
  • Educational failure
  • Permanent mental or physical disability
  • Depression
  • Deteriorating health
  • Remorse from pain caused to loved ones
  • Overdose

Substance abuse and addiction destroy millions of lives. There’s nothing funny about that.

Is Joking about Addiction Really a Big Deal?

It’s common for San Diego residents to use humor to help them deal with things that are emotionally overwhelming or frightening because joking around takes some of the seriousness out of the situation. While joking might be an appropriate or even healthy use of humor in a situation such as a trivial embarrassment at work or committing a social faux pas, when it comes to addiction jokes this light hearted tone can make substance abuse seem less scary than it should rightfully be.

Joking around about addiction may have several repercussions, including the following:

  • Making light of a deadly disease
  • Dehumanizing addicts
  • Making drug or alcohol abuse seem like a fun or funny thing to experiment with
  • Addicts’ fear of mockery by friends may prevent them from seeking help
  • Impressionable young people may grow up thinking intoxication is harmless fun

Humor changes the perceptions of San Diego residents and can even shape our values.

Serious Help for a Serious Problem

If you are a San Diego resident struggling with addiction, or if a friend or loved one’s substance abuse has you concerned, please call our toll-free helpline any time of day or night. Our counselors are available anytime with free, confidential support, information, and answers. We can even connect you with the best recovery resources that match your specific needs. Addiction can be beaten when the addict receives comprehensive treatment in a qualified rehabilitation center that treats them physically and emotionally. These programs offer personal and group counseling, spiritual support, coping skill development and medically supervised detox in a comfortable setting that allows them to focus all of their energy on the recovery process.

Addiction is deadly serious, but help is available. Call today.