Lawyers’ Assistance Program
Articles & Presentations
Alcoholism, Drug Addiction and Chemical Dependency is a TREATABLE ILLNESS
(The information contained in this section was taken from an article entitled “What the Lawyers Assitance Program Can Do for Your Firm,” written by the Executive Director Emeritus-Mr. Bill Leary for the Louisiana Lawyers Assistance Program and published in the Louisiana Disciplinary Review in the Winter, 1998 edition. The information excerpted here is quoted with permission from Mr. Leary.)
Alcoholism/drug addiction is not a moral issue, but rather it is a treatable illness. The stigma is not in having this illness; the stigma is failing to seek treatment.
Medical authorities have established that alcoholism/drug addiction is a disease in which there is a preoccupation with alcohol/drugs coupled with a loss of control over its consumption.
Addiction may be arrested (not cured) by treatment. It is perfectly acceptable social behavior to seek treatment; it is antisocial to continue the denial.
Some symptoms of addiction are:
1. The inability to guarantee one's actions after starting to drink or use drugs.
2. Deteriorating health accompanying a pattern of heavy drinking or drugging, impaired ability to work and concentrate.
3. Disrupted personal relationships, denial that drinking or drugs is a problem when it is obvious to others.
4. Defiance, impatience, intolerance, impulsiveness.
5. Addiction is a progressive disease; it only gets worse, never better.