Here's Why We're Glad Jon Hamm Spoke Out About His Rehab

Photo: Gregory Pace/BEImages.
Jon Hamm recently completed a 30-day alcohol rehab program, People reports. He did so "with the support of his longtime partner Jennifer Westfeldt," Hamm's press team's statement reads. "They have asked for privacy and sensitivity going forward."

Cue the chorus of commenters remarking that rehab is a time-honored celebrity tradition. Still, it's important to remember that alcohol use disorder (AUD) knows no socioeconomic bounds. According to the NIH, some 17 million adults, or 7.2% of the adult population — 11.2 million men and 5.7 million women — had an alcohol use disorder in 2012. Only 1.4 million (8.4%) of those with AUD received treatment at a specialized facility. The vast majority of Americans in need of help for disordered drinking aren't getting it, whether because of shame, failure to recognize disordered patterns, or access barriers such as cost.

Although Hamm completed treatment at Connecticut's Silver Hill Hospital, certainly not everyone can afford the same level of care. But, public figures' willingness to share that they've received substance abuse treatment can combat the shame that people often associate with addiction, and can even encourage those who need help to seek it for themselves. While no one, famous or otherwise, is obligated to disclose personal information to the public, celebs who do open up about their own substance abuse struggles — from Amber Valletta to Robert Downey Jr. to Demi Lovato — also fuel the national conversation around a notoriously difficult topic.

Valletta, in particular, has made a point of speaking out about her experiences with addiction. "I needed help from other people," she stated in a MindBodyGreen talk last summer. "My hope is that someone, somewhere...will hear something that will help them and perhaps get them out of the shadows and the darkness of addiction and bring them into the light."

We're wishing Hamm the best in his recovery, and hoping that his statement will in some small way further dismantle the stigma that surrounds substance abuse treatment and recovery.
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