I’m so sorry you lost your brother. Alcoholism is not widely understood by the public and not by all doctors. I once lay in the ER and heard a doctor asking a man why he had had a drink(s) when he was on the liver transplant list. When she got to me, I asked her why she had asked this question. She looked confused. ‘He drinks because he’s an alcoholic’ I told her.
You are right that many of us are addicted to other things that push away pain or bad memories. Alcoholics have a genetic disposition to be addicted to a chemical. AA does not preclude God by the way. It is the ‘God of your understanding’, and no one forces any one to open up.
We can only educate the public, our friends and family, by talking about it. Talk about it before death is imminent, talk and don’t be shut down by insensitive remarks — they simply don’t understand. Tweet about it, write about it, leave leaflets around.