Overcoming addiction stigmas for successful recovery may be the key for long-term sobriety.
Stereotypes or stigmas about addiction or the addict originate from ignorance about the disease itself. Most of these stigmas are negative, hurtful and in many times incorrect with examples being:
- Addicts are unintelligent.
- Addicts are junkies who live in dumpsters or alleys.
The dirty and seedy looking addicts are homeless.
Addicts are all mental and crazy.
- Most addicts are violent and have criminal behavior.
- Those that are addicted just have no will power.
- They can stop if they want – they just like to party.
The truth about addiction is this disease does not discriminate and doesn’t care about race, social status, sexual orientation, education or religion, how much money one has, or family background. Addiction is a disease – just as diabetes is. Are all diabetics overweight? No. Are all eating mounds of sugar? No.
Once addiction sets in, those suffering become powerless and don’t know where to turn for help. Many carry shame, guilt and embarrassment over their addiction and find it easier to just be ‘as is’. What is sad is they don’t have to live under the grip of addiction. There is help and one can start by finding any 12-Step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous or NA, Narcotics Anonymous. Not only will the addict be with like-minded people who have lived with the same pain, he or she will learn the tools of the program which has helped millions over the years gain sobriety. With the fellowship, sponsorship and sharing of experiences, overcoming addiction stigmas for successful recovery will become easier. A lot of addicts in the depths will need residential treatment.
We also need to work on overcoming addiction stigmas for successful recovery rate within our community. Feeding drug addiction stigmas will only hold those back from reaching out for help. This can result in additional drug epidemic challenges. How do we as a community eliminate these stigmas? It starts with learning about the disease of addiction and being willing to talk about it in our homes. Open up to your children about addiction and share what you have learned. One house at a time we can help in overcoming addiction stigmas for a success recovery for those in need within our community. Here are some ways you can help:
- Educate yourself and loved ones about the disease of addiction
- Avoiding judging and name-calling
- Have compassion for the addict who has the disease of addiction
- Believe addiction does not discriminate
If we as a community collectively agree to the simple steps above, we may help eliminate the stigmas associated with addiction. With that, our hope would be those suffering would come forward and into recovery.