Treating the concept of alcohol or drug addiction as something that comes with a stigma is harmful to many people. Ultimately, addiction stigma can lead to feelings of guilt and shame. It can cause people to hide their addiction and even prevent them from getting professional treatment that may be life-saving or improve their quality of life.
If you’re looking for a drug addiction treatment program in Massachusetts, contact Rockland Recovery today. Call 855.732.4842 or reach out to our team online for more information about the stigma of drug addiction
What’s the Stigma of Addiction?
The stigma of alcohol or drug addiction stems from the typical aspects and behavioral symptoms of substance use disorders and how society normally responds to them. For example, symptoms such as impaired judgment or erratic behavior can result in negative consequences, including occupational, legal, and relationship problems.
Consequences like this may cause embarrassment among those affected and those close to them. Along with embarrassment, these consequences create stigmatized perceptions and attitudes about addiction among the public. This further perpetuates and even exacerbates the personal shame usually associated with developing and maintaining an addiction.
This combination of personal shame and public stigma is a tremendous obstacle to addressing the problem of substance abuse. Today, problems with this obstacle are seen in the way Americans deal with the decades-long opioid epidemic in the country. This huge obstacle is a barrier to effective addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery. It doesn’t just affect some people struggling with addiction. It affects their families, their communities, and also society overall.
How Can You Break the Stigma of Addiction?
Addiction treatment specialists and the organizations they work with usually do most of the work to smash addiction stigma. Their strategies to end the stigma of addiction typically involve shining a light on people in recovery. This is meant to expose the long-hidden reality that people do successfully recover from addiction, despite it being a chronic disease that requires lifelong maintenance. A strategy like this is also meant to show that addiction can affect people who are as intelligent, moral, productive, and talented as the next person.
As a person struggling with addiction recovery, you must walk the walk and talk the talk. More than volunteering and being part of community programs and spaces for people like you, it’s important to really work on your recovery and flourish. As much as possible, you must try to be a beacon of hope for others like you.
As a person that’s close to someone in recovery, you must provide support not only to them but also to their community.
- Offer to be their “sober companion” at events and situations where alcohol or other addictive substances are part of the environment
- Fully internalize the way addiction develops and why it’s harmful and then speak about it with other people
- Refrain from drug or alcohol use as a show of support
The burden of de-stigmatizing addiction should fall only on addiction treatment specialists and people currently in recovery.
How Would People in Recovery Be Affected by Ending the Stigma of Addiction?
The stigma of alcohol and drug addiction is harmful beyond measure. How many people struggling with addiction don’t seek help because they don’t want to admit they’re struggling with a substance use disorder?
If only one in ten Americans in this situation receive professional help, which means up to 90% of Americans with a substance use disorder never get the help they sorely need. The ultimate irony is that many of the adverse aspects associated with addiction tend to diminish when properly managed and addressed in treatment and recovery.
Help Overcome the Stigma of Addiction at Rockland Recovery
If you’re searching for an addiction treatment program in Massachusetts, Rockland Recovery can help. Contact our team today by calling 855.732.4842 or reaching out to our team online to learn more about breaking the stigma of addiction.