The last thing a person who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction needs is to be labeled an addict, a junkie, a crackhead, or any other term putting them down. What they do need is compassion and support from others. They need encouragement and not shaming. Living with the stigma of addiction can be almost as bad as living with the addiction itself.
How the Stigma of Addiction Affects Families
We all need to remember that drug or alcohol addiction can happen to any person in any family. You never know when you may learn of a loved one who is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Do you want others to look down on your loved one as if they are a criminal? Do you want others to judge you for the fact that you could not prevent or stop this addiction? I don’t think so!
Many families try to hide the fact that a loved one is struggling with addiction for this very reason. They are ashamed that a member of their family has a problem with drugs or alcohol. This is not the way to help someone with an addiction. You can’t deny the fact and shouldn’t treat your loved one as if you are ashamed of them. Don’t worry about what others might say about your family. Worry about taking care of your family.
The Stigma of Addiction Prevents Treatment
Many addicts do not seek treatment for their addiction because of the ways they have been stigmatized. They feel that others blame them for their problems and don’t feel that they deserve help to overcome their addictions. They are afraid that they will be judged when entering an addiction treatment facility. Many addicts feel, and rightfully so, that they will always carry the stigma of addiction throughout their life.
Addicts often feel that no matter what they do to overcome their addiction and move on to a healthy and productive lifestyle, people will always look at them the same. Many individuals look at them like, “Once an addict, always an addict.” However, this is far from the truth. The people that feel this way are uneducated if they truly believe this. Don’t let the stigma of addiction prevent you from seeking help for addiction.
Addicts and Recovering Addicts are Not Bad People
People are not their addictions. There is a lot more to every individual than their addiction. They are someone’s daughter, son, mother, father, etc. In other words, they are someone’s loved one.
They were loving and caring people before addiction took over their lives. Don’t look at them in disgust. Look at them with empathy, caring, and compassion. Encourage them to get back to the people they were and can become again. Too many lives are lost because addicts feel that they can never change or do better. We have to let them know that we believe in them and encourage them to seek treatment.
Inpatient Addiction Treatment Centers
If you or a loved one needs help with drug or alcohol addiction, don’t let the stigma of addiction keep you from seeking professional treatment. Your life is worth more than worrying about what someone else might think or say about you or your family. Seek treatment and break the chains that are binding you to your addiction.
At New Beginnings Rehab Center, we have a compassionate and caring staff who is non-judgmental. We can attend to your needs and help you on your way to a life of sobriety and productivity. Our counselors can design a treatment program to fit your individual needs and preferences. Make 2020 your year to overcome addiction and live a life in recovery.
Contact one of our representatives to learn more about treatment programs that will fit your needs. They can answer any questions that you may have about a program designed especially for you. Contact us now!
drugabuse.gov – Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction – Treatment and Recovery