For those who struggle with addiction issues, it can be difficult to seek out help. Admitting that they have a problem that is beyond their control can keep many individuals from getting the treatment they need. However, a number of stigmas about addiction and recovery can also keep people from breaking free from addiction. These false beliefs about addiction and those who struggle with can not only hold people back from getting help, but can halt progress on research, public health initiatives, and funding for addiction-related issues. Learn more about some common stigmas about addiction recovery and find out how you can get help for substance abuse issues today.
Stigma #1: Addiction Is a Moral Issue
It’s common for society to blame those who struggle with substance abuse for their disorders. Addiction is often seen as a moral or a criminal issue rather than as a chronic illness. For many of those with addiction issues, their problems began as a result of being prescribed an addictive substance by a doctor. Others might have turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with trauma or mental health issues. And no matter how addiction might have begun, as it progresses, it becomes harder and harder to break free.
Stigma #2: Addiction Should Be Dealt With Privately
Substance abuse can cause changes in behavior, such as mood swings, reckless behavior, and poor judgment. Because of these changes, families can feel like they should be embarrassed by their loved ones. Coupled with the idea that addiction is a moral issue, this can lead to the idea that addiction is an issue to be hidden from the world. Individuals who are struggling with substance abuse also might feel like they need to hide their issues from others in their lives so they don’t lose their jobs or cause damage to relationships. However, when stigma is removed from addiction, individuals can feel freer to seek out treatment and discuss their issues with loved ones.
Stigma #3: Addiction Is Not a Disease
This stigma about addiction can impact not only how society perceives individuals who are struggling, but it also affects funding for treatment centers and research. If addiction is a choice and a moral failing, then, some rationalize, there’s no need to spend time and money researching how to help those working to overcome addiction.
Stigma #4: You Can Overcome Addiction Through Willpower
This false belief harms those who are struggling with addiction in a profound way. They can start to believe that they have not been able to overcome addiction simply because they are not strong enough. However, the truth is that addiction causes changes in the brain that make it incredibly difficult for individuals to stop habitual drug and alcohol use.
Stigma #5: Harm Reduction Strategies Encourage Drug Use
Research has shown that interventions like needle exchanges, safe places for drug consumption, and substitution therapy, which all reduce the risk of harm to substance users, can decrease drug use. However, the stigma around these interventions is that they encourage or facilitate drug use. Some people believe that only interventions that promote sobriety can be effective. Yet for many individuals, suddenly stopping their drug use could be dangerous or even fatal.
Contact Soledad House Today for Addiction Treatment
Don’t let these stigmas about addiction recovery hold you back from getting help. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it doesn’t mean that you are weak or a bad person. Instead, it just means that you are battling a disease. Finding the right addiction treatment center can be the most important step you take on the road to recovery. At Soledad House, we offer treatment programs for women in our San Diego facility. To learn more about our women’s addiction treatment programs and therapies, contact us online or call our team at 866.314.3222 today.