Addiction can happen to anyone. It does not discriminate or affect only one particular demographic. Unfortunately, there is a stigma about addiction. The stigma is a false perception that people who struggle with addiction are homeless, lower class, and uneducated.
The stigma of addiction negatively affects a person’s self-esteem, relationships, and lessens the possibility of him or her seeking help. In reality, well educated, middle to upper-class people with good paying jobs struggle with addiction. It affects lawyers, teachers, veterans, and medical professionals.
Anyone can be at risk of addiction. Opioid addiction is increasing among people of all ages, nationalities, and social statuses. Our nation is suffering an opioid epidemic and people are dying from overdoses. Opioids are powerful prescription painkillers meant for temporary pain relief due to surgery, injury, or illness. Many people misuse opioids because in addition to blocking pain, they also produce a euphoric feeling or high.
The stigma of addiction harms social lives. It leads to discrimination and affects the mental and social health of people struggling with addiction. The stigma de-humanizes individuals who use drugs or alcohol and creates a disconnection with their community and loved ones. It amplifies loneliness and isolation. When a person feels shamed by society and has no one to talk to, he or she is less likely to pursue treatment. Loneliness can trigger underlying mental health issues and provoke substance use to cope. The cycle continues and becomes increasingly more difficult to break.
Many people who are not familiar with addiction view it as a lack of self-control, which contributes to the stigma of addiction and heightens the difficulty of accessing proper treatment.
There are ways to reduce the stigma of addiction:
- Do not judge
- Offer compassion and support
- See the person, not the drugs
- Learn about addiction
- Listen without shaming
- Be kind always
- Research drug dependency
- Treat people with respect
- Avoid labels
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, now is the time to get help. Do not wait another day. Addiction is complicated, but recovery is possible.
Cypress Lakes Lodge specializes in addiction treatment and is located in a serene, remote, lush-green, oxygen enriched environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy and offers yoga and meditation for the mind, body, and soul. The focus is on physical, mental, and emotional well-being by generating the balance of life-enriching treatment, wellness, and healthy, sober, sustainable relationships. Call us to get started: 409-331-2204