Eliminating the Stigma of Drug Addiction

Drug addiction affects millions of Americans every year, and still most people view drug addiction as a character flaw or simply the result of bad choices. While each addict must take responsibility for where they’ve ended up in life, looking down on these individuals is not at all beneficial.

In order to help more people overcome their addiction, we need to change the way our society views drug addiction. Many people who suffer from a drug addiction have to constantly deal with negative interactions with others. People that are addicted to drugs or alcohol are often thought of as people who messed up in life or people who don’t try hard enough to get clean. Others see people who are addicted as lazy, selfish, and lacking willpower.

Eliminating the Stigma of Drug Addiction

Drug Addiction is a Powerful Disease

Many struggling with addiction fight with everything they have to get sober. They regret the poor choices they made in life, and are devastated by the way their addiction has impacted their family and loved ones. There are many reasons a person begins abusing drugs, and some are beyond their control, such as a painful disease or injury, abuse as a child, or a traumatic event.

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Sometimes all it takes is one poor choice to self-medicate or to manage stress with drugs or alcohol before the person becomes addicted. Researchers have recently found that brain chemistry may be different for those who become addicted, making it even more difficult for these people to get and stay sober.

The stigma associated with drug abuse is not at all beneficial to someone that is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. They will often hide their “problem” as long as possible because they are too embarrassed to tell family members or close friends. If we would view addiction as a disease that needs treatment to be healed, we would have more people that may be struggling with drug addiction seeking help. Families should not look down on their loved ones, but encourage them to get help, and offer to assist them in every way possible to overcome their alcohol or drug addiction.

About the Reviewer: Chris Barnes

Chris BarnesChristopher Barnes has worked in health care for over thirty years. He is a graduate of Alabama State University where he earned a double Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work and Psychology in 1982. Christopher Barnes is currently the Director of Clinical services at The Discovery House where he has been employed for the past five years. Because of his extensive experience in health care & substance abuse he has an excellent rapport with constituents, clients, and other professional organizations in the counseling/social service community.

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