One of the biggest issues people have for seeking help with a drug or alcohol use issue is the stigma attached to dependency. Addiction stigma is slowly starting to dissipate, but we have a long way to go. Destigmatizing substance abuse treatment must first start with ridding society of their preconceived ideas of what addiction is. Only by gaining an understanding of addiction can we then go about destigmatizing substance abuse treatment. The person who requires help must not feel they are somehow defective or weak for having the addiction. There are some things we can do to help change the addiction stigma. For more information, contact Mission Recovery today at 833.477.7379.
Change Our Wording
Changing the words we use surrounding addiction and those who suffer from its effects is one of the first steps to destigmatizing substance abuse treatment. The wording is the DSM-5 is making this change. Instead of using the word addiction, they are labeling this disorder as a substance use disorder. In this way, it becomes clear that dependency on a substance is an illness and is not something a person seeks out.
Another way to help reduce addiction stigma is to remember to label the disorder, not the person. For example, you are not an addict, you have an addiction. This conveys that the addiction is a part of you, not who you are. Words are powerful tools and a simple change in wording can go a long way towards how we view something.
Understand the Science
Educating the world on the science behind addiction helps people understand it better. When we don’t understand something we often behave in a negative manner toward it. It is necessary to separate the term addiction with the traditional view of a dirty, homeless person who can’t walk straight.
Addiction occurs in all walks of life and the person standing next to you in a suit and tie can be suffering from one. Here is where destigmatizing a residential treatment program requires we view addiction in a different light. Knowing the science behind addiction helps people understand that nobody chooses to become addicted. We need to teach our kids that addiction isn’t as simple as just saying no, they have to understand that for some people, saying no becomes impossible in time.
Distinguish Between Destigmatizing and Enabling
By destigmatizing substance abuse treatment, we can also start to distinguish between destigmatizing and enabling. It is okay to view addiction as the illness it is and to realize that a person dealing with addiction did not choose this. However, this does not mean they are not responsible for their actions. It is their choice to seek help or continue using the substance. If you do not realize the amount of choice available in certain areas, you become an enabler rather than a support.
By realizing that addiction is an illness, you help place it in the same category as diabetes or cancer. The person did not choose addiction. However, they have the choice on whether to allow it to continue controlling their existence or to reach out and do something about it.
Contact Mission Recovery
Here at Mission Recovery, we strive daily to educate people on the subject of addiction. As we work on destigmatizing substance abuse treatment we also make sure our clients understand that there is nothing wrong with seeking our help. Weakness is not what got you to this point. We believe that with our help, you can put the addiction stigma in the past. We offer a wide array of treatment options, including:
- Alcohol addiction treatment program
- Heroin rehab program
- Substance abuse treatment program
- Opiate addiction treatment program
If you have failed to reach out because of addiction stigma, put aside that idea now and call us at 833.477.7379 to speak with a member of our staff. We understand you don’t want to be in your current position. Let us help you move onward and upward.