The Stigma Surrounding Addiction

Treatment

The word “addict” may conjure up certain stereotypes: a low-income (or even homeless), uneducated person from a poor or urban area, for example. However, no one is immune to addiction and anyone can struggle with drug or alcohol abuse.

The stigma surrounding addiction can make it more difficult for some people to accept their issues with substance use. Education and awareness, and even a more varied portrayal of addiction in the media, has helped overcome some of these stigmas.

Despite this, the effect of this negative stigma still lingers in the form of common myths about addiction and substance use.

If I can still function day-to-day, I’m not addicted

Many individuals still work, attend school, or spend time with family while struggling with substance use. Things may continue to look normal from the outside, but if a person is frequently taking breaks, making excuses to be alone, coming in late to work or school, or falling asleep at odd times, there may be something else going on behind the scenes.

It’s not illegal, so I’m not addicted

stereotype of addiction

Alcohol and legitimate prescription drugs are both legal, but also addictive. If an individual feels stressed or anxious when a prescription begins to run out, or constantly comes up with excuses to drink heavily, they may be struggling with substance use.

Addicts are morally corrupt

For years, many people viewed addiction as a choice and people struggling with substance abuse as lost causes. That perspective has begun to change as experts in the treatment community continue to assert that addiction is a disease that requires clinical treatment. Someone dealing with substance use may not want to accept their issues for fear of being viewed as a bad person by friends, family, and society in general.

You must hit rock bottom to begin recovery

This common trope suggests that an individual must totally lose control of their life before they are ready to accept treatment. Deciding to accept treatment and begin recovery is completely unique process for each individual. A person can be successful in addiction treatment when they first sense that they’re becoming dependent on a substance, or after decades of using.

People who relapse are hopeless

Some individuals avoid treatment because of a fear of failure. They may believe that relapsing will do nothing but confirm all of the negative stigmas surrounding addiction, or that they won’t be able to stay sober and will end up disappointing loved ones. However, relapse is not the end of a recovery journey and can be overcome with continued commitment to proper treatment and care.

It can be difficult to face the negative stigmas surrounding addiction and decide to pursue treatment anyway. If you believe that you or someone you know struggles with substance use, Silvermist may be the right addiction treatment match. To learn more, call (724) 481-1284 today.