One effective way to fight shame and self-stigma is a form of skills training known as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Employment skills training has also been shown to reduce the perception of stigma by the addict.
Another powerful way of fighting stigma—not just for the addict but also for society as large—is talking about addiction. Today’s news is full of addicts and their families—including celebrities and noted politicians—speaking up about their experiences. Public gatherings such as Unite to Face Addiction in Washington DC are aimed at starting a positive national discussion.
It’s powerful to hear recovering addicts and family members tell their stories of experience, strength, and hope. This means that if you’re in recovery you can fight the stigma that may be preventing others from getting help simply by talking about your experience (which you can do anonymously in a 12-step meeting).
Those in addiction recovery may want to hide their illness, but it’s when these resilient people speak out that societal attitudes start to change. Recovering addicts are the ones most qualified to deliver the message that treatment works, that recovery is possible, and that they’re grateful for second chances.
Get the help you need today. You don’t have to go through detox and rehab treatment alone. Speak with a treatment specialist now about the struggles you are facing.
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