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Like many other things which have been popularized and portrayed by the media, addiction treatment has developed a stigma over the years that has made seeking treatment seem to be counterproductive or somehow shameful. While accepting help is objectively never shameful, especially for people with chronic diseases such as addiction, this stigma continues to persist. Here are some highlights that point out how, if we work together, we can all focus on effectively breaking the stigma of addiction.
More and more, studies indicate that recovering addicts need compassion and understanding—not harsh treatment methods or thought processes that don’t work. In recent years, states in the US that have adopted government-funded rehabilitation efforts including the distribution of safe, clean needles have seen a massive decrease in the crime that is usually associated with drug use.
When compassion replaces hatred in addiction treatment, recovering addicts are given a real opportunity to focus on beating their addiction. Most times, society becomes a safer place for it as well.
Rehabilitation centers that focus on the incorporation of family during treatment do an excellent job of painting addiction as it truly is, a chronic disease prone to relapse. Like other chronic illnesses, addiction simply requires on-going treatment to be managed effectively. By engaging family members in the treatment of recovering addicts, the mysticism surrounding the disease is removed and it can be viewed medically rather than hatefully.
Breaking the stigma of addiction may ultimately be a generational goal, as the battle may very well not be over for many years to come. However, we can each do our part by supporting each other and ensuring that, if we need treatment, we seek the help we need. Change often starts from within and by living our lives the way we know to be right, we can help show others that drug addiction is a chronic disease and treatment doesn’t need to be shameful.
If you’ve identified a need for addiction treatment in yourself or someone you know, picking up the phone and reaching out can be the first step to take toward gaining freedom from addiction. Give us a call today to see how we can help you identify the treatment center that can offer you the help you need. Together, we can eliminate the barriers and stigma surrounding addiction and strengthen our community.
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