The Stigma Of Addiction
Drug and alcohol addiction, though a disease, just isn’t viewed the same way as say, cancer or diabetes. If someone is diagnosed with brain cancer, people generally come out of the woodworks to offer support and a helping hand. They don’t look at you suspiciously, wondering if you’re lying or whether you’re going to fall off the wagon right back into brain cancer. People who survive are revered in the community, there are 5k walks, and fundraisers to support others who have the same disease. This isn’t what happens for addicts and alcoholics.
Instead, we are pushed away. We aren’t applauded by society for overcoming a deadly disease. No one drops off casseroles when we are detoxing. Rather, we are shunned for having the disease of addiction. It could be the only disease that people get mad at you for having, and yet, it’s not something we ever wanted.
Our culture has a deep-seated distaste for addiction, probably because of its love affair with alcohol. Alcohol is celebrated by our culture, and the minute a person comes out and says they can’t handle it anymore is the minute they are cast off.
Changing The Stigma
The stigma surrounding addiction has been changing in recent years, albeit slowly. For years, the addict or alcoholic was thought to be someone in ragged clothes, drinking from a paper bag, and living in a back alley.
Addiction has no boundaries, and discriminates against no one. People didn’t really give it a second thought until it was becoming apparent that neighborhood kids, soccer moms, doctors, and lawyers were all being affected by the disease—not just the stereotypical addict or alcoholic that people once thought lived on a bench, and not under their own roof. There is a growing movement to help each and every person that needs it, but we have a long way to go.
No one should be ashamed to be in recovery. Beating addiction is one of the hardest feats a human being can overcome. Whether you choose to wear your recovery proudly on your sleeve, or if you keep it close, be sure to help others who need it. You are the face of what defying addiction looks like, and we need more people like you.
If you need help, call The Lakehouse Recovery Center. Your life matters, and you are so worth recovery. Don’t go through this alone. Give us a call, we are available 24/7, toll-free at (877) 762-3707. Today, you can change. Recovery is possible, call now.