Similar to some mental health disorders and a few chronic physical conditions, but far more pronounced, substance addictions are often not thought of or treated the same as other medically diagnosable diseases like cancer. Rather than receive sympathy, those who suffer from substance addiction are often blamed for their problems and judged by certain segments of the population. The negative beliefs surrounding substance use and the judgmental attitudes that accompany them are collectively known as “social stigma.”
The social stigma around drug use and alcohol dependency is a public health crisis with devastating consequences, leading to higher rates of death, incarceration, and mental health disorders among those suffering from substance addiction. Moreover, the judgment of social stigma often creates feelings of anxiety and depression that may exacerbate an addicted person’s desire to use, thereby causing the addiction to become even more severe.
Research also demonstrates that the social stigma surrounding substance addiction is preventing significant numbers of people from seeking the treatment they need. A 2007 study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) found that almost 40% of college students avoided seeking treatment for substance addiction because of social stigma.
If you think that you or someone you love may be struggling with a substance addiction, do not let social stigma get in the way of your search for professional treatment.
The Asana Recovery Center offers a comprehensive detoxification and residential treatment program for drug and alcohol addiction that can help those at any age or stage of addiction. Call (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our program and facilities today.