How do you feel when you learn a family member or one of your friends used to take drugs or drink alcohol? Initially, this information might come as a bit of a shock to you, especially if the person in question is a clean, decent-looking man or women. Still, that is the key word isn’t it: “decent”? Notice how we are quick to judge by appearance and let social stigmas control the truth. However, this is not necessarily our fault. Years of research have indicated that addicts face boatloads of shame and disgust in public and constantly carry the weight of their mental illness on their shoulders. (How many times have you heard gossip about celebrities and their embarrassing intoxicated antics?) So, why have we placed a stigma on this sickness and why does society shame it? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
The Commonality of the “Addiction Stigma”
Keep in mind that millions of American citizens suffer from drug addiction or alcoholism, and only a scant percentage of these victims get the treatment they need. For example, in 2014, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health discovered that 21.5 Americans (ages 12 and older) suffered from this mental illness, but only 2.5 million underwent successful rehab. Even more unnerving, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health determined that the general public will treat addicts in a more negative manner than other people suffering from a mental illness.
Social Stigmas Impact Treatment
Imagine the fear of constantly running into a wall of criticism and unacceptance. Unfortunately, drug addicts and alcoholics who suffer the brunt of this judgement are less likely to pursue treatment. Let’s also not forget that this social stigma can have a huge impact on the integration of harm reduction strategies (including needle exchange and safe injection sites) that could potentially save lives. As a direct result of this massive pileup of negativity, the addicts will only feel worse and can fall deeper and deeper into their cesspool of depression and pain.
Seeking Treatment for Drug Abuse or Addiction
Despite some of the negative behaviors associated with these problems, you must remember that drug addiction and alcoholism are severe mental illnesses. Just because a person is suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism doesn’t mean they are an immoral, slovenly man or woman. Their life has taken a downward spiral that just needs to be rewound. With a little help and care, treatment is always possible, even for the worst cases.
If you are suffering from a severe case of drug abuse or alcoholism or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process detox and withdrawal and guide you through each step of the rehabilitation process to help you overcome your attachment to dangerous drugs and alcoholic drinks.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.