Millions of people suffer from drug and alcohol addiction in America. While addiction is now considered a disease, there are still plenty of addiction stigmas that deter many people from getting the treatment they desperately need. Fear of rejection or having others look down upon them for openly admitting an addiction by enrolling in a treatment program may leave people stuck in an endless cycle of addiction that only gets worse with time.
At Painted Desert Recovery, we understand that addiction stigmas are neither fair nor accurate, so we strive to make our addiction therapy center welcoming and non-judgmental. Our caring staff is here to help you heal while treating you with the utmost respect and patience. Call us today at 844.540.0357 to learn more about our trauma-informed women’s addiction recovery programs.
What Causes Negative Addiction Stigmas?
You would not treat a person poorly if you found out they had cancer, so why is it any different with addiction? Both conditions are diseases and affect the mind and body of the person afflicted.
A few possible explanations as to why there are negative addiction stigmas that do not exist with other types of diseases include:
- People with addiction may be blamed for their condition. Many people believe that a person suffering from addiction caused their condition themselves, so they treat it as a character flaw.
- Many people do not understand or believe that addiction is a disease. They perceive it to be a chosen behavior that you could stop at any time if you wanted.
- Lack of education about what causes addiction and why it is so difficult to quit on your own can lead some people to be unsympathetic to those suffering from addiction. They do not realize that the person is not their addiction, and it is not simply a matter of summoning the willpower to quit.
- Stereotypes in the media portray a negative image of people suffering from addiction, often painting them as dangerous, deceitful, and lazy. The justice system is more likely to incarcerate a person with addiction rather than helping them get the treatment they truly need.
What Are the Consequences of Negative Perceptions of Addiction?
You cannot control how other people think, but you can educate them on addiction’s reality. Leaving inaccurate negative addiction stigmas the way they are is a disservice to those suffering from addiction.
Some of the possible consequences of not addressing misperceptions of addiction include:
- Higher rates of fatal overdoses – Many people do not get effective treatment because of the negative addiction stigmas. They may not consider treatment due to fear of losing their job or being rejected by others if they admit to their addiction. With a lack of proper treatment, more people will stay stuck in an addiction that gets increasingly worse and run the risk of a fatal overdose.
- An ineffective justice system – If people suffering from drug or alcohol addiction are incarcerated due to being under the influence, there is no progress being made to help them get clean. The addiction and incarceration cycle will continue, which is beneficial to no one. Changing the addiction perception to view people with substance use disorder as someone who needs help rather than someone who needs to be locked up can make a significant difference in helping to tackle the addiction crisis.
- Lack of proper medical attention – People with addiction may not receive the medical treatment they need due to negative stigmas from healthcare providers. Some people under the influence are even turned away from emergency rooms by staff who exhibit biases and make assumptions that the person will be problematic or is only trying to access pharmaceuticals.
Overcome Addiction Stigmas with Painted Desert Recovery
When you put your trust in Painted Desert Recovery, you can count on women’s addiction treatment with a warm, caring staff that only wants the best for you. Call us today at 844.540.0357 or complete our online form to learn how we can help you get your life back from addiction.