One of the biggest issues our society faces on a daily basis is the very real issue of stigmatization. Whether it is the stigmatization of an individual based on their color, gender, sexual orientation, or habits, human nature has a funny way of lumping certain people in a group and reducing them to something unpleasant. Unlike stereotyping, which carries its own set of problems, stigmatization specifically gives a derogatory label to a group, no matter what the group stands for or who comprises it. When it comes to addiction, there are many ways people stigmatize its victims. Seeing a victim of addiction as “dirty,” “unkept,” “the underclass,” or a number of additional derogatory terms reduces that individual to an object that can only be observed. Whether you have recently recovered from an addiction, are addicted now, or returned to sobriety years ago, there is a lot you can to help change this stigma and bring awareness to a mental health issue that has affected millions of people over the years. The first big step to fixing the stigma of addiction is to pay careful attention to the words used to describe the disease. Although it is a common mistake, experts indicate that even using words like “addict” or “alcoholic” can evoke thoughts of the negative effects of addiction, and not the person who is suffering from the disease themselves. Research indicates that there is a very real concept floating around that suggests that an addict can not ever fully recover from his or her addiction, and as such will always be an addict. This is fundamentally incorrect, and about as ignorant as suggesting that someone who has a cold or the flu will never be healthy again. These kinds of thought processes, however, speak volumes as to the level of ignorance that abounds in our society when it comes to addiction. The next step in fixing the stigma of addiction is changing your own outlook on what addiction actually is. People are so often conditioned to believe that addiction is fundamentally their fault, when this could not be further from the case. Addiction has no proclivity towards a certain type of user, and, as such, it cannot be the fault of the person who is unfortunate enough to have to suffer through it. Knowing that your addiction is not your fault is a big factor in removing the stigma behind it in the first place!
Addiction is not your fault, but refusing to get help could very well be. Don’t let addiction run your life anymore. Join us at Oceanfront Recovery, and take a stand against your addiction. We’re waiting at (877)279-1777!