Addiction stigma can be dangerous. It can lead to a person struggling with addiction to refuse help or be in denial with his or her condition. But there’s help and hope with Bridges of Hope. Here we’ll show you how to handle negative associations and reactions to addiction.
Many people buy into stereotypes of addicts because of lack of information or utter misinformation. Addicts, after all, are misrepresented in movies and other media.
However, addiction stigma has a hugely dangerous impact on individuals with addiction as well as on their families.
Addiction Stigma: What it is
Addiction stigma can be explicit or subtle. The overt ones involve people making in-your-face negative comments about people and families with addiction. There are also those who discriminate against these addicts or clinically those people with substance use disorders.
For family members who have addiction stigma, they may reject a loved one or unknowingly enable them. In this scenario, the addict who is in recovery may also not get the support they need from family members.
How to Cope with Addiction Stigma
- Educate yourself. Whether you’re struggling with addiction or have a family member who does, getting the facts–and getting your facts straight–is one of the most important things to help overcome addiction stigma and inform others who are misinformed as well.
- Accept help. Know that you’re not alone. There’s struggle in silence and you need to seek help and accept it when it comes, whatever form it may be.
- You are not your condition. Addiction is not a character flaw or moral failing. You are not trash or a failure. Addiction stigma and addiction itself doesn’t define you nor should it.
- Be open. Let yourself experience the good life that recovery brings. Be open to opportunities to learn and get better. And the first step to this is getting treatment.