The Stigma of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Drug addicts and alcoholics who decide to enter recovery become strong and resilient people capable of doing work on themselves.
When individuals think of drug addicts or alcoholics, they often picture drunks, and dirty, violent people salivating at street crime eventually spending their lives perpetually in and out of jails and institutions.

This is not true for everyone who has a substance abuse problem. The sweet old man next door could be an alcoholic, your child’s school teacher could be an addict, or even the grocery store clerk who you buy your food from could be an addict. Addicts are not just people who participate in scandalous acts in order to maintain their addiction, but can be anyone around you. These common misconceptions about addiction and alcoholism prevent many people from getting help for their problems because revealing themselves to others puts them at risk for rejection and loss of employment.

The way society views individuals with addictions needs to change in order for more individuals suffering from addiction to come forward and seek help for their problems without the debilitating fear of what others will think. Society looks down upon addiction, considering those who indulge in such vices to be immoral and a menace to the world. Addiction is a disease that millions of people in the world are suffering from at varying degrees of intensity. These individuals are not inherently evil. Admitting the need for help is a courageous step that should be respected not looked at with pity.

Those suffering from cancer do not get looked at with disgust because cancer is a life-threatening illness that usually comes without choice. In just the same aspect, many people did not choose their life-threatening disease of addiction. Studies show that addiction could be genetically passed down from generation to generation. Other studies show that addiction is actually within the brain. In this sense, addiction lies dormant, or manifests itself in other forms until the first substance is used. Then, the addiction is awoken, and the lifestyle that comes with addiction begins.

Drug addicts and alcoholics who decide to enter recovery become strong and resilient people capable of doing work on themselves that many people who do not struggle with addictions never realize needs to be done. These tormented souls get a second chance a life free from that pain that fueled their addiction. Addiction is not something to be feared or repulsed by, but instead looked at as the symptom of a deeper problem. Addiction takes the addict down a frightening and broken road; however recovery is the demolition and reconstruction of that road, a road that leads addicted individuals to a life of being a productive asset to society.

Distributed by Client Initiatives

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