Overcoming Stigmas About Addicts

Debbie Reid, from Recovery Ways explains how addiction is a treatable disease.

Society has many misconceptions about addiction and addicts. We must start changing our beliefs and attitudes about addictions, or this far reaching disease will continue claim the lives more loved ones. Unlike other serious diseases like Cancer many stigmas surround addiction. Stigmas are one of the most difficult aspects of addiction because it makes it harder for individuals to get treatment or for loved ones to get the support they need to deal with the problems of addiction. The proof is that many people living successful lives in long-term recovery.

We often hear it said that an addict must reach rock bottom before they can get any help. This is not true. The earlier you can get an addict into the treatment process the more they have to live for. Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) teach families and loved ones to also “raise the bottom” using techniques the CRAFT program teaches. The CRAFT intervention is a scientifically based intervention designed to help family and loved ones engage in treatment and help substance abusers get into treatment.

Another fallacy about addiction is that the addict must have a desire to get help in order for treatment to be effective. The reality is that addicts who are mandated into treatment often recover. Mandated treatment for an addict can happen in many ways. For example, an employer, family and loved ones or the criminal justice system could intervene and impose treatment. Research confirms that the outcome for addicts, who are placed in treatment by third party intervention, can have just as successful an outcome as one who enters treatment voluntarily.

Addiction and its effects touch every community in this country. Almost everyone knows someone who is suffering from the decease of addiction. Because of the stigmas surrounding addiction, recovery is often kept secret. Yet there are millions of people in this country who are living happy, healthy lives in recovery. Until we as a society, remove the stigmas we attach to addiction these people will harbor shame and embarrassment, not share their stories, or assist others into treatment. Society must understand that addiction is a disease and with proper treatment recovery from this disease is real.

For more information, you can visit www.recoveryways.com

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