Addiction Stigma: Are Addicts Bad People?

 In Intervention

Do you think people are bad if they become addicted to drugs or alcohol? Those suffering from addiction are often stuck with the stigma of being terrible people, no matter what they do. Sometimes they are even branded as an addict when they start to live a sober lifestyle. The stigma surrounding addiction can be hard to outrun. Learn more about how addiction is an illness and not an excuse in the following guide.

Addicts Aren’t Bad People, They Are Sick People

Most people conclude drug addicts are bad people. However, when a person becomes addicted to drugs, their body turns against them. The harmful substances don’t create a bad person. Instead, it ends up making them too sick to control certain actions. According to DrugAbuse.com, drugs will affect the chemical makeup of the brain, which can lead to people taking drugs even when it starts to harm their health. Of course, this can cause people to do some crazy and risky things to get their next high. Stealing, lying, or turning to illegal ways might be the path a person goes down. Especially when their brain is telling them it wants more and more. What started as drug-experimentation can turn into a full-on coup of the survival centers of the brain. Whether they want to or not, they might do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do without the influence of drugs flowing throughout their system.

Those suffering from addiction end up with a chronic disease. The only way to really recover from it is to seek professional help. This health affliction is similar to a person with diabetes since there is no cure and treatment is ongoing for the rest of their life. There’s no easy escape from it, despite what some people might think.

This type of disease doesn’t go after gender, ethnicity, or how wealthy your parents are. It can happen to any person. Therefore, don’t let your previous prejudices get in the way of denying you have a problem. Addiction doesn’t discriminate against anyone, so be aware of your life choices.

Yours Truly, Addiction Stigma

Just because your neighbor or cousin is an addict, doesn’t mean they still aren’t someone with real feelings. No matter how much drugs change a person’s brain chemistry, there is still a part of them inside waiting to break free. As reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, addiction stigma can cause adverse psychological effects on addicts. They might end up feeling bad about who they are deep inside. No one wants a person thinking there’s something seriously wrong and defective about who they really are. What's more, is that these feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth fuel addiction.

This can also cause an addict to resist any type of help. They might already think they are beyond saving and only do more horrible things to match the opinions others have on them. A person who is repeatedly told that they are bad or “evil” might start to think it’s the truth. They might think that some of the stigma is correct and that alone cause them to give up ever recovering from their addiction troubles. Being able to imagine a future where they are sober is an essential step for them to take.

However, telling an addict, they have a disease that’s hard to overcome can reveal that they can get better. Being an alcoholic or drug addict doesn’t have to define who they are for the rest of their lives. It also doesn’t have to lead to them thinking they are evil beings. Getting professional help from doctors and therapists who have experience is the answer. They can give your loved one the chance to recover from their old ways. It might not always last, but having your support will go a long way.

There is Hope

It might be a difficult journey for both of you since you might have to be supportive continually. Seeing them go in and out of rehab can be a struggle, but the possibility of having them back is worth it. If they recover successfully, they could get their family back and live a healthier life once again. There’s always hope of them living a normal life with you again.

Every day a new program is being created or altered for certain patients in rehabs all over the world. So, don’t give up hope that one of these newly developed ideas will allow your loved one to remain sober. They can regain their lives once more with the program that’s perfect for them and your added encouragement.

 Why You Should Stage an Intervention

Are you considering staging an addiction intervention for your loved one? An intervention can be a great way to convince them they have a big problem. You can organize it so family and friends who are affected by their actions can display their love and concern for the addict. Each of you can point out and discuss personal anecdotes of how the drugs have changed them. Planning who’s going to say what, the time and the date are all the things that can help make an intervention a success.

Having an interventionist can also tip the balance in your favor. Interventionists can be a guide who leads the intervention, especially when conflicts arise. No one wants to get off track during a time like this, because every moment counts in their final decision.

However, no matter what, an addiction intervention is not the time to accuse or be verbally abusive in any way. Otherwise, that will not turn out in a positive light for the addict since they might end up arguing or maintain their own denials. It’s actually a time to make them understand that you see their struggles and gently persuade them that they need more help than you can give them. It might not always work out, so more than one intervention could be necessary. It’s a way to portray your continued support. You can help encourage them that it’s okay to seek outside help to get better for your future happiness.

If you need help with your loved one, call Care Recovery Services today for a free initial consultation right over the phone. We can offer the best care for when they need it the most!

 

Sources
[1] Understanding the Effects of Long Term Drug Abuse on the Brain. (2016, July 27). Retrieved from https://drugabuse.com/understanding-the-effects-of-long-term-drug-abuse-on-the-brain/

[2] Substance Use Related Stigma: What we Know and the Way Forward. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4228689/

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