One of the primary reasons for the stigma of addiction is the belief that addiction arises as a result of the weakness of character. It is a sub-conscious sense of victim blaming that refuses to empathise with a habitual user. A mere mention of the word ‘addict’ or ‘drug user’ can be associated with weakness and flaw, resulting in indiscrimination. Such hostile opinions often keep many people from seeking help and drive them further into addiction.
In one of our Family Meets, professionals spoke about the three different kinds of stigmas and how they affect the individual suffering from addiction and their families. The taboo around addiction manifests itself into self-stigma, family stigma, and public stigma. These stigmas often hinder an individual’s recovery from substance dependence and detrimentally affect the family’s relationship with their loved one. To know more about positive coping strategies against the stigma of addiction, watch the highlights video of our Family Meet.
Overcoming the stigma of addiction can help an addict say no to drugs and substances. It can help the individual adopt positive behaviour, which can prove to be a major stepping stone in their journey towards Addiction recovery.
Stigma of addiction can cause hindrance in the already arduous recovery process. Here are some things to do to overcome the stigma
Although sharing one’s story can be daunting, it can be truly helpful in making people understand and empathise. Ultimately better awareness and continued support can help overcome stigma of addiction.
Why is addiction hard to overcome?
Addiction leads to alteration in the prefrontal cortex of the brain and in a person’s dopamine cycle. It impairs judgment and impulse control making it difficult to make good decisions and the body starts needing more dopamine in order to function properly.
How can stigma be reduced?
Stigma can be reduced when we realise that addiction is a social issue. People suffering from substance use disorders should not be persecuted for their choices. One must educate oneself about factors that can cause a predisposition to addiction. The family and the individual must realise that battling stigma is a necessary step to recovery.
What are the different types of stigma?
The different types of stigma include self-stigma, family stigma, and public stigma. Self stigma can be the most detrimental as it affects the individual’s self-perception and may inhibit them from leading on the path to recovery.
How can stigma affect the family?
Family stigma and public stigma may be a source of shame for the family and they may feel ashamed to help their loved ones recover. In some cases, it may cause imbalances in the family structure and promote hostility in the family. This may in turn, impede recovery.
How does Cadabams treat addiction?
Cadabams recognizes the social and family aspects of addiction as well. It provides support groups for individuals and families. There is a 24/7 support with immediate crisis intervention and a multifaceted team of psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, etc. Cadabams takes evidence and solution-based treatment plans which are customized for every individual.
If you need more information about treatment options for addiction or have any queries, do mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit us at Cadabam’s Anunitha. You can also reach out to us on our 24/7 helpline number- +91 96111 94949.
Disclaimer – It is important to note that addiction should be referred to as ‘substance use disorder’ to better address the effects of this psychological condition. Words like addict, junkie, etch should be avoided as they place the blame on the individual. Individuals/person/people suffering from substance use disorder or substance dependence syndrome should be used.