Why it’s Important to See Beyond the Addiction
Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) are often characterized by a pathological a need for a substance, resulting in reckless actions and compulsive seeking behaviors. Professionals in the field of psychology are in agreement that addiction and abuse generally stem from SUDs. Despite the mountains of research and the professionals’ agreement, many people still view addiction as the personal failure of immoral individuals.
This view is not helped by the current policies where the solution to addiction is incarceration, despite the fact that treatment is shown to be far more effective at lowering substance abuse rates. By incarcerating instead of treating, the view that addicts are criminals is perpetuated and the stigma is strengthened.
While we cannot expect people to change their minds overnight, we do have the ability to effect change in the beliefs and feelings of those around us.
One way to do so is to share what you are going through and not hide behind false facades. By being open and honest, people will see you as a person who is struggling rather than a criminal. When people start seeing you as a human being, they might change their misconceptions of you, possibly even offer support and compassion.
Another way to break the stigma is to do some research on SUDs and understand the disease completely. By educating yourself on the reality of SUDs, you not only get a deeper understanding of what you are dealing with and how better to face it, you can also enlighten those around you to the reality of addiction.
Too often society is quick to judge and label addicts as miscreants who just need to “straighten up and fly right.” Most people are content in their blissful ignorance of the truth of chemical dependency and the obstacles faced by addicts in their road to recovery. Recovery is not simply achieved and then done; it is a lifelong task – one that is incredibly difficult without help and support.
If you or someone you know is struggling on the road to recovery, Get Real Recovery is here to offer the much-needed support and guidance to make your path less burdensome.