When it comes to drug addiction, stigma is everywhere. There always seems to be a mocking comment or stereotypical answer when facing others who are unaware of your situation.
“How could that happen to you? Why could you not prevent this? There is no way out for you, is there?”
These comments hurt. They shout at you. They sum you up and put you down in a matter of moments.
But that “set of negative and often unfair beliefs” about drug addiction can be minimized so you can live your life and focus on recovery as family.
- Try not to be too sensitive. Although you may have every right to be offended, don’t let it eat you up. If you allow yourself to be in control, the comments and assumptions don’t have to hurt as much.
- Be an educator. Don’t let people walk on by with false assumptions. Correct them gently. Let them know the truths of addiction. Educate them so that they do not make the same mistake again.
- Be understanding. Not everyone understands the full scopes of addiction. If you can understand that, you’ll be better off. When someone misjudges your situation, be open to the fact that there may just be a misunderstanding.
- Be open. Stigma can sometimes be created due to the hush-hush of addiction. If you are open and honest with yourself and others, the stigma may start to fade. This doesn’t mean that every detail needs to be out in the public, but perhaps it will prevent judgement if you realize that people will have questions. Be willing to answer them when you are comfortable.
- Be an advocate for recovery. Educate yourselves and others that recovery is possible. Addiction doesn’t have to be shamed. It can be recovered from. Allow that to be a journey, not an end.
Addiction is hard and stigma can make it harder. It can hurt families and individuals that are struggling with addiction. Follow these steps to help avoid that stigma.
If you are in need of a recovery center, learn more about Steps Recovery Center, a drug rehab in Utah, here.