You wouldn’t shame Lamar Odom if he was hospitalized dying from cancer, but because he’s there for a drug overdose, it’s downright scandalous.
RELATED: Lamar Odom Overdose Update
The outdated stigma associated with drug addicts, alcoholics, and other addictions has to be demolished. In fact, it’s long overdue. A significant portion of our society is still under the impression that drug addiction and alcoholism is a choice or moral failing. That somehow the addict or alcoholic chooses to slowly kill themselves with drugs and alcohol, and that when they relapse back to drugs/alcohol after some time clean and sober, they do it because they don’t care or stopped trying. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
Addiction Is A Disease, Not A Choice
Addiction is a disease. It’s not a belief – it’s a fact. Do yourself a favor and learn more about it here: American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Definition of Addiction.
Addiction is a chronic
Progressive brain disease, which means that the person suffering needs to be medically treated just the same as anyone who is suffering from a physical illness. It will not get better until two factors come into play: one, the person suffering wants to be treated; two, the person suffering receives treatment.
If we keep shaming people who are sick from addiction, they won’t want to get help. Who would want to reach out for help or treatment when the majority of society is telling them they don’t have a disease, they are a bad person, and they could stop if they wanted to. Do you know how confusing that is to someone whose brain is literally telling them to use and to stop at the same time? That’s like telling a quadriplegic to just get up and walk.
It’s understandable that people who are not familiar with addiction would have these thoughts, but as a recovery community, we ask you to be understanding and open-minded about the disease of addiction. Imagine what the world would look like if we stopped punishing addicts/alcoholics, and started treating them for their illness? What if that person is your loved one – how would you treat them?
Lamar Odom fully recovers from his overdose. He didn’t choose to be an addict. Drug addiction has become our nation’s plague, and hopefully it’s becoming more obvious that it can affect anyone. The disease of addiction does not discriminate. Although tragic, what Odom and his loved ones have been going through sheds light on a situation that can’t be ignored any longer. Before we speak about what we think we know about addiction, we need to be asking ourselves if what we say is truthful and if it will help someone. Do not tell others they can recover on their own just because you think addiction isn’t a disease. Words mean something and they have the power to kill.
If there is one message you should take away, it’s that those who are sick from addiction are not alone – there is hope and there is help! Do not let those who think you do not have a disease stop you from getting the treatment you deserve. If you would like to learn more about addiction and treatment, please do not hesitate to talk to one of our specialist now. We are here 24/7 and only a chat away: Click here to talk live now!Tags: break the stigma, celebrity overdose, disease of addiction