4 Ways Society Should Respond to Addiction to Drugs & Alcohol
Alcohol and drug addiction is rampant through the nation, but society still seems to hold a strong stigma on the individuals struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol. This stigma of addiction can prevent addicts from understanding their ailment as the disease it is as well as even keep them from seeking out the addiction treatment they truly need. But how exactly should society respond to addiction and the increasing number of drug overdoses that occur as a result of it each year?
How Society Should React to Alcohol & Drug Addiction
An addiction to drugs and alcohol can be terrible and not just for the addict but also for those around them. Getting an appropriate and accurate understanding on the disease of addiction plays a critical role in introducing and implementing various types of addiction treatment for alcoholics and drug addicts. Without a concise understanding on the disease, society will continue to overlook addiction as a “choice” instead of the illness it truly is. Instead of blaming or shaming the addict, there are far better ways to react to the devastating addiction that many individuals in society have to drugs and alcohol.
1. Understand Addiction as the Disease It Is
Society needs to understand that addiction is a disease, not a moral failure or a choice. With The Opioid Crisis being classified as a “public health issue” last year, there has been more clarity on what an addiction is. However, there is still a negative stigma held by society. With an understanding of addiction being a disease, members of society can begin to work together toward a viable solution for the problem affecting a large percentage of the nation.
2. Be Compassionate, Not Shaming
With understanding, there should also be compassion and at the very least, no shaming. There is a negative view on addicts and whether that stems from fear or anger, the shaming needs to stop because it’s not helping – it’s hurting. It can make addicts feel as if they are terrible, uncontrollable people when they really just have a disease that needs to be treated.
3. Don’t Enable
Loved ones of addicts may think the answer is to help the addict out of any situation or consequence. This can end up hurting an addict instead of helping them though because it prevents them from experiencing those consequences, which can play a vital role in helping them see the severity of the situation and need to change. It’s important to stop enabling addicts. Sometimes, even neighbors and friends may prevent the addict from getting in trouble for their actions and at times, even encourage the alcohol and drug use. This is the exact kind of behavior that should be stopped in order for the addict to be able to see how badly they need help.
4. Reputable Addiction Treatment Options
While an understanding on the disease of addiction is key and putting an end to the shame and enabling is important as well, society needs to take a stand for more effective, reputable addiction treatment to be available. The root cause of the drug-seeking behavior needs to be addressed, but not everybody has access to reputable treatment for addiction. With new policies underway, it is a great hope that addiction treatment will be provided for those in need and more treatment in place of criminal convictions.
Addiction is a disease, and the negative view society holds on addicts and alcoholics needs to change if the nation really wants the issue to be properly addressed.
Are you suffering in active addiction to drugs and alcohol? You didn’t choose to become addicted, but you can choose to recover. The Watershed is here to help. Call The Watershed today at 1-800-861-1768 to start recovering from addiction.Tags: addiction to drugs, disease of addiction, drug addiction, stigma of addiction