Thousands of individuals across the United States struggle with addiction every year. Yet even with such prevalence, many people still face negative stigma from individuals who do not understand the disease of addiction.
Stigma can worsen addiction as individuals that are already struggling believe the negative stereotypes thrown at them. As a society, we have taken steps to address stigma, but there is more that individuals can do to help. Consider these tips to help fight against the stigma surrounding addiction.
Engage in Education
Learning about addiction can help you understand what someone is going through. Education is perhaps the best tool to use against stigma. Therefore it is essential to educate yourself and others about substance use disorders (SUD) to discredit many of the stereotypes out there.
Many people are unsure of how to act around individuals with addiction, including those working in healthcare. By spreading education regarding addiction, you can facilitate understanding and empathy to help end stigma.
Highlight Those in Recovery
Many people believe that those struggling with addiction will never heal, never have any goals, or never live productive lives. By highlighting individuals in recovery, these notions are challenged to prove that addiction can be successfully treated. Long-term recovery is possible, and individuals who share their stories can offer a new perspective regarding attitudes surrounding addiction.
Be Mindful of Language
You do not have to take enormous actions to fight stigma; small changes help too. You can make a difference simply by being mindful of the language you use when discussing addiction and recovery.
For example, keeping in mind person-first language is critical. Instead of saying “addict,” you can use “person struggling with addiction.” Instead of saying “getting clean,” you should say “in recovery.” These small changes help reduce the stigma surrounding addiction and put the individuals first instead of the disease itself.
The stigma that surrounds addiction is abundant and often leads to negative consequences for those struggling. By learning how to combat this stigma efficiently, you can further your understanding and empathy. At the Detox Center of Colorado, we strongly believe in fighting against addiction stigma. We educate clients and their families regarding the subject so they are adequately prepared for treatment and sustaining long-term recovery. Our services allow individuals to start recovery in a pleasant environment amongst the mountains, starting with detox. Call us today to learn more at (303) 952-5035.