Family members of someone in need of addiction recovery are deeply and profoundly affected by the situation. In the United States, there are approximately 15.1 million adults aged 18 and older have alcohol abuse disorders and this doesn’t include adolescents ages 12 to 17. Additionally, there are another 21 million people who wrangle with substance abuse and only 10% will receive treatment. Addiction is not something that only impacts the addict, millions of people are caught up in the depths of its deception, denial and danger.
It is deeply saddening to think that only 10% of 15 + million people will ever get the help they need
Matthew Steiner, CEO Addicted Minds – The Elite Treatment Providers
Families faced with addiction are wounded, weary and unsure of how to deal with the addict or the situation, as a whole. These families face negative emotions and feelings that block their road to addiction recovery
. A major issue families and addicts deal with is stigma of addiction and it brings with it feelings of shame, guilt, silence and judgment.
Stigma is one of the biggest problems with addiction recovery, because it makes it difficult for the addict and their family to deal with the situation and get help. Many people still believe that addiction is a flaw or personal weakness, even when being faced with mountains of scientific evidence to the contrary. Stigma contributes to the social and legal discrimination against people who suffer from addiction and it treats the problem as a moral failing, rather than a disease.
Language and it’s Role in The Addiction Recovery Process
Language plays a vital role in perpetuating stigma against drug addiction. People use terms like “crack head, winos, alcoholics, dope fiends, pill popper and dead-beats.” Addicts are not immune to these stinging labels and to change the role stigma plays in addiction, people need to change their mindset about this horrible disease.
You can help to lift the veil of stigma off addiction by educating yourself about the realities of it, it’s the only way to stop the negative perceptions that exist. Don’t allow stigma and secrets to prevent you from reaching out to get help. Millions of people now in recovery have had to deal with these perceptions and bravely put them aside to get treatment and you can too.