Remove addiction stigma to enable disease recovery
There has been much work done to separate stigma from the disease of addiction.
It is important to remove stigma associated with the disease because stigma stands in the way of talking about it and solving it. Recently, I interacted with someone who apparently has a large family, lives in a nice community, and has a job. He is deeply addicted to opioids.
He is looking for someone to talk to because he is depressed.
Many people suffering from addiction have an underlying mental difficulty. In this case, the fellow may be depressed. The stigma of talking about addiction and mental health problems keeps him from talking to people he sees every day and who may be able to help him.
Starting these lifesaving conversations is undermined within the drug community. There are those who enjoy using drugs, profit from it and do not intend to stop. They do not want others to stop because it would interfere with their world view. That world view includes the idea that the war on illicit drugs caused the stigma against using illicit drugs. The logic presupposes it is useless to discuss drugs with anyone not using them.
Stigma is on both sides of the issue.
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