Like other medical conditions, addiction is diagnosable and treatable when you seek professional medical care and attention. While this is the truth, several misconceptions and negative thoughts make it hard for people struggling with addiction to seek professional help.
Addiction is still viewed as an untreatable disease leaving patients to struggle and suffer from it. Even after seeking help, there is still an associated stigma, especially for those who are enrolled in addiction treatment centers. So how can you deal with the addiction recovery stigma?
Start by Recognizing and Accepting Your Addiction
You should note that the stigma you feel is due to the pressure coming from people around you. However, it is you suffering from addiction and knowing how it feels. Recognizing and accepting your addiction helps you seek help despite how people talk about you or seeing you. When you understand what addiction is and how damaging it can be to your health and life, you will find it relieving to seek medical help and fight stigma in the process. When you accept your addiction, you also change the mindset of the people around you. It will be possible to lobby for help and encouragement during the rehab process, which helps achieve full recovery.
Don’t Try to Do It Alone
Whether you decide to stop using drugs as a personal decision or you seek medical help, there are still chances that you will suffer from stigma and its negative impacts. Fighting stigma is a personal decision in addition to working with professionals and other medical specialists. Don’t try to do it alone. You need to find the right addiction treatment center to help in detoxification, manage the therapy sessions, recover and promote overall body and mind healing. The only way to beat stigma is by succeeding in recovery. When you pretend and try to be tough, the chances of handling your addiction problem are lower. Seek support and commit to the treatment and rehab process as this will help you fight stigma and recover fully.
Be Vocal and Speak Up in Your Community
The process of addiction recovery can be long and overwhelming. However, when you speak up in your community and be vocal about addiction, recovery, and stigma, you also empower and offer help to other people suffering from addiction. You will gain confidence and commit to the rehab process. When you become a leader and champion in the community, you also have a platform to encourage others to seek medical help and fight stigma. You should note that life in the addiction treatment center can be stressful and hectic for many people, affecting the recovery process. Consider working with the local resource center and your therapist and making your voice an instrument of change.
Understand That the Problem Is Not “Yours” to Bear
Facing stigma can hurt you in many ways when you lack help and guidance. As much as other people around you might not feel what you are going through, you don’t have to face it alone. You indeed understand what you feel and the challenges around making it hard to let other people walk with you. You should, however, understand the problem is not yours to bear as you can always seek help and professional guidance. The availability of recovery centers offers an opportunity for you to focus on the best tips for fighting stigma. You also have the chance to talk and work with therapists and find the best way to handle stigma.
Develop Coping Skills You Can Rely on
When you develop healthy coping skills, you also get guidance that helps you get through tough times. Seek someone to talk to every time you feel stressed or overwhelmed. Engage in exercises and other physical activities that can help you relax. You should also break ties with certain people or activities that make it hard to concentrate on your recovery.
Utilize support groups and meetings to express and talk about your feelings as there is no judgment or victimization.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP