This is a very thoughtful blog about shame and rebooting our assessment of addictions. THe comments add a really important idea of the responsibility and ability of the addict to admit what they’ve done to harm others, but the main idea is important: that stigma and shame only serve the addiction, not the addict, and that we all pay a price for untreated addiction. It’s a complex issue. My perspective is that the stories we’re telling about addiction, as a society, as a family, as a person, shape our ability to overcome it and change. We have to have the courage and clarity to address those stories so we can heal.
We know that substance abuse disorders carry a stigma. But when is a stigma something even worse?
Substance abuse has created a public health crisis in the United States, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labeling it an epidemic, comparable in significance to obesity or cancer. The issue is so dire that for the first time, the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office released a report last year on substance abuse and addiction.
The battle with addiction claims tens of thousands of American lives each year and affects millions more, including loved ones and families. So, why do we still treat substance abuse as a stigma or, worse yet, a character flaw?
The American Attitude Toward Addiction
The word “stigma” doesn’t properly address the way people with mental health issues such as addiction are treated in this country. Millions of Americans struggle with substance abuse – according to the Surgeon…
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