How Are Rehabs Challenging Stigma in Their Communities?

For many years, a stigma existed about addiction that stopped people from seeking help. Many people silently struggled with drug and alcohol addiction while feeling guilty about being unable to control their behavior. You might have even felt some degree of fear yourself that someone might view you as being weak or lacking willpower if you were to tell them about your addiction. While things are still not perfect, there has been a gradual shift towards more acceptance of mental health issues in general. Today, many people won’t think twice about mentioning that they are depressed or dealing with PTSD. You’ll also find that more people are willing to talk about addiction as a response to those issues, and rehabs are leading the way for spreading awareness. Rehabs are now challenging stigma in their communities by incorporating several strategies that make it normal to seek help for addiction.

The staff that makes up the caring community of a rehab program realized early on that education is critical for helping people to understand the nature of addiction. In many Florida communities, you’ll find advocates from rehab programs moving throughout the population and finding ways to educate others about what life is really like for someone dealing with an addiction. For example, you might notice that rehab offers an educational program at a local college or in businesses. These programs are designed to raise awareness about the signs of addiction so that people get help sooner. Opening up discussions in public places also serves to normalize conversations regarding addiction. If you think about it, you’ll be less likely to fear telling your employer that you need to go to rehab when you’ve already had the opportunity to discuss addiction in the workplace.

Rehabs also help to dispel myths about addiction by presenting the truth to people in your community. They may offer special seminars for family members who need to learn more about their loved one’s addiction and treatment. They also work hard to change how people talk about addiction by simply using more supportive words. Encouraging people to stop calling people addicts and instead replace it by saying that someone is in recovery goes a long way towards making it clear that people are far more than their addiction. Language that puts people first is often used for other types of disabilities, and it also works well for dispelling stigmas about mental health issues.

Join the Movement for Ending the Stigma of Addiction

A rehab’s mission to stop the stigma surrounding addiction gets stronger every time someone steps out into the community as a success story. If you or someone that you love is dealing with an addiction, then you may already be seeing some of these signs in your life.

  • Feeling guilty or ashamed of your use of drugs or alcohol
  • Worrying about how people will think about you if you admit you have a problem
  • Trying to hide evidence of your drug use
  • Continuing to use drugs to hide noticeable withdrawal symptoms

These are all signs that you could already be feeling some degree of the remaining stigma that is left in your community. Or, you might be dealing with beliefs that you developed earlier in your life surrounding addiction. If you notice that the stigma is holding you back from seeking treatment, then it helps to know a few things about rehab. Addiction treatment centers might be actively working as a positive voice in the community to promote addiction awareness, but they’ll never give out your personal information. Your time in rehab is confidential, and you retain control over whether or not you want to talk about your addiction.

This is still to say that many people find that they feel comfortable speaking out about addiction once they’ve spent time in an environment that eliminates the need for guilt or shame. As you get stronger, you may find that you want to become an active part of the addiction treatment community. From serving as a mentor to people who are new to sobriety to helping out with educational campaigns, there is a place for anyone who wants to continue with the work of ending the stigma that still exists about addiction.

Are you ready to break free from feeling stigmatized about your addiction? Telling someone that you need help is a freeing experience. Give us a call at 833-846-5669. We’re ready to listen and help you take the right steps towards changing your life.