×

Central Austin Office
630 West 34th Street
Suite 301
Austin, TX 78705


Dripping Springs Office
13830 Sawyer Ranch Road
Suite 301
Dripping Springs, TX 78620


512-212-4670

512-233-5830 (fax)

info@carmahealth.com

Menu ☰

2017-05-22

Overcoming the Stigma of Addiction

For decades, addiction was regarded as a moral failing. This stigma has led to decades of criminalization, over a trillion of dollars toward enforcement and an undeniable overcrowding of American prisons. It has also led to the deterioration of family and community life for many non-violent offenders. It’s hard enough ignoring superficial stigma by the people around us; but when that stigma directly informs institutional policy (mandatory minimum sentences, what types of treatment get covered under insurance, the amount of available post-treatment resources, etc.), it becomes increasingly harder for us or the people we care about to move forward in life.

While the clinical community has recognized addiction as bona fide progressive mental illness, the same as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and others, culture has yet to catch up to this realization. The current Attorney General has made no secret of his plans to leverage the justice department to go after drug offenders and prosecute them to the full extent of the law in accordance with the decades-long “war on drugs”. Many experts are worried that this will not only unfairly target non-violent offenders, but that it would also divert valuable funds from treatment resources and deprive even more access to an already choked-off supply.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, you don’t have to, nor should you, let stigma get in the way of getting the help you need and deserve. Chemical dependency creates marked changes in the brain’s chemistry and renders the addict unable to focus on much more than their next high; this means that the longer use persists without treatment, the harder it will be to ultimately overcome this disease. It’s also important to remember that drug overdose is now the leading cause of unintentional death. Whatever stigma or shame you’re worried about, you’re not alone.

2017-05-22

Overcoming the Stigma of Addiction

For decades, addiction was regarded as a moral failing. This stigma has led to decades of criminalization, over a trillion of dollars toward enforcement and an undeniable overcrowding of American prisons. It has also led to the deterioration of family and community life for many non-violent offenders. It’s hard enough ignoring superficial stigma by the people around us; but when that stigma directly informs institutional policy (mandatory minimum sentences, what types of treatment get covered under insurance, the amount of available post-treatment resources, etc.), it becomes increasingly harder for us or the people we care about to move forward in life.

While the clinical community has recognized addiction as bona fide progressive mental illness, the same as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and others, culture has yet to catch up to this realization. The current Attorney General has made no secret of his plans to leverage the justice department to go after drug offenders and prosecute them to the full extent of the law in accordance with the decades-long “war on drugs”. Many experts are worried that this will not only unfairly target non-violent offenders, but that it would also divert valuable funds from treatment resources and deprive even more access to an already choked-off supply.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, you don’t have to, nor should you, let stigma get in the way of getting the help you need and deserve. Chemical dependency creates marked changes in the brain’s chemistry and renders the addict unable to focus on much more than their next high; this means that the longer use persists without treatment, the harder it will be to ultimately overcome this disease. It’s also important to remember that drug overdose is now the leading cause of unintentional death. Whatever stigma or shame you’re worried about, you’re not alone.