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The Crippling Stigma of Drug Addiction

young woman dealing with addiction

“In other words: We don’t accept her kind. In a health-care setting, the problem with stigma associated with drug addiction isn’t just that it hurts people’s feelings, or that it is shaming, or that it is unjust — though all of these things are true. The problem with stigma is that patients dealing with drug addiction get much, much worse care.”

Just the words ‘drug addiction’ flash an image across the mind. But is this image you see the only reality? What if the colleague sitting next to you for 8 hours a day whose great at their job, or the friend you’re having dinner with tonight or even your yoga teacher admitted the same addiction; would that change the way you currently see them? Would they all of a sudden become a ‘bad guy’?

Not only are these questions important for one to ask of themselves but also important questions for our healthcare systems.

Dr. Jessica Gregg, sheds light on our preconceived stigmas and associations with drug addiction and dependence when she writes, “It announces itself with, “Well, you did this to yourself.” As if patients with tobacco-ravaged lungs, or with complications from diabetes, or clogged arteries, or broken legs from driving too fast didn’t also contribute to their hospitalizations.”

We all know that there is a certain understanding from the medical community for tobacco-ravaged lungs, diabetes, clogged arteries and broken limbs. If you check in with any of these conditions healthcare is readily available. Your treated well, insurance covers most of your treatment and, while behavior is addressed, patients are not shunned. However, this isn’t always the case with those in recovery or seeking recovery from drug addiction and dependence; even though we know the evidence is there that they are suffering from a disease of the brain that needs to be treated just like any other chronic illness.

At Pathway Healthcare, our patients matter. They belong. They not only receive the very best evidence-based medical treatment available but also the emotional support they will need to carry on through their pathway to recovery. If you or someone you love is in need of care for dependence or addiction contact us today.