Those suffering from addiction are often in denial about their problems. It is usually family members or friends who will notice that there is a problem. However, when they confront the addict, they may be greeted with furious denials and defensiveness. The truth is that most addicts do not realise the extent of their addiction, and those that do may not want to admit it.
What often happens is that family members will try to deal with the problem in-house so that nobody outside will find out. This is because there is a certain stigma attached to addiction, and many are embarrassed about what others will say or think.
The Danger of Stigmatising Addicts
Many individuals have their idea of what an addict is, and this often comes from how addicts are portrayed in the media. Nevertheless, addiction can affect people from all backgrounds and any age.
Facing the stigma of addiction is a challenge for those suffering from these issues. Communities, society, and even family and friends can cause hurt and embarrassment by imposing stigmas; the main reason for this is that most people just do not understand addiction.
Addiction is an illness but it is an illness that can be treated. There are many types of treatment available for all kinds of addiction and, with the right help and support, anyone dealing with addiction can get better.
Nonetheless, the continued stigma attached to addiction is one of the biggest barriers in terms of those with addictions accessing these treatments. Many addicts are ashamed and embarrassed because of the negative attitude that so many people have towards addiction. Therefore, they will try to hide their problems rather than face up to them. With many believing that addiction is a weakness, it is hardly surprising that so many addicts fail to get help.
Negative Effects of Stigma on the Addict
A person with an addiction may feel discriminated against because of his or her problems. They will usually feel embarrassed and ashamed, which could lead to them making a greater effort to hide the problem from those around them. Addicts often feel excluded and isolated and are reluctant to get help.
Those with addiction or with a past addiction may find it difficult to get work. Some will lose their jobs if their employer discovers they are suffering from addiction.
Stigma does not just affect the addict; often their family members will face the same stigma and will feel embarrassment and shame as well as anger directed at the addict. These feelings can cause the breakdown of relationships.
Dealing with Stigma
If you have an addiction, or a family member with an addiction, the most important thing to do is accept the problem and get help as soon as possible. Addiction is a treatable illness and many expert counsellors and therapists are on hand to offer advice and support on how to get help.
Addiction Helper is a free referral service liaising with a network of organisations all over the UK. We work by assessing clients’ situations and referring them to a suitable provider, whether that is in the private or public sector. We work with charity organisations, local support groups, private clinics and the NHS.
By contacting our advisors, you will immediately be able to begin a journey towards recovery. We will provide you with addiction advice and support as well as information to your family members on how to support you through the process. Do not delay any longer, as every day you wait to make contact is another day you have given to addiction. Call today for more information on how we can help.