Undergoing the consequences of addiction is hard enough on your own, especially as the disease wreaks havoc on your health, professional life, family life, and more. However, the way others treat you because of your addiction can add to this pile of negativity in your life. The stigma surrounding addiction is rampant due to inaccurate and harmful portrayals of the disorder in popular television and movie programs. While facing addiction stigma can negatively impact you, there are strategies to use that can help you overcome it. Here is how to overcome the stigma surrounding addiction.

What is Stigma? Where Does It Come From?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines stigma as “a strong feeling of disapproval that most people in a society have about something, especially when this is unfair.” Stigma often stems from a lack of understanding or fear concerning something, mainly perpetrated by media outlets in harmful ways. When addiction is discussed or shown on TV, it is often in relation to violent crimes or displaying the stereotypical image of someone with no job, no house, and no family. However, addiction is much more complex than this and often does not always present itself in this way. Being treated negatively because of stigma can cause unprecedented harm to those already struggling. Knowing how to overcome the stigma can help you find healing and stay optimistic in recovery.

Healthy Ways to Overcome Stigma

Stigma can cause individuals to relapse, continue using drugs and alcohol, or put off seeking help due to fears of being treated negatively because of their addiction. Luckily, there are ways to overcome the stigma that can protect the person struggling and help reduce it in the future.

You can play a role in reducing stigma by first educating yourself to alleviate the stigma you may already possess. From there, you can begin educating others to help reduce the stigma more widely. Concerning those struggling with addiction or in recovery, you can help these individuals by creating a positive space for them that removes temptations, stigma and encourages them to recover. If you are currently struggling, considering joining a support group for extra support. You can also talk to your treatment team about stigma and its effects to find healthy ways to heal. This way, your recovery can stay on track, and you can continue working towards long-term sobriety.

Addiction stigma has been rampant for over a century due to inaccurate and harmful portrayals of individuals with the disorder. Today’s world of constant media coverage only perpetuates this stigma, bringing further harm to those struggling. If you are facing stigma because of your addiction, reach out. Facilities such as Alta Loma Transformational Services are here to help you find your footing and overcome stigma to be successful in recovery. Our programs include a wide variety of treatment modalities, so you can be sure to hit your recovery goals with Alta Loma. Call us today at (866) 457-3843.