Despite millions of Americans suffering from drug and alcohol addiction, the National Institute on Drug Abuse notes only a fraction seek treatment.
Most alcohol or drug abusers must overcome several barriers before looking for and committing to treatment. These barriers include:
- Uncertainty about what types or level of treatment they need
- Little or no support from trusted medical and legal professionals
- Economic insecurity
- No knowledge of how their insurance plan works
- Fear of losing their job
- Fear of losing their custody rights
- Unwillingness to go through withdrawal
- An underlying mental health problem
- Lack of specialized treatment for their co-occurring disorders
- Social stigma
Whether from their family or strangers, social stigma is one of the most significant factors influencing people struggling with alcohol or drug addiction against seeking help
Stigma: A Common Obstacle to Treatment
Even though substance abuse has been classified as a disease for years, the health care and criminal justice systems, alongside the general public, still view people with addiction as weak and unable to control themselves.
This lack of understanding and support drives many people away from asking about or committing to treatment. Feeling scorned or hated by society can worsen or cause the development of various mental illnesses, in turn putting individuals at an even greater risk of substance abuse and leaving them less likely than ever to admit they are struggling with addiction.
This vicious cycle can not only hinder an individual’s journey to recovery, silence their cries for help, and force them to act as if nothing is wrong, but can leave rehabs struggling to reach out to the people who most need their services.
Removing the Stigma Surrounding Asking for Help
Providing inclusive and effective treatment for individuals suffering from addiction requires removing them from their judgmental environment and providing them with access to medical care from professionals experienced in dealing with withdrawal, denial, or hesitation regarding therapy.
Often stigma within the family unit may be the greatest influencing factor in an individual’s choice not to seek help. Having even one family member supporting them can make all the difference.
Other ways to remove the stigma surrounding addiction include:
- Challenging the stereotypes people associate with those addicted to drugs or alcohol
- Sharing pro-recovery messages, posts, and information on social media
- Ensuring the healthcare professionals dealing with addiction are trained to treat each patient kindly and properly
- Raising awareness and destigmatizing the language used regarding addiction
Streamline Access to Care with RecoverWell
Although social stigma can make asking for treatment challenging, within minutes RecoverWell can help patients and their representatives access the best treatment centers and programs available to them.
RecoverWell matches potential patients with various rehabs based on their specialized treatment requirements, budget, and personal preferences.
Using RecoverWell’s matching system, future patients or their treatment advocates can avoid the hesitation and doubt often experienced while looking for the right rehab facility. It also leaves potential patients with less time to change their minds once they’ve chosen a treatment center.
Whether they need help with a co-occurring disorder, require dual diagnosis treatment, or are looking for an LGBTQ+ friendly community, RecoverWell ensures each of its users can find the assistance they need and experience a judgment-free rehabilitation service.