Recovery Stigma

In my experience, society has this idea that recovery from substance or alcohol abuse, has one finite solution. To separate the person and the substance. They think once they do this, the problem is solved. Society seems to believe that addiction and alcoholism is a moral issue, and that people who struggle just don’t care about their life or their families. That they are “no-good”, bad people, or people who chose to struggle with alcoholism or substance abuse. Unfortunately, alcoholism nor substance abuse discriminate.

The truth is that not everyone in recovery lives under a bridge; not everyone is poor, not everyone has lost custody, and there is no cookie cutter diagnosis for people who struggle with substance misuse. Recovery is a multifaceted and complex universe. There are many different avenues for treatment including but not limited to, 12 step fellowships, therapy, religion, and medically assisted treatment. Recovery has a wealth of different looks and faces because it is experienced through all walks of life.

If we could help change the perception of recovery as someone struggling with a weakness and see alcoholism and substance abuse as a mental health issue that is no different from the other various mental health issues that are quite regularly diagnosed. Then we can take the next step of acknowledging recovery for the strength that it is. As a result, we can help dissolve the stigma that comes along with it.

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