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Social Stigmas Regarding Addiction Need to Change

| 7th Street Treatment Staff |
Social Stigmas Regarding Addiction Need to Change

Why is it then that the American Medical Association declared alcoholism a disease in 1956, and yet, in 2017, alcoholism and drug addictions are still considered by some to be something that weak-minded people succumb to?

While over 100 people die every day in the United States from Opioid overdoses, the general public still seems to have this idea that if those addicted would just stop, there would be no addiction problem.

In a ground-breaking study conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2014, research confirmed that Americans are more likely to have negative opinions of people with substance use disorders than they are of those with mental illnesses. In the same study, those addicted to drugs and alcohol were less likely to be approved for housing, insurance or employment policies for those affected by addiction compared to individuals affected by mental illnesses.

Another social stigma surrounding drug and alcohol addiction is that treatment doesn’t work because of the high rate of relapse. Does it? After quitting or seeking treatment, 40-60 percent of drug addicts relapse. While that number seems high, media sources sometimes tend to look at the negative connotations. Yes, that relapse number seems high.

If you look at it as 40-60 percent of drug addicts don’t relapse again, suddenly treatment looks like a viable option.

While the relapse rates for drugs like heroin, far more addictive than some drugs is 90 percent, even a ten percent chance that treatment will work seems like a light at the end of what may have been a very long tunnel for some.

Addiction is powerful. Ask any of the 23.5 million addicts in the United States that struggle with their demons. As more people realize that addiction is real and treatment and recovery are possible, some of the myths and stereotypes surrounding addiction and recovery are being dispelled.

For more information on addiction and recovery, please contact 7th Street Treatment at or call (385) 261-2070.