Relationship between Stereotype and Stigma with Drug Addiction

Relationship between Stereotype and Stigma with Drug Addiction
Relationship between Stereotype and Stigma with Drug Addiction
June 1, 2016

Drug addiction is the situation where a person becomes used to a particular drug that they claim to be ‘unproductive’ without the drug. Drugs people get addicted to are usually drugs whose sale and use is under strict national regulation. Somehow, drug addicts will look for a way to get these drugs illegally and put them to odd use.

Drug addiction starts gradually and builds over time. Since drug addiction is an anti-social behavior, like every other anti-social behavior, people who portray them are often faced with discrimination, stereotype and stigma. Though these reactions are more of a reflex, they have a tendency to escalate the incidence of drug addicts.

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How stigma makes it difficult for people to seek help

Drug addicts are often called a lot of unholy names which are socially demeaning. As human beings, no one will ever be comfortable being called such names. Hence, addicts will not really want to come out and seek help but rather will prefer to stay in hiding.

The bitter truth is that staying in hiding doesn’t solve their problem, instead becomes a brooding ground where their problem could be escalated to the next level. There is a rough statistics which puts it that only one in ten drug addicts will come out to receive help because of stigma.

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Failure of the society to handle drug addicts

Our society, both the social and mental sector has failed over the years to tackle the problem of drug addiction. Instead of recognizing drug addiction as more than just a bad habit and seeking a more comprehensive solution to kick it out of the society, these sectors have only provided a 12 step program help for addicts.

Though the 12-step program may be helpful in helping some people surmount these problems, to others, it was just a point of no return to their struggle which makes them sober and further pushes them into depression.

Read also: The Origin of the Word ‘Alcohol’ and What It Symbolizes

Even scarier is that drug addicts when caught are sent to jails instead of offering them a treatment opportunity. In the jail, they are forced to see themselves also as criminals. Going to jail further makes them a felon, kicking in a new level of societal stigma. We all know that prison is not a good correctional facility.

Want to tackle drug addiction? Show them love

The best way to tackle drug addiction is to first of all embrace them as equal human beings – we all have our subtle bad habit which everyone will not be comfortable with. Showing them love rather than discriminating against them will help them to open up on their problems and be more willing to seek help.

After acceptance, the next phase of help will be pointing them to a rehab. Rehabs are facilities specially designed to help addicts – no matter the form – to get out of the behavior. Rehabs should be well equipped and manned by professionals that will be able to deliver addicts out of their wrong habits and integrate them back into the society. Dealing with drug addicts is not a time to cast blames but a moment to conquer with love.

Read also: Alcoholism may be Associated with Intestinal Flora

Article highlights

  • There is a strong correlation between stigma and incidences of drug addiction.
  • A person becomes a drug addict when they become used to a particular drug.
  • Addictive drugs are often under national regulation.
  • Drug addiction starts gradually and grows overtime.
  • The society is often unkind to drug addicts by calling them names.
  • Stigma forces addicts into hiding.
  • Staying in hiding makes it difficult to help drug addicts.
  • There is a statistics that only one in ten will seek help.
  • Drug addicts are sent to jail which increases their discrimination.
  • The best way to help drug addicts is to send them to rehabs.

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