Stigma and Addiction

Myths surrounding substance use and addiction are widespread in our society. In truth, addiction is a serious medical condition that needs to be managed, much like diabetes or heart disease. With effective treatments available, people can and do recover.

Learn more about how addiction affects the brain in the video below, created by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The Truth About Addiction

Take time to educate yourself on the myths and truths of addiction. Taking these facts out in the community and educating others can make a difference for people in recovery.

Truth: For centuries, addiction has thought of as a moral failing. Modern science has shown us that, in reality, it is a complex, chronic disease that changes the brain. People living with addiction are worthy of dignity, respect and treatment.

Truth: Will power is not enough to overcome addiction. Recovery is possible with treatment, counseling, support and community.

Truth: In 2018, 20.3 million adults, or 8.4 percent of the U.S. population had a substance use disorder. Any person from any background is susceptible to addiction. It comes in many forms. Drugs and alcohol are one side of addiction. There also “process addictions,” including gambling, exercise, food, and shopping, that also impact a person’s wellbeing.

Truth: Recovery is a learning process. Relapse sometimes happens, but does not someone won’t be able to overcome addiction in the long run. People experiencing a relapse often feel a deep sense of shame.