All About Addiction

Helping addicts get their lives back

Shame on Us for Shaming Hoffman

The shame addicts experience when they relapse is a sad reminder that we haven't quite figured out how to help those suffering with substance use issues. Read More


Well said.

Bibel addiction

Maybe that caller should get over his bible addiction! Three times a day sounds like a lot. Does he not have anything better to do with his day? Sorry, but I can't believe people sometimes.

Bible lady

I would like to ask her what would Jesus do about the sick and weak in our society.

I hear you man...

Shaming and judgement has no place in treatment from addiction. Although it is so common by lay people and the groups like AA themselves. Not hitting rock bottom, not working hard enough the steps, not giving up to the higher power and all that crap. The disease theory also can shut people into the idea they'll never be well, they are not morally strong enough to resist and all that. So you have a first drink or shoot up what do you do?? Well if i'm diseased might as well go the whole hog eh and binge away!!!!

Abstinence is important for some, can be literally a life saver, allows you the time to examine where you are, take stock. Sometimes be clear in your head for the first time in years. I speak from personal experience.

But it cannot still be the only way, times are a changing.

Signed an ex-alcoholic, not a diseased person oh no, free and responsable for my acts.


Wonderful post

Thank you. The shaming KILLS! It is time we woke up and admitted it, the syrupy applause in "meetings" as someone who relapsed walks up to accept the white chip, and their demotion in the "rooms" is shaming, no two ways about it. People in "programs" pretend it isn't. With all the shame for picking up one drink or drug again, is it any wonder people decide to binge and make it a good one? They've lost everything they've worked for in the eyes of others anyway, might as well. This is so dangerous.

Anyone who doesn't see a hierarchy in "programs" that depends on time is ignorant or in complete denial. This culture is ingrained, I think a lot of the participants really believe they are helping people "be accountable" with it, but the effect is to heap shame and humiliation on people who fall short of abstinence.

Agree entirely

Some idiot who has never done a thing in his life is treated like a guru if he claims to have 20 years sober. Some well educated thoughtful and wise man with 90 days is treated as an idiot who is ignorant..
A slip is treated as a failure, plain and simple. Then, some idiots turn it into a moral/character issue: "oh, he never surrendered enough, he was insufficiently humble, he was not close enough to HP...blah, blah, blah.....all from uneducated, unknowledagle proles...

I agree. Shaming and the

I agree. Shaming and the whole abstinence model just makes people lie and binge when they do slip and they will slip. We are better off teaching addicts about damage control and moderation. This is realistic and if you dont like reality than you are better off saying nothing to the addict.


Shame is part of what addicts experience before they begin to have compassion for themselves as human beings with a disease. More focus on after care when someone relapses is so important. Support, meetings, therapy, and learning mindfulness tools to deal with urges and cravings. It's a process. A Journey Not a Destination.

Unfortunately, there are some

Unfortunately, there are some drug addicts and alcoholics who wear their addictions on their sleeve like a badge of honor. There has to be some degree of shame on doing something that not only destroys your body but rips apart families. Even talk show host Wendy Williams went on her show yesterday to declare the fact that even though she was addicted to crack cocaine for 10 years, she doesn't trust anyone who never did drugs! Our culture today is making it so that everyone is expected to do drugs, be an addict, and there is nothing wrong with that. Shame on us!

I was an alcoholic for 28

I was an alcoholic for 28 years and my story is true. One Sunday morning I was unable to get rid of the urge to go to church. After all I had said and thought about God over the years and now go to church???? I went.
That morning I experienced the spirit of God and he began to work in my life. I had given my heart to Jesus. That morning after service, I went home and took all my alcohol, rum, beer, jack and poured it all down the drain and walked away from it and have not gone back!!! That was in 2001. Somehow God took this broken down drunk and made me a Pastor with the Assemblies of God Church. I now lead 12step groups even one in the prison.
Sincerely show others how you feel. I believe we need to show that person that you really care and have an interest in their lives. I want to see you get better about yourself. Show them your openness, your faults and put your arm on their shoulder and tell them it's ok. Then you and the person can look at what May have been the trigger that caused the fall. Together Develope a plan that can be used the next time that trigger shows itself. Be available to all members. Be there for them even in the middle of the night. I have told them that we don't look down instead keep your eyes straight ahead and just reach down and grab a hand and walk together

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Adi Jaffe, Ph.D., is the executive director of Alternatives Behavioral Health and a lecturer at UCLA and California State University Long Beach.


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