Recovery For Life

How to live a healthier life one day at a time.

Stigma

Give addicted individuals a chance to lead productive lives

Isn't it ironic that so many individuals have difficulties with alcohol and drug abuse, and yet we still stigmatize people who deal with this issue. I dare say that you know someone who has a substance abuse issue - perhaps even a member of your family. We have to take a look at this. Addiction is certainly rooted in neurochemistry and more and more treatments are available (psychopharmacologically, psychologically, and usually a combination of both, not to mention social interventions); yet, we continue to stigmatize those with this disease. You have heard me say this so many times - addiction is primary, progressive, chronic and if not treated, fatal. There are wonderful outpatient treatments, inpatient treatments, and continuums of care. Please folks, let's open our minds and perhaps open our hearts and give those with this devastating illness a chance to lead productive lives. As a Vice President of one of the oldest rehabs in the United States, I know first hand that help is just a phone call away or a click of your mouse. Educate yourself about addiction and the stigma will certainly begin to erode.

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Harris Stratyner, Ph.D., CASAC, is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine; he is also with Caron Treatment Centers.

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