Stigma toward addiction, in my opinion, is the biggest hurdle that people need to overcome if we want a shot at ending the current opiate and heroin epidemic our Country faces. Stigma is the reason people don’t seek addiction treatment. In their mind the moment they admit to struggling with substance use they will be labeled forever. People end up trying to face it alone with little to no long term success.
The stigma comes from the belief that addiction is not a disease. It’s believed to be a moral failing, a matter of self-control, or that the person suffering just wants to have fun.
The first thing that needs addressing in that statement is that no drug addict is having fun. Nobody wants to be an addict when they grow up, we don’t daydream about becoming one when we are adults either. You either are an addict or you aren’t.