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Substance Abuse and Stigma

Unfortunately, we are at a time where everything is cataloged, labeled and segregated because for the world it is a way of having an "order" for certain purposes; But when it comes to stigmatizing or labeling people who are experiencing a public health problem such as substance abuse, the damage done to that person is irreparable and can lead to disastrous consequences.

According to studies conducted by the Massachusetts General Hospital Research and Recovery Institute, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, on the advancement of addiction treatment and recovery, people who use substances tend to be more stigmatized than others groups, for example, with those who have problems with tobacco or obesity.

It is devastating to know that stigma is often related to some moral and / or family issue before it is recognized that it is due to a health condition like any other disease.

This study supports past research suggesting that substance use is a highly stigmatized behavior which may have implications for treatment. Furthermore, even when remitted, stigmatizing attitudes towards individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) may remain.

Whether this bias diminishes with time in recovery or ever goes away completely is unclear. This may mean, however, that individuals in recovery from a substance related condition may face further stigma and discrimination challenges even while maintaining remission over time.

Stigma is a barrier that does not allow the person in need to seek the treatments or services required to get out of the condition they are in.

The way you communicate or refer to people who are under a situation related to substance abuse is essential to do it, in a way that does not hurt. For us to be in a position to favor environments of this nature, it is important to know and inform ourselves, be more empathetic, avoid prejudices, be fair, in other words, be more human with everyone.

Addictions are undoubtedly a very serious problem for public health and to respond the effects, responsibility must be shared and everyone must do their part to prevent the death rates from increasing exponentially, chronic diseases to which they are already related and different disabilities.


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