Experts: Negative Stigmas Interfere With Addiction Treatment

By Staff Writer

Most addiction treatment counselors say that dependency on drugs or alcohol is a disease over which addicts have no control. However, many people still view the condition as a type of moral failing, which can interfere with the recovery process.

Addiction to opioids is becoming a particular problem in many parts of the country. Individuals who have recently been injured or had surgery often start on medication to overcome pain, but become addicted after using the powerful drugs for a period of time.

Sharon Schultz, a treatment counselor in the Southeast, told the Lancaster Eagle Gazette that these people are often lumped in with drug dealers and addicts who abuse drugs recreationally. These stigmas can make it difficult to admit to their problems and seek help from rehab facilities.

She added that the majority of these addicts did not choose to start taking drugs and that they have little control over whether they continue taking them.

Due to the fact that every individual’s tolerance for opioids is different, doctors prescribing painkillers often don’t know their patient’s risk for developing a dependency, according to WebMD. Experts urge patients to educate themselves before going on prescription painkillers.