Experts Say Beating Addiction Will Require Overcoming Stigmas

By Staff Writer

Despite progress being made in the battle against stigmas against drug addicts, experts say that negative attitudes still surround the topic of substance abuse and that this can make it difficult for individuals to seek rehab treatment.

A recent report from the Massachusetts OxyContin and Heroin Commission pointed out that 3,265 residents of the state died of drug overdoses between 2002 and 2007, according to the Boston Globe.

The authors of the report wrote that if the H1N1 flu virus had killed this many people over a five-year period the issue would be a major topic of discussion and prevention groups would receive significant resources. However, because drug addiction is still a taboo subject, few people are willing to talk about it.

These stigmas make it difficult to help drug users access appropriate treatments for their condition, the authors wrote, according to the news source. They continued, saying aggressive preventative measures are needed to combat the problem.

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has gone so far as to call the stigma faced by drug addicts as discrimination and prejudice.