Stigmas Persist and Stand in the Way of Recovery, New Study Finds

By Staff Writer

Despite the fact that addiction is widely recognized as a disease, a new study has found that much of the general public still views individuals with chemical dependency problems negatively, which may interfere with their ability to seek substance abuse help.

Researchers from the Scottish Drugs Recovery Consortium surveyed residents about their feelings toward drug addicts. The results showed that many people still consider addiction to be a personal failing.

More than half of the respondents said that drug addicts are easily identifiable based on physical characteristics. Furthermore, 40 percent said that a person would have to be “foolish” to get into a romantic relationship with a known substance abuser.

In recent months, other investigations showed that many of the individuals who die from addiction-related complications never sought treatment from drug rehab facilities. The researchers from the current study said that the stigmas uncovered by their survey may be among the top reasons why addicts are reluctant to seek help.

They said that reversing these stigmas will play an important role in any public health strategy that seeks to lower the rates of drug abuse.