Addiction Stigma

Drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse, in general, has serious and adverse effects on those who are affected by it.  As if this wasn’t bad enough, a lot of other problems and troubles come about from addiction, and just one of them is the effect of the negative addiction stigma that is associated with drug and alcohol abuse and addiction.

The negative addiction stigma makes it very clear that addiction is a terrible thing, but it also makes it look like those who abuse drugs and alcohol are awful people.  The concept and the actual “stigma” is about those who do abuse drugs and alcohol as being lesser people.  The idea is that drug and alcohol addicts are lower-class individuals and deadbeats and criminals and should be treated as such.  The truth is though anyone can fall to the effects of drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse in general.  Selena Gomez’s recent admittance into a rehab center on the East Coast is a perfect example of this.

The truth is, any human being of any demographic, race, ethnicity, cultural background, geographical area, income level, sex, age, intelligence, career field, and backing can become addicted.  In fact, a lot of celebrities, people who supposedly live the richest and happiest of lives, end up getting addicted to drugs and alcohol.  Listed below are thirty celebrities who suffered from addiction, some of whom died from it, and some of whom rose from it and became better persons because of it.

The idea of this list is to show that addiction can affect anyone differently, and because humans are unique, it is up to the person to do something about their addiction and not let it stigmatize them:

  1. Drew Barrymore
  2. Mary-Kate Olsen
  3. Lindsay Lohan
  4. Tila Tequila
  5. Mischa Barton
  6. Corey Haim
  7. Jeremy London
  8. River Phoenix
  9. David Hasselhoff
  10. Robert Downey Jr.
  11. Farrah Fawcett
  12. Nicole Richie
  13. Heath Ledger
  14. Jason Cook
  15. Macaulay Culkin
  16. Edie Falco
  17. Philip Seymour Hoffman
  18. Charlie Sheen
  19. Tatum O’Neal
  20. Johnny Depp
  21. Ed Harris
  22. Amy Winehouse
  23. Jamie Lee Curtis
  24. Brittany Murphy
  25. Judy Garland
  26. Marilyn Monroe
  27. Anna Nicole Smith
  28. Edie Sedgwick
  29. Elizabeth Taylor
  30. Kirsten Dunst
  31. Rehabilitation as the Ultimate Solution

    Stigmatizing drug and alcohol addiction is not going to get anyone anywhere.  In fact, it will make things a lot worse.  If you tell a person enough times that he or she is a degraded person and a loser, deadbeat, criminal, then that is how he or she will start to act.  The fact of the matter is that anyone can become an addict, just like anyone can beat addiction.  It only takes some work and some effort.

    Drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse, in general, is a steady and increasingly serious and worrying issue in the United States today.  These problems continue on and on and on as the years go by, merely growing in concern and worry as the years tend to go by.  Crisis after crisis occurs creating a big issue in the United States with more and more deaths arising from drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse in general.  Studies show that, on average, about eighty to one-hundred thousand Americans die every year because of drug and alcohol addiction, and nearly twenty-five million Americans in the nation are addicted to drugs and alcohol.

    Focusing on the Addiction Stigma

    Rather than forcing down the stigma that drug and alcohol addiction creates lower-class citizens and a resulting stigma, we should instead focus on the need and the desire for rehabilitation.  Rehab is attainable for anyone too.  No less than a full 30% of those who received treatment in the year of 2011 for their drug and alcohol addiction problems reported using public or private health insurance to pay for the treatment that they needed for their addiction crisis problems.  The trouble with a lot of people for getting into drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation programs and centers is that so many people just cannot afford the treatment that they so desperately need, especially if they are disabled.  Regardless of how it is paid for though, the key needs to be to get the addict into a rehab center.

    With the help of celebrities admitting that they suffered from addiction and that they beat their addiction and with the gradual removal of the stigma connected to addiction, the overall crisis that is real addiction can finally start to relax in severity and intensity.  With efforts to increase rehab and reduce addiction stigma, these issues can ultimately become something of the past.

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