Addiction is perhaps the murkiest health concern, in terms of public perception. Not only does the public have very little knowledge of adiction, a lot of the public goes as far as to believe untruths that are perpetuated by the media and other sources. Here at Recovery Care Partner, its very important to us that the right information gets disseminated in regards to addiction and its antidote, recovery. Our articles and services in general serve to bring a lot of light to the world of addiction, light that is often hard to find for those struggling in the darkness with their own, or a loved one’s addiction. In this blog post, we expose myths often perpetuated about addiction, as these myths can often be quite dangerous and can inhibit addicts from achieving recovery.
One of the largest myths that gets disseminated to the general public is that the best treatment is that which shames addicts or puts them “in their place.” It has long been thought that confrontational, shame-based methods are the most effective at combating addiction. A lot of this philosophy stems from the Synanon Model, a philosophy/group forged by a spin-off of AA. Though the group had peaceful/thoughtful psychosocial origins, it eventually culminated in bloody, haunting ends. This evolution mirrors the harm that overly confrontational models can have on addicts. Not only do these methods not result in efficacy, they can also be especially damaging. Recent studies conducted by researchers at The University of British Columbia have proved a correlation with relapse and declining health and treatment methods that procure shame in addicts.
The sentiment that addicts need to be put in their place stems from a wider, though still largely disseminated belief that addicts are inherently bad people. Unfortunately, a lot of people see addiction as a choice, not a disease and subsequently, the desperate actions they see addicts do to procure their drug of choice lead them to believe the person is a bad, dirty individual rather than a sick one. People have a lot of misconceptions about addicts in general. But addiction knows no race, gender, socioeconomic status, lifestyle, or especially sexuality/gender identity. Most people tend to think of addicts as young straight white males, but the truth is much more colorful. In fact, addiction affects LGBTQ people disporortionately.
Rates of substance abuse are staggering within the LGBTQ population. It has been estimated that 20 to 30 percent of individuals who identify as LGBTQ battle addiction, whereas the rate is only 9 percent concerning the rest of the population. So what are the reasons for this huge disparity? Well, it’s no secret that LGBTQ people suffer daily discrimination, stigmatization and isolation. These factors contribute to higher levels of mental illness and as is well known, mental illness and addiction have a high correlation. The concept that individuals that experience more discrimination, trauma or general hardship experience higher levels of substance abuse is prevailing, though not widely accepted.
If you are looking for professionals that approach addiction as the complex, multifaceted entity that it is, you need look no further than the experts at Recovery Care Partner.