For a long time now, the overall public perception of drug abuse and addiction ran parallel to stigma of addiction, making it harder for people to come out and admit they need help. Stigma of addiction has always lingered throughout society and family households, and the thought of telling the world that you are “an addict” is a fearful one. But this is changing, and there is shift in how the public now perceives the problem of drug abuse.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the number of heroin deaths went from less than 2,000 in 2001, to over 10,000 in 2014. Drug experts report that 90 percent of people who tried heroin for the first time in the past ten years were white. The fact is, drug abuse and addiction is now a bigger problem for the middle-upper class than ever before, so every “class” in American society is now being affected by drug abuse.
As a result there has been a change in the way the public perceives addiction, and for the better. Now, more and more people are calling addiction a “medical” or “psychological” problem, rather than a problem with the person’s character. Now, the public is demanding better opportunities for treatment, rather than supporting incarceration. In other words, the methods of both law enforcement and legislative entities are re-thinking solutions, and coming to accept that addiction needs to be treated with understanding and compassion, not punishment for having a disease that is also mental and psychological in nature.
Addiction never had any boundaries. All economic classes, all genders and ages can succumb to the deadly grips of addiction, from grandparents to newborn babies. This new shift in perception will be beneficial for the development of future addiction treatment strategies and methods, as today, more people are realizing finally that addiction is not a choice; it’s a mental health illness that can take the lives of any one of our friends or family members – anyone. It’s time for us as a nation and society, to stick together in battling addiction and save lives.
Since 2002, Florida Center for Recovery has been helping families find the courage to find recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction such as heroin and cocaine. Florida Center for Recovery assists patients in restoring their lives by embracing a way of life based upon the 12-Step principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and by applying a variety of recovery therapies.
Florida Center for Recovery – Addiction Treatment Center: 866-910-0417
Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Recovery