Menu
AddictionCenter.com

Guiding You From Rehab to Recovery

For 24/7 Treatment Help Call: (877) 655-5116

Why Does Rehab Have a Stigma?

It's common to be concerned or intimidated about what people will think if you check into a treatment center. Fortunately, there are various ways to overcome this to make sure you get the help you need.

Overcoming The Perception Of Addiction

depressed woman

In today’s society, there are often stigmas associated with addiction and seeking help in recovery.

When many people picture an “addict,” their perception is way off. It’s important for people to understand there is not just one face of addiction.

The disease of addiction affects people of all races, social classes, age groups and genders. In fact, many addicts are functional members of society – they are coworkers, parents, neighbors and friends.

In order to overcome the stigma of addiction and make a positive change in your life, learn how you can rise above these society-imposed stigmas to get the help you deserve.

What is a Stigma?

A stigma can be seen as a mark of disgrace that sets a person apart from the rest of society. Stigmas can stir up feelings of shame, blame, hopelessness and reluctance to seek or accept necessary help.

When people in your life become aware of your addiction to drugs or alcohol or willingness to seek help, you may feel judged by the lack of support you experience from loved ones, people you currently use with, or society in general. It’s important to not let these outside pressures keep you from getting the help you need.

Ready to Get Help?

Call now to be connected with a compassionate treatment specialist.

Overcoming Stigmas

There are various ways that you can overcome the stigma associated with addiction and treatment and ensure that you are getting the help you need.

Recognize Negative Stigmas are a Reflection of Society, Not You

If you’re currently struggling with addiction, you may face backlash from various people in your life. Loved ones may even want to prevent you from going to rehab for fear that others may find out and damage their reputation.

No one should feel afraid of getting treatment because of what people might think.

In order to equip yourself with the right tools you need to be successful in overcoming addiction, create space for positive additions to your life once you are in recovery.

Educate Yourself

By educating yourself on the nature of addiction, you’ll notice that it is a common disease that does not discriminate against any part of one’s identity. When you understand the root of why you became addicted in the first place, you’ll become empowered to make positive changes in your life – despite what others may think.

After working through the cause of your addiction, you’ll be well equipped to face any backlash from your family or members of society about attending a rehabilitation facility.

Create Space for Positive People and Activities in Your Life

Getting sober starts with a game plan that reinforces your commitment to addiction recovery. Your life will become better after rehab if you make an effort to change your lifestyle, redefine your social group, and meet sober friends.

Make an effort to spend your time with positive, healthy people who will become great additions to your life and help guide you through your recovery. And, understand that by clearing your life of negative people and activities, you’re opening up the opportunity for positive people to come into your life.

Join a Support Group

Joining a support group can be a critical element in recovering from addiction. By surrounding yourself with likeminded people with similar goals, you’re much more likely to stay on track with your own.

Also, you may want to consider finding a sponsor or counselor that can help you positively deal with the stigmas associated with addiction and rehab.

Help Others by Speaking Out

Once you are clean and sober, you have the opportunity to become a source of inspiration for others who are facing similar troubles. Maybe someone is in your shoes and wondering whether or not they should go to rehab for fear of what others might think.

“I was a hopeless prostitute junkie dropout. Today I am a Master Of Social Work (MSW) spending my life devoted to helping others, being a mom and experiencing life to the fullest.”

Michelle V., recovering addict

If they hear about your positive experiences with getting clean, they may be given hope that living a clean and sober life is, in fact, possible. And, you’ll gain the confidence to continue in your sobriety and overcome the stigmas associated with recovery.

Get Help For Your Addiction Today

Society has an idea of what addiction looks like, but there aren’t many people who understand the severity or cause of the disease. By educating yourself and deciding to make a positive change in your life, you can empower yourself and others to become sober and live a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle.

Don’t let the stigma of addiction or attending rehab keep you from living your best life. Contact us today to find the addiction center that’s best for you.

Sources & Author Last Edited: February 19, 2016

  1. Government Of Western Australia Mental Health Commission. (2010). What is stigma? Retrieved on February 15, 2016, from: http://www.mentalhealth.wa.gov.au/mental_illness_and_health/mh_stigma.aspx
About the Writer, Kayla Smith

Kayla Smith is the editorial director for Addiction Center. After working for years as a journalist, she joined the Addiction Center team in hopes of spreading awareness about addiction and mental health issues and helping people get treatment.

Find Treatment Nearby Learn More