What is the Judgement of Others in Addiction?
Stigma and judgment are among the most problematic barriers to substance abuse recovery, driving many people to risk their lives rather than face the rejection of others.
And while this may sound extreme, it makes sense when examining the pervasiveness of the harmful judgment surrounding addiction.
When we think about the impact of stigma on the lives of those struggling with addiction, we may initially think of neighbors or colleagues, scrutinizing their peers for substance use.
The truth is that most individuals struggling with addiction will face judgment in numerous areas of their lives – even from those who are supposed to provide for their care and protection.
For instance, research shows that bias against addiction in the criminal justice system can be high, with a prevailing attitude that those struggling with substance use are “offenders,” who choose drug and alcohol abuse willingly.
As a result, many drug and alcohol users who have committed crimes are sent to jail without the benefit of drug treatment or are punished without acknowledging the underlying condition.
This often leads to substance use in jails or relapse and overdose upon release.
Judgment is Common in the Medical Community
Furthermore, judgment against those with substance use issues is common in the medical community as well.
It is not uncommon for confused, chronically sick, or addicted patients to be labeled “frequent flyers,” in the medical system.
And while the health concerns they express are not always reflective of their illness’s true underlying cause , they are often treated as “difficult,” regarded condescendingly, or referred to with judgmental language.
Some may even be sent away entirely or threatened with being reported for doctor shopping or inappropriate behavior.
Yet, the reality is that many of these individuals are seeking help, though they do not know how to explain their needs.
With their cries unheard, they are left alone and without treatment.
Even some counselors who are not specifically trained in substance use recovery may treat those seeking recovery without proper care and compassion – reducing their illness to a simple, behavioral issue.
There are non-judgmental drug rehab facilities, such as BriteLife Recovery, which can help you find the respect and compassion you deserve for your addiction treatment.
Effects of Judgement of Others in Addiction
For many people, the ability to quit using drugs and alcohol “cold turkey,” is a myth. An example can be found in nicotine addiction.
Studies show that for every 100 people who try to quit smoking without medication or assistive strategies, 95% of them will fail.
This is only compounded by the often-serious effects of withdrawal.
For example, alcohol withdrawal can cause tremors, hallucinations, vomiting, nightmares, anxiety, aggression, paranoia, insomnia, and other symptoms that can make quitting without assistance not only unlikely but also dangerous.
For this reason, those seeking recovery from addiction should be able to find help and support through counselors, clinicians, and courts.
When they do not, many individuals struggling with addiction feel that they cannot find any freedom from judgment and refuse the very assistance needed to save their lives.
Mental Illness and Judging of Others in Addiction
The relationship between mental health issues and substance abuse is complex and self-perpetuating.
For instance, it is established that alcoholism is common among individuals dealing with mental health issues, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
Alcohol and drugs are also often used as a self-medication strategy for insomnia, serving only to worsen the sleep deprivation in the long term, compounding it with depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns.
Furthermore from prescription opiates to narcotics and inhalants, many substances are known to alter brain chemistry, worsening underlying depression, paranoia, suicidal ideation, social isolation, and high-risk behavior.
Unfortunately, this also only serves to worsen the stigma faced by individuals in recovery.
This is because popular culture often treats individuals who use drugs and alcohol with tolerance if they appear “in control.”
Sometimes, drugs and alcohol are even glamorized in the media.
However, once those struggling with addiction begin to miss work, appear unkempt, lose money, or behave poorly, they are subject to rejection and judgment.
Additionally, the influence of mental illness can cause medical staff and law enforcement to miss the underlying addiction, seeing these individuals as “acting out” or “difficult.”
As a result, those struggling with alcohol and drug abuse will find their best chance of recovery in centers and programs designed specifically for their needs.
Many of these programs, such as those found at BriteLife Recovery, are overseen by those who understand the struggle of recovery and who can protect your privacy as you seek to rebuild your life.
Treatment and Judging of Others in Addiction
Counselors and therapists typically focus on areas of specialization.
And, while many of these individuals are willing to see patients outside of their primary discipline, they may not have the specific skills, tools, and resources to help those in recovery.
For example, those trained in drug and alcohol rehabilitation know that there are stages of recovery, including:
- Acknowledgment of Addiction
- Awareness of Addiction
- Recovery Exploration
- Starting Recovery
Each of these stages will have resources and strategies that can best empower those individuals to succeed.
Without this specialized background, counselors may inadvertently judge or misread the behaviors of those in recovery and fail to offer the services truly needed.
Additionally, while clinical detoxification occur in a hospital, and does not have to be associated with a larger treatment program, it is not typically enough to lead to lasting recovery.
Moreover, the clinical team overseeing the detoxification may not understand how to treat and support those recovering from addiction, lapsing into judgment and stigma.
However, by seeking care at a treatment center specializing in substance abuse recovery, you can find a team that understands exactly what you are facing and how to find freedom from addiction.
At these centers, you will have access to safe, judgment-free detoxification, as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, 12-Step programs, counseling, spiritual services, peer support, nutrition therapy, and other evidence-based, flexible programs to help you achieve your recovery dreams.
BriteLife Recovery is here for you. We accept most PPO insurance and private forms of payment.
We will even communicate with your insurance provider on your behalf, taking the worry out of your recovery.
Just call us for support.
How to Get Help
Imagine being surrounded by a caring support system, a culture free from judgment, and a team that is aware of your needs.
That is the BriteLife Recovery difference.
The stigma of recovery can be painful, but our compassionate team respects your individuality and is ready to provide the time and attention you need to achieve health, wellness, and sobriety.
Our facilities have the comforts of home, with the peace of mind you need to focus on recovery.
Furthermore, your privacy will be respected, allowing you to experience freedom from stigma.
We offer supervised clinical detoxification to help you experience relief from addiction and withdrawal.
You will be safe and cared for through every step of this process and will emerge free from harmful, addictive substances.
And after your detoxification, the healing can truly begin.