Addictions consume and control the lives of millions of people across the world. Yet, addiction stigmas are common factors that prevent many from seeking treatment from drug and alcohol rehabs.

As addictions have various ramifications on an individual’s life, addressing the stigmas surrounding addictions is vital.

At Nova Recovery, we aim to address the stigma surrounding addiction by providing insight into the common stigmas surrounding addictions and the impacts stigmas surrounding addictions have.


Common Stigmas Surrounding Addictions

Across the United Kingdom, it is believed that only a small fraction of individuals struggling with addictions personally decide to seek help and support from a drug and alcohol rehab.

Regrettably, this leaves a great wealth of individuals silently suffering and subject to the vicious cycle that an addiction imposes.

Although various factors prevent individual’s facing drug and alcohol addictions from obtaining treatment, the stigmas surrounding addictions are one of the most prevalent reasons that treatment is not sought.

Below, we have delved into the common stigmas surrounding addictions.


Individuals Struggling With Addictions Have Chosen To Become Addicted To A Substance

One of the most common stigmas surrounding addictions is that the individual struggling has chosen to become addicted to a substance. Sadly, this is not true. Individual’s do not choose to become addicted to a substance.

Addictions are severe psychological disorders that see those suffering with very little control over their thoughts and behaviours.

Understanding that onlookers believe that those with addictions have chosen to become addicted to a substance prevents many from reaching out for help.

They think that doing so could see them isolated from friends and family members and rejected from society.


Individuals Struggling With Addictions Could Easily Alleviate Their Addiction Without Treatment

It is also believed that individuals with addictions could simply stop administering substances if they wanted to. This stigma contributes to the belief that individuals choose to become addicted to a substance.

Sadly, this stigma prevents those in need of treatment from asking for help as they are led to believe that if they admit to struggling with an addiction, their nearest and dearest will distance themselves or feel ashamed.


Individuals Struggling With Addictions Look And Act A Certain Way

Another common stigma surrounding addictions is that individuals struggling will look a certain way. Many perceive addicts to take very little pride in their appearance. Again, this is not true.

Many of the individuals struggling with addictions are functioning addicts. This means that they can continue to go about their everyday lives. This will see them go to work and spend time with their families and friends while feeding their addiction.

Considering this, it is likely that many addicts go overlooked because they do not look or act how society believes an addict will.


The Impact Stigmas Surrounding Addictions Have

With an increasing number of individuals facing the stigmas surrounding addictions, it comes as no surprise that a plethora of addictions are left untreated.

Those battling addictions are reported to feeling anxious that their loved ones, friends and employers will form negative assumptions should they admit to struggling with an addiction. Others fear that their struggles with substances will cast shame on their family, leaving them excluded and isolated.

In addition to the above, stigmas surrounding addictions can cause addictions to intensify. As an addiction is left untreated, the repercussions felt will gradually heighten.

This not only causes the individual struggling to encounter a more significant number of short and long-term side effects, but it could lead to the development of mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Furthermore, as the number of individuals silently suffering with addictions continues to soar, the NHS is left to feel somewhat overwhelmed. Although many will attempt to keep their addiction a secret from others, there will come a time when cracks in the surface begin to appear as an addiction causes an individual to become extremely unwell due to the side effects experienced.

As the side effects escalate, hospital treatment is often required. Sadly, thousands of people are admitted to hospital requiring treatment for injuries, mental health disorders, organ failure and diseases every year.

As the NHS faces increasing demands to treat individuals suffering from addictions, waiting lists for treatment continue to grow. Eventually, this sees individuals seeking support for their addictions waiting months for the treatment that could save their lives.

As we can see, stigmas surrounding addictions have devastating consequences. With this in mind, it is imperative to address the stigma of addiction.


Breaking The Stigma of Addiction

Although onlookers have formed various perceptions regarding addictions and the individuals that become addicted to substances, it should be noted that addictions do not consider an individual’s age, gender, economical means or social status. As touched on above, addictions are psychological disorders that can impair the lives of just about anyone.

As previously discussed, the various stigmas that surround addictions prevent many from seeking help and obtaining the lifesaving treatment needed to alleviate addictions.

Sadly, this sees many silently suffering from the short term and long-lasting ramifications that addictions impose. Failure to address and obtain treatment for an addiction additionally sees thousands of people losing their lives.

With this in mind, the stigmas surrounding addictions must be abolished.


Obtaining Help For An Addiction

If you have found yourself struggling with an addiction, please do not be afraid to seek the help and support that you are entitled to.

Although the various stigmas surrounding addictions may leave you feeling somewhat apprehensive and ashamed, there truly is no need to feel this way. As touched on above, people from all walks of life are at risk of encountering addictions to substances.

At Nova Recovery, we can offer you the treatment that you need to overcome your addiction and make a long term recovery. Our residential rehab is located in Largs, Scotland and is available for anyone with an addiction to take advantage of.

Regardless of the addiction you are struggling with, we are confident that we can help you overcome your addiction once and for all.

Should you require rehabilitation treatment, please contact us today on 01475 303998.

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John Gillen - Author - Last updated: September 8, 2023

John has travelled extensively around the world, culminating in 19 years’ experience looking at different models. He is the European pioneer of NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) treatment to Europe in 2010; and recently back from the USA bringing state of the art Virtual Reality Relapse Prevention and stress reduction therapy. His passion extends to other metabolic disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases. The journey continues. In recent times, John has travelled to Russia to study and research into a new therapy photobiomudulation or systemic laser therapy working with NAD+ scientists and the very best of the medical professionals in the UK and the USA, together with Nadcell, Bionad Hospitals own select Doctors, nurses, dieticians and therapists. Johns’ passion continues to endeavour to bring to the UK and Europe new developments with NAD+ Therapy in preventive and restorative medicine and Wellness. In 2017 John Gillen was made a visiting Professor at the John Naisbitt university in Belgrade Serbia.