Stop the Stigma

Addiction is not a moral failing.

 


Anyone can become dependent on drugs and struggle with addiction. Family, friends and the public often have negative feelings about drug use or behavior. Addiction is not a moral failing and we need to remember that we can all change the conversation and decrease the stigma around drug use and addiction. People with a substance use disorder have a chronic disease of the brain that can be successfully treated, but stigma negatively impacts a person’s willingness to get treatment or health care and can cause significant self-esteem and mental health issue.

No one likes to feel judged or devalued. We must reduce the stigma to encourage people to ask for help and recovery.

  • Offer compassionate support.
  • Display kindness to people in vulnerable situations.
  • Listen while withholding judgment.
  • See a person for who they are, not what drugs they use.
  • Learn about how drug dependency works.
  • Treat people with drug dependency with dignity and respect.
  • Avoid hurtful labels.
  • Replace negative attitudes with evidence-based facts.
  • Speak up when you see someone mistreated because of their drug use.

© 2018 COPYRIGHT DOSE OF REALITY NEW MEXICO. NEW MEXICO HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENT, BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES DIVISION, OFFICE OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION (OSAP)