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The Plight of the Hidden Addict

Not so long ago, the stereotypical image of an addict was one who lived in a dark back alley, drinking from a paper bag and shooting himself up with something he cooked in a spoon. Society certainly didn’t connect the likes of a suburban soccer mom or an honor roll student to being drug-addicted members of their perfect world. The stigma associated with addiction has hurt members of society across the board. Doctors didn’t think their patients who appeared so put-together were addicted to the prescriptions they were writing; parents and teachers overlooked red flags because those kids were doing well in sports or school; and those in recovery from back injuries certainly deserved to numb their pain, right?

The opioid epidemic that has swept our country into being a death trap for our youth has roots in the denial of who “looks” like an addict. It’s one side of the stigma of addiction—and there are many. It has to do with our healthcare system and the rush to push as many people through, as quickly as possible. Doctors are taught to look out for drug-seekers, but they didn’t count on a drug-seeker looking like a Stepford wife. For those who have slid under the radar with addiction, getting help may prove to be more difficult.

Some individuals are able to hide their addiction for quite some time. When everything looks good on the outside, help is often delayed until a person is much further along in their addiction. Seeking outside help is also less likely for people who may feel even more shame in admitting a drug problem; people who hold professional licenses, such as doctors, lawyers, nurses, and pilots have a lot on the line, and if getting help could mean losing it all, it’s no surprise so many addicts go untreated.

There is hope in all of this. Society is becoming more aware of addiction and the fact that it doesn’t just affect a certain type of person, or a certain group of people. It affects families from all walks of life, and it does not discriminate. Anyone can become addicted to drugs or alcohol, and for those who are, there is no shame in that. Addiction is a disease, and it should be treated as such.

If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, call Resilient House. There is another side of life opposite of addiction, and it is more beautiful than you can imagine. You are worthy of living free from the clutches of the disease. Give us a call, we are available 24/7, toll-free at 833-242-6431. Recovery is possible, call now.