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Who Is Fighting the Stigma?

Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania has partnered with Independence Blue Cross Foundation to beat the stigma of addiction.  The Inquirer Daily News reports the campaign will use social media and a community outreach to share addict’s stories. The beginning steps to solving addiction and mental health problems are awareness and education.  He plans to expand Medicaid coverage to help more people receive treatment.

The United States is knee deep in an epidemic of opioid addiction.  Treatment centers do not have enough funding or beds available for patients seeking help.  A few government officials, such as Governor Wolf, are starting to make a change. Little impacts can eventually end the stigma of addiction, although America has a long way to go.  

Wolf stated, in an interview with Steve Inskeep of NPR, “I think that’s what we have to shift away from, the idea that this is some sort of a moral or social failing.  This is a medical epidemic, and we need to treat it as such…Some have called it a plague.”

Changing the tone of how people view addiction is a very difficult task.  The stigma of drug use has been around as long as anyone can remember. Changing opinions will not be easy, although awareness will begin the change.  Teaching people about addiction as a disease could help understanding of why addict’s need help.

Some people who suffer from addiction are embarrassed and are avoiding treatment for fear of failure or relapse.  The opposite extreme will be an overdose. The Governor has also made Naloxone available to save overdose patients.  Naloxone works as an antidote for opioid overdose. Although the patient will not be cured of the disease called addiction, the individual will live to seek treatment and support.  

Things are being done across the nation to aid people who suffer from substance abuse and mental health.  Spreading the word of awareness can help save more lives. Not everyone will agree the stigma is wrong. Some still feel addiction is mind over matter and addicts can quite without aid.  Many personal stories can show self-control was not an option and addiction was driving. The illness of substance abuse is misunderstood by those who have not faced the disease themselves.  When the campaign launches in the spring, people will be able to find treatment and proper care. Awareness will begin to spread. Education for doctors and the public will begin to fan the nation.

We’re cultivating resilience for lasting wellness. Resilient House offers the highest quality behavioral health treatment to help heal addictions. Bringing together spiritual guides and holistic experts with trained clinicians, our programs are changing lives. Call us today for information: 833-change1 (833-242-6431).