Stigma Of Substance Abuse

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Substance abuse has become a major epidemic in our country and there is a dire need for immediate intervention. 20 million Americans suffer from a substance use disorder and hundreds pass away in silence each day (Addiction is a Chronic Illness, Not Character Flaw, 2016). The negative stigma behind drug addiction causes many addicts to deter from seeking help and treatment for fear of being judged for their disorder. The distinction of substance abuse from other medical issues also makes it difficult for addicts to take steps towards treatment as they would for a physical health problem. Moreover, the lack of treatment space for substance abusers further complicates the strive towards reducing drug addiction mortality rates. Also, the fact …show more content…
Let me first preface this problem by asking: How does one expect to treat drug addictions if there are not enough “literal spaces” to do so? Aside from changing the way that we view substance abuse, this lack of treatment space is a crucial issue that must be solved before almost any true change can be made for the better. If we are going to lower the stigma behind drug addiction and promote treatment for addicts, we cannot do so by essentially lying to them that treatment is available when, in fact, space is lacking. There are too many addicts out in the world and if we want to decrease the rapidly increasing death rates among them, now is the time to expand treatment space. Moreover, though, it is equally important that insurance funds and covers treatment costs. Not all addicts can afford such expensive care, and some may even be addicted to such drugs to help cope with their distraught, economic condition. It is unfair to discriminate against substance abusers on the basis of socioeconomic status. I believe that everyone should be able to have equal access to treatment care, and thus I deem it crucial that steps be made so that insurance covers the treatment expenses like it does other medical expenses. We are working towards equalizing mental and physical health with the hope that more drug addicts will, in turn, seek the help they need,

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