How to Manage the Stigma of Addiction

How to Manage the Stigma of Addiction

Much of the stigma of addiction is external.

Therefore it's challenging to overcome.

However, you can control how you react to this stigma.

Whether you hear or feel people around you trying to drag you down, there are some steps that you can take to overcome these things.

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with these things so that you can work on building yourself up.

Available Addiction Counselors

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(720) 449-4121

Recognize and Accept Your Addiction for What it Is

Address the point where you're at and accept that your addiction makes it challenging for you to make good decisions.

At the same time, you need to accept this is a disease from which you can recover.

These facts will enable you to be truthful when someone asks about your recovery.

It doesn't mean that you can simply and easily navigate this road.

Both mental and emotional struggles will happen.

However, when someone shows you that they believe the stigma of addiction, you're in a better place to accept that they don't understand what you're going through.

You may even be able to educate them by allowing them to share in your struggle and thus help them end the stigma of addiction.

Surround Yourself with a Positive Support System

As you struggle with overcoming your addiction, you need to make sure that you have a strong, positive support system around you.

You want people who understand addiction, can help you manage therapy, and promote healing of your body and mind.

These are what you'll need so you can succeed in your recovery.

You don't need to surround yourself with people who encourage the stigma of addiction.

They'll only drag you down and cause you to relapse.

Don't Assume It's Your Problem

Although it's challenging and hurtful to face the stigma of addiction, you shouldn't accept it as your problem.

It's something that belongs to the other person because they fail to understand what you're going through.

Fortunately, you understand how harmful the stigma of addiction is because you've worked hard to overcome it.

It doesn't matter when or why you started your addiction.

It only matters that you're a strong enough person to overcome it (even though you may not always feel strong).

Don't let those who cannot understand these things have the power to drag you down.

Develop Reliable Coping Skills

No matter how well you understand the stigma of addiction, it'll still impact you. 

Therefore you must develop healthy coping skills. 

They'll guide you through the hard times you encounter along the way. 

Some of the coping skills that'll help you here include:

  • Find someone to talk to instead of always holding your emotions inside.
  • Try getting some exercise since this releases endorphins (those "feel good" chemicals in your brain)
  • Take some time away from people who hold the stigma of addiction until you're healthy enough to cope with them
  • Attend a support group or go to therapy so you have a place where you can openly discuss your feelings


These things will help you avoid spiraling downward into relapse. 

Make sure you use them when you discover you're feeling the worst.

Set Achievable Goals

Take a moment and think about what you want your future to hold.

Set some achievable goals to help move you towards this future.

These will help you remain true to your recovery as you'll be too busy working towards your goals that you won't have time to return to your addiction.

At the same time, it'll also help you finally show those around you that their stigma of addiction simply isn't true.

Create a Winning Game Plan for Yourself

Remember, addiction is a disease that significantly changes your brain.

The stigma of addiction occurs because people don't understand this.

It isn't up to you to change their opinions, but it is up to you to define your future.

By working with us at Overcomers Counseling, you'll become confident in who you are and able to step away from the negativity.

Take the first and biggest step in your recovery.

Reach out to us today.

Resources 

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11673-017-9784-y

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1034/j.1600-0447.2003.00075.x

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September 25th, 2022

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