Letting Go of the Stigma Around Addiction

Letting Go of the Stigma Around Addiction

There are many harmful stigmas and stereotypes surrounding addiction. While rehabilitation programs are a necessary and wonderful part of the recovery process, de-stigmatizing addiction is a problem that goes far beyond the treatment walls. Stigmas are misperceptions around the way someone is viewed by the general public. Many people misunderstand addiction as a moral issue rather than a disease. This is a hugely destructive stigma because it assumes that addiction is a choice, rather than a problem that needs treating. It’s important that we recognize that these stigmas exist and they devalue the importance of addiction treatment programs. 

Increasing Education Around Addiction

Everyone can benefit from increased education about substance abuse. Increased education in the form of community meetings, school classes for younger children, and required reading help people understand addiction. When we truly understand the nuances of a situation, it becomes more difficult to stigmatize it. 

Releasing Internalized Shame

It can be easy to internalize stigmas and stereotypes and it’s imperative to release these. Stigmas are insidious because we can begin to believe their misconceptions. This shows up as guilt and shame. Ask yourself if you’ve internalized the stigma around addiction? The first step is recognizing any shame, guilt, or other negative associations you have with addiction. From there, it’s time to start the work of releasing these ideas, as they have nothing to do with you. It’s time to free ourselves from societal misconceptions and embrace education, support, and honesty in recovery and beyond.


Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premier men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at  (855) 202-2138

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