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Are People With Substance Abuse Disorders Treated Differently?

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Substance abuse disorders happen when individuals use drugs or alcohol, and it starts to affect their health or create problems with work, school, or home life. It is also called substance abuse or addiction. Addiction is a chronic brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior and the inability to stop using drugs despite the negative consequences it may be causing.Are People With Substance Abuse Disorders Treated Differently?

Substance Abuse And Mental Health Disorders

Substance abuse disorders and mental health disorders often go hand in hand. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly half of the people that suffer from substance abuse disorders also have a mental health disorder or vice versa. Often an individual will have a mental health disorder that they are unaware of, and to get relief they start self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. This can go on for years until the person is properly diagnosed and gets the right treatment.

How Are People With Substance Abuse Disorders Treated?

People with substance abuse and mental health disorders are often treated differently. Especially a person with a substance abuse issue. Substance abuse disorders are some of the most stigmatized disorders in the United States and the Western world. The lack of education surrounding addiction makes others who have never been through something like this often treat those suffering poorly. 

What is A Stigma?

A stigma is defined as a condition, behavior, or attribute that is socially unacceptable or discrediting. As a result, those with addiction and substance abuse issues are set apart from society, shamed, and isolated. The National Institute of Health “Understanding Stigma of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders” reports that:

People with substance use disorders, in particular, are viewed by the public as weak-willed (Schomerus et al., 2011), although evidence shows that they are as likely to adhere to treatment as people with other chronic medical conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes (McLellan et al., 2000). Unfortunately, and despite efforts to educate the public, this misperception has increased over time according to the findings from national surveys in 1996 and 2006 (Pescosolido et al., 2010). Media portrayals of people with untreated and symptomatic substance use disorders, rather than depictions of those on a path to recovery, may be a factor in maintaining or increasing negative stereotypes and stigmatizing attitudes and beliefs about people with substance use disorders (McGinty et al., 2015). (NIH)

Also, studies have shown that healthcare professionals have negative attitudes towards people with substance abuse disorders. They are more negative towards patients with addiction versus patients with medical issues or mental health conditions like depression. Some of the reasons that contribute to this negative attitude are that they believe those with substance abuse disorders are manipulative, irresponsible, and poorly motivated. There are healthcare professionals out there who have professional and personal experience with substance abuse disorders. As a result, these professionals have more favorable attitudes towards those suffering and can better empathize with them.

Start Treatment for Substance Abuse Disorder at Evoke Wellness at Miramar

Substance Abuse Disorder is a chronic and progressive disease if left undertreated, but it can be reversed and managed through rehabilitation and following a 12-step program of recovery. While addiction treatment is not a simple one, many people find success by utilizing these options. Understanding the underlying causes, taking preventative measures, and getting help only increases the hope that sobriety and recovery from drug addiction is a lifelong achievement. Evoke Wellness at Miramar offers cutting-edge addiction treatment programs. Our facilities in South Florida are committed to helping clients throughout the whole treatment experience. Our premier medical detox will help you comfortably get through the detox process and onto residential treatment under our professional care. So you don’t have to suffer any longer. Let Evoke Wellness at Miramar assist you on the road to long-lasting recovery.