A Disease IS NOT a Weakness.
All of us can agree that suffering from cancer doesn’t mean you’re a deadbeat. Alzheimer’s victims aren’t bad people. Diabetics aren’t a menace to society. But when it comes to addiction, too many people believe anyone suffering from alcoholism or substance dependency is somehow less than a responsible human being. This is what we need to change.
Addiction IS a Disease.
Just like cancer, dementia and diabetes, addiction is a chronic disease. People suffering from ‘socially acceptable’ diseases are met with sympathy and understanding, while all too often, our neighbors suffering from the chronic brain disease that is addiction receive scorn, judgement, and shame.
Stigma BLOCKS the path to Recovery.
People need treatment to recover from an illness. We know when we aren’t well, and aren’t ashamed to see a doctor for a fever, aches and pains, or any number of other symptoms. People suffering from addiction know when they’re not feeling good, but many would rather self-medicate than be classified as a user, addict, or alcoholic.
We Can Do Better.
Everyone in Greene County knows someone who is affected by addiction. Many are classified as “high-functioning”. They appear perfectly fine from the outside. You see them at work, at the store, at their kid’s sporting activities. They’re not seeking treatment because they can’t see themselves as “One of THOSE people” labeled as weak-willed, bad parents, leeches, junkies, drunks.
Stop the STIGMA.
Addiction is not just something that happens to bad people. This disease is one of the biggest drains on our county’s productivity and the overall health of our communities. Treatment is a proven path to recovery. The only way our neighbors, friends, and those we love will get well is when we refuse to shame, judge, and stigmatize ANYONE who suffers from a disease.