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The Stigma of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction in Recovery

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles is participating in Recovery Month 2009, in part, with articles about recovery during the month of September.  Most individuals suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction begin their recovery with alcohol and drug treatment.  So it is our pleasure to help bring awareness to the general public about the benefits of recovery to individuals, their families, and everyone with whom they interact.

It is a sad aspect of our society that the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction is stigmatized as a simple weakness.  This can be a challenge for a recovering person trying to live a normal social life.  But the responsibility of bringing awareness to the public is different on personal and organizational levels.

Since 1935, all research has pointed to the fact that addiction is a disease.  The Federal and State governments, as well as the media, overwhelmingly support the concept, and laws have been enacted to treat and protect alcoholics and addicts.  Non-profit organizations also do their part to bring awareness to the general public about the benefits of getting treatment and recovery for alcoholics and addicts.

The general public has been more difficult to convince, though, since negative behaviors associated with the disease directly impact them.  So there is no parade for those suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction following alcohol and drug treatment.  The best that recovering individuals can do is to display the good behavior they learn.

Each recovering individual must first become aware that, on a personal level, the publics’ overall perception doesn’t matter.  The goal of recovery is to become the person you were before alcohol and drugs took over your life.  That means that, while you suffer from a disease, it doesn’t define who you are.  So understand that uneducated comments are not personal attacks directed at you.  

An element of the disease of addiction is tunnel vision, where the perspective of others goes unrecognized.  It is a part of the growth process in recovery to understand and cherish one’s own beliefs, while remaining humble enough to let others disagree due to their own life experiences.  Let others speak for you on a public level until you have learned this.

People disagree all the time from simple things like favorite ice cream flavors to global issues.  When confronted with those whom are misinformed from your perspective, it is best not to argue since a confrontation will only prove their point.  If your workplace rights have been violated, there are laws to protect you under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Above all, do not let the opinions of others affect your motivation for recovery.  You are a good person who may have done some bad things.  In recovery, you have the chance to correct negative behavior, and make up for mistakes of the past.  Any person in recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction is a benefit to society as a whole, and we hope that someday the whole of society will recognize it.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment that includes introduction to the 12 Step programs.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol or drugs, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

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