Let’s talk about it. That thing affecting millions upon millions of Americans every year. That thing that kills hundreds of thousands of humans year over year.. That thing that no one wants to talk about. Addiction, substance abuse, alcoholism. Call it what you want. It’s here and it’s a problem. If we want to treat it, the first thing we have to do is address what it is, and what it isn’t. At Country Road, we're committed to breaking down social barriers, battling misinformation, and providing compassionate, evidence-based care to those struggling. These are 5 stigmas about addiction we’re smashing.
1. Addiction is a Moral Failing
Despite the American Medical Association classifying addiction as a disease in 1987, the unfortunate reality is that a large number of people still believe it to be a moral failing. Being told that your struggle with substance use disorder is due to a lack of willpower or a weak moral compass is demeaning and undermines the complex and powerful nature of addiction. At Country Road, we recognize addiction as a disease that impacts brain function and behavior. Our approach is rooted in science, empathy and understanding, focusing on addressing underlying issues rather than assigning blame.
2. Treatment Only Works for Certain Addictions
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone in treatment for alcoholism question why they are in a group therapy session with someone struggling with drug addiction. There's a common misconception that addiction treatment is only beneficial for specific substances. The Country Road treatment mentality is that no matter what substance you use, our tailored treatment plans are designed to meet your unique needs. We provide a comprehensive spectrum of care for a variety of substance use disorders with the end goal for everyone to find long-term recovery and wellness.
3. Relapse = Failure
Long-term recovery is always the goal of treatment. But sometimes that goal is achieved through one continuous stretch of sobriety and sometimes it’s made up of multiple periods of sobriety with relapses in between. Relapse is not a failure. It’s an opportunity to learn what went wrong and start again. Too often relapse turns into the idea that recovery should be abandoned all together. Relapse is a part of recovery - although it doesn’t have to be. If it is a part of your recovery, that’s okay! It doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Remember the first stigma we smashed about addiction not being a moral failing but a disease? You wouldn’t stop treating cancer if you had a setback. You shouldn’t stop treating your addiction just because you had a setback either. Part of Country Road’s aftercare planning is setting up on-going support and accountability networks. And as a Country Road alum, you’re always welcome back with open arms.
4. Only People with Money Can Afford Addiction Treatment
While there was a time when the barriers of entry to addiction treatment were high, thankfully that is no longer the case. Thanks to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, insurance providers are required to provide mental health and substance abuse benefits at the same standard of quality that they offer medical and surgical benefits. This has greatly leveled the playing field and made substance abuse treatment much more accessible and affordable for everyone. At Country Road we believe everyone should have access to the best addiction treatment around. We work with a number of commercial insurance companies and our financial team can work with you and your family to find a treatment opportunity that works for everyone. Don’t let finances be the only thing keeping you from getting help.
5. Once an Addict, Always an Addict
This one is a biggie for us here at Country Road. The idea that you are forever defined by your past? No way. Not on our watch. We believe in the power of transformation that occurs when you take care of yourself, do the next right thing, and be of service to others. We’ve seen far too many people turn from hopeless addicts and alcoholics into pillars of their community and leaders in business. Some of our own staff have gone through treatment and are a living testament to the power of recovery. It’s your life. Once you’re sober you’re free to live it however you want.
So What Now?
Hopefully after reading this, you’ve come to believe some new ideas about the disease of addiction. Education and treatment are the ways we win the war against substance abuse. Country Road is doing its best to provide both.
If you or a loved one is struggling with drugs or alcohol and wants to talk to someone about it, call Country Road Recovery today. Calling doesn’t cost any money and it’s not a commitment to admit to treatment, but if you’ve got questions or concerns about your use of substances, give us a call. We’re here to help.