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Reducing stigma

Reducing stigma and shame of addiction paves way for patients seeking for treatment and support to face the future with confidence

Reducing stigma and shame of addiction: Addiction is a disease of free will

Over the last few decades of my practice as a medical professional I have come a cross so many patients from across the globe with different disturbing health conditions coming to my office for treatment which we have gladly offered to them to a resounding positive feedback. We have made it a routine in our facility (AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center) to give our very best to all our clients irrespective of their limitations because we believe in offering lasting solutions to all health complications that we can professionally handle. This has made us to move from strength to strength over the years. However one problem of drug addiction keeps recurring owing to the nature of its effects to people differently. This one story disturbs me the most because it came to my attention several years after I was first introduced to the couple. That story is going to form part of our discussion in this article even as we focus on reducing stigma and shame of addiction both internally and externally.

But before we get there we want to assure all people reading this article now that drug addiction is a real medical problem and the sooner we deal with it the better. It is very painful seeing people losing hope and giving up on treatment because they keep relapsing every time they are about to have a break through. We are taking seriously the issue of relapse so that we can be on the front lane in defeating the beast of addiction. Therefore if you or anyone you know is struggling with any kind of addiction, our doors are always open at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under the able leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury to help you recover from it professionally and with a lot of dignity. So don’t keep in hiding come up and purpose to regaining your life back with us professionally.

Reducing stigma and shame of addiction: Stop the humiliation and disgrace

Back to the story, three decades ago a couple visited my office with an addiction problem. The man who was alcoholic was in company of his wife to seek for help. Before we could even start the session, they excused themselves shortly and I felt that they were consulting on something before the session. I was surprised several minutes and hours later that my client vanished never to return. Several years later one of my student narrated this story to me and I was astonished. The student said “when I was five or six years old, my maternal grandfather died of what I was told was complications of heart disease.” She believed that because that is what she was told. It was not until several years later, after she had graduated from a medical school in psychiatry, and had secured a job for a very long time using neuroimaging to study the addicted brain, that she learned the real reason for the death of her grandfather. One day her mother gave her the revelation that shocked her life. This was coming when her mother was sick and almost breathing her last, “I need to tell you something I have never spoken to you about.” She disclosed to her that her grandfather had been an alcoholic, and that he took his own life in his distress at not being able to control his strong urges to drink.

“Oh Jesus I almost lost my grip.” Her mother had out of fear of stigma and shame kept the real reason for her grandfather’s death a secret from her that long. What surprised her is that even though she knew that in her whole professional life was devoted to trying to understand what drugs do to the brain, and that she had heard her speak of addiction as a disease of the brain, still she was not going to tell her the whole truth.” So she wondered how she had miscommunication, and how she had not made her realize that it was not a taboo to speak about addiction and that there should be no shame in it. This really troubled her and so she came to confide in me. stop stigmatizing patients and lets support them get better.

Reducing stigma and shame of addiction: Addiction is a disease of free will