End The Stigma

Advice for the Recovering Addict

Addiction is a condition that affects the majority of society. Our goal is to provide useful information and stories to help those people who have chosen to put down their drug of choice and start a new way of life.

The language of recovery.

We use the word addict as it is used in the recovering community. At meetings, group members are encouraged to verbally identify themselves as being an addict. We use the word for want of a better term. It is short and simple, and it represents the shared experience of many people who have struggled with this chronic medical condition.

Addiction is a chronic condition, but it is not a moral failing.

That being said, the word, “addict”, has unfortunate negative connotations. The majority of society, who does not have personal experience and understanding of what it means to suffer from this chronic illness, typically has a deep misunderstanding of the subject. There is generally a lack of respect for the person suffering from the chronic disease commonly known as addiction. The addict is often treated as either a bad child or a dangerous criminal. Or both. There needs to be a change in the way society views addiction. There is no moral failing. Addiction is simply a treatable chronic illness.

Understanding addiction.

While active addiction can affect behavior in such a way that a person may at times be compelled to commit crimes or act in an irresponsible manner, it must be understood that this is still a medical condition relating to actual physical changes in the brain and it is no different, in that sense, from any other chronic medical condition. Telling an addict that they should simply shape up and snap out of it and start living a normal life would be like telling someone with post-polio syndrome to drop their crutches and walk faster to keep up. It is both disrespectful and, frankly, offensive.

For want of a better word.

We would greatly encourage further discussion on the topic of the language of addiction and proposals for solutions for improving the language as it pertains to the disease of addiction and those who suffer from it. A discussion regarding research performed by Harvard Medical School addiction expert John Kelly can be found here.

A different perspective.

In the posts on the blog for this website, we will be providing our experience as it relates to our many years of working with people who suffer from addiction. We will provide a medical perspective as well as sharing stories that have been told to us and our understanding of the recovery community and process as it exists. We would greatly appreciate contributions from the community in the form of guest bloggers and discussion. We would also greatly appreciate the sharing of positive and useful resources that exist online and otherwise.

We need your help.

The success of this website and blog relies on your help and your contributions. We would like to thank you in advance and let you know that we greatly appreciate your help. If you would like to contribute, please use our contact form.

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