Homeland Magazine January 2021

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Page 32

The Stigma of Addiction / Misunderstandings about Recovery By Jay Wylie

While medical science has made great strides in diagnosing Substance Use Disorder (SUD), or what in the past was referred to as Alcoholism and Drug Addiction, proving that SUD is an identifiable disease every much as real as cancer or diabetes, public opinions concerning those with SUD have lagged far behind. Many feel that those suffering from SUD simply lack the moral character or willpower to stop using or drinking. This negative attitude has hindered sufferers from risking public scorn in order to get treatment for their disease.

This stigma has wrapped what is available in recovery from SUD in mystery – unless you have a personal recovery experience it is unlikely that you would know much about it. Based on this reality, it may be quite difficult for a SUD sufferer to know what recovery might look like or what options are available. It is important that the general public have some idea of what recovery treatment is in order to reduce fear of treatment and the stigma associated with it.

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Levels of Care Inpatient Treatment, commonly referred to as “Rehab” is when a SUD sufferer goes into a 24-hour facility that provides housing, meals as well as constant treatment support, such as education, exercise, and therapy sessions. Programs vary in content but all have a regimented approach to helping develop coping skills/tools to help patients be successful in recovery after discharge.