There is so much dehumanising stigma, judgement, prejudice and shame imposed upon people with alcohol or drug dependency by society and by the people themselves. This shame and stigma works against people seeking support for recovery. These days, when I notice a person uses drugs or alcohol regularly and they find it difficult to control, my mind immediately wonders whether that actually means they’re struggling with emotional or life difficulties. I wasn’t always that way. It has taken a lot of proactive self-education and thinking to gain an understanding of the complexities of addiction and empathy for the people that I had originally found very difficult to relate to.
The regular use of alcohol or drugs for coping is a very, very, likely sign that a person is experiencing mental health struggles. While a very common focus for people is to concentrate on changing the behaviour of alcohol or drug use, it needs to be recognised that underlying emotional or life difficulties need attention for the purpose of recovery. Ignoring this makes recovery even more difficult.
For people who care about someone with alcohol or drug dependency, it’s important to get support yourselves. This website is for friends and families. Pro-tip: boundaries are important. Educate yourself about what they are and what yours could be. Boundaries also don’t mean a lack of compassion- in fact, I’d argue they’re crucial to retaining some level of healthy support and genuine, felt compassion for the person/people you care about.
This page talks about building trust and reducing stigma:
And this site is personal stories about alcohol and drug addiction: