After some serious talk from the governor of Utah on addiction and mental health issues earlier this week, it really got me thinking. Death and suffering from drug or alcohol addiction is needless and completely unnecessary. I got the help I needed and so have thousands of others, but that doesn’t mean the process was easy by any means! There were a lot of barriers trying to get into drug rehab: a positive intervention experience, hoping insurance can help, the support of family friends and the stigma around being an addict.
The stigma that hovers around being an addict is huge, and it creates a an even larger barrier to getting the help you need. As if the expense of treatment and the toll addiction takes on the people around you wasn’t enough, you’ve got to worry about what everyone thinks of you. I know, I know, you shouldn’t care what people think of you but it’s tough as an addict. You’re painted as a criminal, a junkie, a surge on society, someone who pulls resources from the healthy, etc… With all those thoughts running through your head it’s hard to admit you’ve got a problem, because you don’t want to be labeled those things.
Point is, if you’ve dealt with addiction you need to get out there and talk about it. The only way we break stigmas on addiction and mental health is to first bring up the discussion. Cancer doesn’t go away by pretending it doesn’t exist does it? No! So i you or a loved one is suffering from drug addiction or alcohol addiction, please get the help you need. Nay…get the help you deserve!
Here are a few places that helped me on my journey to recovery in Utah:
- University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) at University of Utah
- Recovery Ways – Utah Addiction Treatment Center
- Salt Lake Behavioral Health
- SAMHSA: Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration