What Many Don’t Know About Stigma
Substance Use Disorder is not a moral issue. It is a chronic, treatable disease that individuals can recover from and go on to live healthy lives. Despite what we know is true, studies show people still face discrimination and stigma that can impact their health and well-being in numerous ways.
Many people do not know that a substance use disorder is the result of changes in the brain that can lead to compulsive use and an inability to stop despite negative effects. Advances in our understanding of the disease, including the use of brain imaging studies, have led to this understanding. These changes, however, are not necessarily permanent. These same studies have also helped identify new treatment modalities that further our ability to successfully address the disease. People can and do recover, especially when they access the right care to do so.