When the media portrays someone suffering from addiction, the focus is always on the individual and his “road to recovery.” Unknown to many, this type of portrayal sends a wrong (if not harmful) idea to the public.
Recovery from addiction is not only a single person’s problem; instead, addiction is a problem that affects and must be dealt with by the community as a whole. But why is the community crucial when dealing with addiction?
People who struggle with addiction deal with this instant judgment and perceived wrongdoing every day of their lives, often for decades. — Adi Jaffe Ph.D.
Substance Abuse Impacts The Community
Often, when we think about addiction, what pops into mind are the difficulties that recovering addicts face. Rarely do we think about the external effects of drug addiction outside of the individual. Addiction affects not only the victim but also families and entire communities.
Numerous studies have proven that community factors strictly when it comes to addiction. Issues at the community-level, such as poverty and crime, contribute to drug addiction statistics.
Conversely, cases of substance abuse within a neighborhood affect the community as well. There is always the issue of security and safety since drug addicts often exhibit unpredictable behavior. Economically, drug addicts do not contribute to the community. Depending on the area, they could also turn into dependents of the community.
…while families should understand that approaching their loved one should be a gentle and supportive process, they also need to understand that most patients seek substance abuse treatment because of positive family involvement and intervention. —
Solving Addiction Problems Should Be Addressed As A Community
The community is a vital factor when it comes to making long-term recovery from addiction possible.
First and foremost, the stigma against addiction, which hinders a lot of addiction recovery efforts, should be fought at the community level. It is crucial for addicts who are hoping for recovery to see and feel that their community is ready to accept them back into the fold. The idea of another chance gives them the motivation to heal and become a productive member of society again.
If a person’s addiction impacts the people around him or her, it goes without saying that a recovering addict also needs the support of those people.
Recovering from addiction is a long and painful process filled with many possibilities of relapse. Not only does addiction cause psychological conditions, but it also causes biological responses. Recovering addicts need all the support that they can get from the people around them, not just from their families but from the community altogether.
Support through solidarity is essential, but the community also holds another vital resource when it comes to drug addiction recovery: funding.
A person who seeks novelty, stimulation, and intense sensations and is willing to take big risks to achieve these states is also more prone to experiment with drugs and alcohol and to become addicted to the “highs,” seeking ever-greater and more novel experiences. — Melanie Greenberg Ph.D.
Treatment for addiction can be quite expensive and excruciating. It is another factor that pushes people away from the idea of seeking help to recover. However, the community can address this particular problem. Treatment anchored to and funded by the community is the answer to addiction problems. This type of therapy is an easier burden to the budget and, at the same time, more impactful to recovering addicts.
It is difficult to fight off the effects and consequences of addiction. Thus, it should never be confined to the individual because it is a huge struggle to overcome. Displaying support through community effort eases the burden of drug addiction recovery. It also offers hope to a recovering addict that the community is open and ready to welcome him or her back.