A hundred years ago, individuals struggling with addiction were widely regarded as criminals or mentally unstable. Rather than offering the right kind of treatment, these suffering individuals were put behind bars or insane asylums. Thankfully, society has come a long way in the last century, and the perception of drug addiction has changed drastically.
Medical Understanding of Addiction
Perhaps the biggest way that society’s perception of drug addiction has changed is by the understanding that addiction isn’t a moral shortcoming. In decades and centuries past, it was believed by many that being addicted to drugs meant that people were lacking in willpower, or that they were incapable of stopping consumption before it became problematic. Typical of the mindset of the day, it was also something attributed to the lower class exclusively.
Today, however, medical professionals can see drug addiction for what it truly is: an illness. Just like any other medical condition, patients struggling with addiction can’t choose just to simply have the addiction disappear. Ongoing treatment is required, and a relapse isn’t the end of recovery. Rather, it’s an obstacle on the road to sobriety that can absolutely be overcome.
Legal System’s Role in Changing Perception of Drug Addiction
The legal and judicial systems have also played a significant role in the changing perception of addiction to drugs and alcohol. This is important, because when lawyers, judges and legislators treat individuals struggling with addiction a certain way, the rest of the population tends to follow suit.
Even the White House is taking steps to address drug addiction in the country, and it’s doing so in part by expanding access to treatment. According to a White House press release, this will be accomplished in some of the following ways:
- Providing extra funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Releasing funding to community health centers across the country
- Distributing addiction awareness guides to clinicians
- Reducing opiate prescriptions when possible
Rehabilitation Rather than Incarceration
Another way that the perception of addiction to drugs is changing significantly is through an emphasis on rehabilitation rather than incarceration. An increasing number of people across all industries and levels of society are beginning to understand that since addiction is a disease, those suffering from addiction need help.
The best way to seek help for addiction is by finding an accredited rehab facility that offers evidence-based treatment. Various forms of therapy and even pharmacological treatment can help patients to create relapse prevention plans and begin to break their ties with addiction. There are rehab centers with varying levels of care that range from residential long-term treatment to intensive outpatient treatment, which means that patients can always find the recovery method that works best for their lifestyle.
If you or someone you love is struggling with drug addiction, help is available. Contact us learn more about The Height’s Treatment in Houston, Texas, and how the right treatment can help you embrace the life of sobriety you deserve.