22 Dec How the stigma of addiction sucks
I have been meaning to write about the stigma that people with addiction face for a long time. It is an issue which upsets me a great deal. People that are trying to get help for their issues are truly amazing. They have taken it upon themselves to contact the clinic, made an appointment and then shown up for their appointment with a clinic they do not know. The c0urage that takes is enormous. It something that should be celebrated and commended. Yet, time after time, these individuals are put through ringer with a health system that makes it so difficult to get clean. These remarkable people have to overcome other people prejudice attitudes and judgements that people with other medical conditions don’t face.
Does a diabetic patient get attitude if his her medication dose increased…nope. Or even if they have to switch to insulin? The answer is no. They get a free glucometer and nice counseling session with the pharmacist. How about when they go to the hospital with severely high sugar readings. Do the nurses belittle them, do they have to wait for 24 hours for approval to get their medications. Nope. Yet, we treat those with addictions so different and it is truly shameful. If my patients try to get off their opioids and go to the hospital, they are told there is nothing that can be done, you can go home and suffer. There is no recognition that this person has realized that there is a problem and they need to make a change to their life to get better.
I am frustrated with how the system treats addiction, and the fact that so many of our patients are able to overcome this devastating disease with these unnecessary obstacles is amazing. To be a part of this transformation is humbling and rewarding. For those that are struggling with addiction, I know that it is hard, but please don’t ever give up, the light is much closer than you think.Google+