ADDICTION DOESN'T DEFINE ME... SUPPORT HELPS, STIGMA HURTS
Just about all of us know someone struggling with addiction, whether we realize it or not. Opioid and other substance use disorders can affect anyone, but addiction doesn’t define who someone is. All too often, our family members, friends and neighbors in Berks County suffer in silence. Fear of being judged and outcast prevents them from seeking treatment. Your support makes a difference. Words of encouragement, hope and support break through the negative perceptions that prevent people from seeking help. Download a copy of our Addiction Doesn't Define Me Brochure
WHAT IS STIGMA?
Stigma is defined as a set of negative beliefs that a group or society holds about a topic or group of people. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stigma is a major cause of discrimination and exclusion and it contributes to the abuse of human rights. When a person experiences stigma they are seen as less than because of their real or perceived health status. Stigma is rarely based on facts but rather on assumptions, preconceptions, and generalizations; therefore, its negative impact can be prevented or lessened through education.
ADDICTION IS A DISEASE
The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as "a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.
Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death."
Please note: Participants must reside or work in Berks County.
For questions or more information please contact Jennifer Kirlin at the Council on Chemical Abuse:
JKirlin@cocaberks.org or call (610) 685-4475