Monday, November 24, 2014

End the Sigma of Addiction

It's Time to End the Negative Stigma of Addiction and Mental Health Disorders.

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There are hundreds of campaigns in the world for things such as Diabetes awareness, Cancer awareness that receive millions of dollars in research, but where is the Mental Health awareness research funding? Mental Health and Addiction Research are two of the lowest funded research diseases / disorders in the world, but these two diseases / disorders are costing the world billions in medical care, justice system costs and much more.  
50% of people in the world living with mental health and/or addiction disorder reported that they did not seek treatment because they could not afford it.  Another 16% of the population did not receive treatment because they did not know where to go to receive proper treatment.
With proper awareness and treatment options made available with awareness focused in on mental health and addiction research and treatment, these staggering percentages would be decreased dramatically.  Insurance companies need to start stepping up and providing funding for viable treatment for individuals that are seeking help, because this would decrease their costs overall in regards to providing millions in health care for individuals suffering from addiction and mental illnesses.  
Society continues to have little patience for addiction and mental health disorders.  This could be changed with awareness campaigns focused on ending the stigma that addiction is a choice and not a disease.  Addiction disorder is a medically proven disease of the mind and body.  Research has been showing this time and time again and if everyone in the world had the opportunity to walk in the shoes of an individual in a treatment center for one day, they would understand.  Treatment centers are not a vacation environment as sometimes portrayed on television and in the movies.  This portrayal does not help the stigma that mental illnesses and addiction disorders are will-power or just decisions an individual is making. 
Bottom line: Addiction and Mental Health Disorders need to be treated and approached by society / the medical world as if it was a legitimate, physical cancer.  Addiction and Mental Health Disorders is in fact a disease of the mind and body and with the proper treatment, people are able to live a sustainable and manageable way of life.

It's Time to End the Stigma!

From the Book - Addiction's Hidden Mask
My name is Mark and I am an Alcoholic. I have been in active recovery for 3 years and 4 months. The Mask of Addiction is my personal journey through Hazelden Treatment Center in 2003. In this book, you will find my personal journey through the days of treatment and how I found my Higher Power by taking off my mask of alcohol addiction.

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