Some psychology behind why people suffering addiction might deny themselves treatment
While it can often be difficult for people struggling with addiction to admit or even realize that they need help, a new study addresses another dimension of this: embarrassment. Coupled with the social stigma of abusing drugs, some people would rather deny themselves treatment than out themselves as someone wrestling with an addiction. In a study recently published in a journal called Drug and Alcohol Dependence analyzed barriers to treatment, in this case for methamphetamine specifically. While some of the other typical arguments were present in the study as well, such as the belief that help is not needed or the preference to simply withdraw from help, researchers were surprised at the level to which embarrassment and social stigma played a role in people refusing to seek treatment.
Too much shock tactics, not enough help
In recent years, both methamphetamine use and supply has escalated at an alarming rate that is cause for major concern. The study was carried in five different countries: Australia, South Africa, China, the United States and the United Kingdom. What the researchers found was that users who understood that they were addicted and may have even wanted to get treatment were so ashamed or felt the social stigma so strongly that in the end, they chose not to. Researchers also discovered that these feelings of shame were only exacerbated by media campaigns meant to curb drug usage. These advertising campaigns sensationalize the issues associated with meth use to the point where users are portrayed at best as criminals and at worst as something like animals, which only serves to hammer home the stigma of dealing with a methamphetamine addiction. Researchers came to the conclusion that these campaigns need to do a better job of not just using fear tactics to keep people from using meth, but also provide and emphasize treatment options that are available in order to be more useful to people who are currently using, as opposed to just scaring people off from doing it in the first place.
It is absolutely a scary experience admitting that you have an addiction and need help overcoming it. It makes people vulnerable and brings them face to face with the stigma of addiction. But the benefits of getting help and treatment far outweigh the costs, and despite the social stigma present, you should never feel too ashamed to seek treatment, as it shows that you are actively trying to improve your life and make decisions in your best interest. If you are using methamphetamines or struggling with drug addiction in general, know that there are centers for treatment like Ridgeview Ranch that understand, and will do everything they can to help you get your life back on track. If you or a loved one is in need of help with substance abuse, Call Ridgeview Ranch Today at (800) 296-1868. We’re Here To Help!