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The Stigma of Addiction in Illinois

People suffering from addiction often don’t seek help right away, and may even take time to tell friends and family about the problem. Usually, this stems from the embarrassment that addicts feel from the pressures and judgements they feel from society. The Anti-Stigma Project characterizes stigma as a pervasive and damaging influence on the quality of services, addiction treatment outcomes, and therapeutic, professional, and personal relationships. Not only can people experience stigmatization from non-users, but from fellow addicts as well. For instance, certain substances have different reputations and connotations, which excludes some addicts from seeking help.

Whether an addiction stems from alcohol, marijuana, or heroin, the person suffering from such a condition deserves our help. Sadly, some users feel their self-esteem drop over time, and they feel guilty for the harm they’ve done to themselves or others. This chronically low self-esteem makes many addicts feel like they have the power to overcome their obstacles.

Drug addiction is a serious disease that requires the care and specialty of a rehabilitation program. There is a place where you can read more about it on our Drug Rehab page. You or someone you know can get through the addiction problems they face, so call us at 402-268-9960 and get started healing today.

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Addiction is Not New in Illinois

Drug and alcohol use has a long history throughout the world of being associated with negative personal traits and as a harm to society. In recent times, the stigmatization of drug users continues. This can even be present in the recovery process, as some counselors may think that their treatment is more effective. On the other hand, medical professionals will sometimes lean towards medical treatments as the best method of treatment for patients. Regardless, as the recovering addict, it’s important to know all of the information out there regarding addiction treatment.

Many people in the general public in Illinois don’t have any experience with addiction either. More specifically, it can be difficult for those without any knowledge of addiction to separate the horrific addiction itself with the vulnerable, honest person that’s just trying to get clean and sober again. The stigma that recovering drug users face is real and it’s important to know how to stop the culture of demonizing victims of addiction. Keeping this in mind, the best way to do our part is by stopping the hatred against recovering drug addicts wherever we see it in our daily lives.

Fighting the Stigma of Addiction Today

Drug addicts in Illinois face the constant pressure of stigmatization daily through their friends and family. Consequently, many addicts don’t reach out for vital drug addiction treatment because their sense of self-worth is attacked every day.


Cold, harsh emotion towards someone desperately in need of help can be damaging to that person psychologically. In particular, the stigma of drug addicts can be built up and worsened with the following behaviors:

  • Feeling of superiority over the drug user
  • Thinking that drug addiction is beneath you
  • Using addiction as an opportunity to control
  • Expressing fear about someone’s addiction in a socially unacceptable way
  • Hurting others in any way solely because of their addiction

Consider if you or someone you know has experienced any of the above treatment from others and think about what you can do to prevent the stigmatization of drug users.


One of the most powerful ways of preventing people from judging victims of drug addiction is by humanizing the problem. For instance, being able to put a name and face to the drug crisis forces people to confront their own empathy. Additionally, the best way to humanize substance abuse is by having addicts tell their stories and share their experiences. Demystifying things like relapse can help bring drug addiction problems to the attention of the general public.

The idea that relapsing is a failure of the recovered addict or their treatment is dangerous and untrue. Instead, helping spread the message that relapse is common and an opportunity to strengthen areas of weakness. Lastly, celebrating and promoting the success of drug treatment is one of the best ways to prevent the stigma of drug rehab. Helping our peers rejoice in newfound freedom and health is what stops others from continuing down a dark path to addiction.


The main problem with asking for help as a drug user is that society doesn’t always want to help, especially with the reputation that we’ve given drug addicts. To change this, we can start by changing the culture that views addicts as people who have some sort of moral bankruptcy. Instead, let’s start looking at drug addicts like they are sick patients with a dangerous disorder who are in need of our help.

There’s already enough on your plate when dealing with drug and alcohol addiction. You don’t need to also worry about low self-esteem and judgements from those around you that can help. Luckily, there is a network of rehab services throughout the state of Illinois that can put you back on your feet. There are many different care options available, so don’t let the negative views of others keep you from drastically changing your life for the better. We can all do our part to stop the stigma of drug and alcohol addiction from getting worse. In the end, we can all help each other towards a drug free Illinois and a drug free America.

Help is Near You in Illinois

In the past several decades, victims of drug addiction in this country have been the targets of stigmatization. Seeing the drug crisis as individual failure instead of as opportunity to care for our neighbors has resulted in skyrocketing cases of drug use and overdose. Thus, it’s more important than ever to make sure that we are respectful, accurate, and caring in how we treat our most vulnerable brothers and sisters in our neighborhoods.

Addiction treatment is easy to find throughout the state of Illinois, so you can get treatment nearby. We’ll make sure that we connect you to the right facility and help walk you through the process of going to rehab and getting clean and sober. Unfortunately, many drug addicts in Illinois do have access to the right care, but they lack the necessary positivity and support structure to reach out and find it.

Put the health of your mind and body first and foremost. Give yourself the tools to rid yourself of addiction and start your life over again. To get started, give us a call at 402-268-9960 and see how we can help you get in touch with the right resources for your goals.

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