Photos of a fifty-year-old mother, her spouse, and four-year-old son were trending on Facebook pages on Thursday, 8th September 2016. The Ohio Police had posted these photos of the lady drooped onto the drivers seat and her lover openmouthed after they had taken opiates, to show the public the dangers of drug abuse on their children. This was definitely an eye-catching scene which attracted several comments, with one of the comments stating the need for non-addicts to see what the society is dealing with routinely. Arguably, it was apparent that these photos were wake-up calls for addicts to refrain using drugs while with their children as this would endanger the childrens lives. The police were braced for and received scrutiny for this act, which many dubbed as stigmatizing addicts (Satel, 2016).
Stigmatization is not always a vice regardless of whether one concurs or disagrees with its critics. These critics hardly clarify what they intend to strip of the embarrassment: is it the addiction behavior, addicts, rehabilitation or getting help. Nevertheless, those in need of help ought to be advised recommended for counseling. Such endeavors should be entirely insusceptible to the court of public opinion since this demoralizes those being stigmatized. The author urges addicts to embrace 12-step group attendance to facilitate access to competent and reverential formal psychotherapy. This is based on the premise that drug addicts are usually fighting boredom and psychological torments. Conversely, it would also be wrong to de-stigmatize reckless behaviors that endanger our lives and others. The police stated that the man was driving carelessly prior to passing out, and nearly collided with a school bus which had children on-board. Moreover, the public was not likely to thwart this stigmatization, based on the evident disparaging insolence towards individuals who put others in danger such as drunk drivers (Satel, 2016).
One of the benefits of eradicating stigmatization would be that it encourages addicts to get therapy. The embarrassment that comes with disclosing ones issues to the public or the possibility of experiencing this shame deters addicts from getting appropriate treatment procedures. A case in point is an employee experiencing drug addiction issues and intends to request a leave to get counseling. He is hesitant about meeting up with his employer to request for some time off due to the prospect of feeling humiliated or being punished. If he had a leg injury, he would have likely been straight-forward in asking for some leave to undergo surgical treatment. The only option that would apparently bail him out without getting embarrassed is stopping on his own and seeking assistance without his employers knowledge. However, de-stigmatization of drug addiction is the best remedy to having more addicts getting counseling and save them from the psychological torture that comes with humiliation (Satel, 2016).
De-stigmatization would also enhance the availability of therapy services, in that, this would bolster political and civic intent of financing treatment if addiction is viewed as any other illness. This is a benevolent cause, although more of a wish than a rational expectation. Recently, societies and politicians have championed for more treatment to respond to the insurgent overdose in opiates. The huge demographic growth being experienced among the middle-class and white populaces is possibly the key motivation behind these calls. Nevertheless, it would be hard to overlook the importance of treating drug addiction as a normal condition that requires addicts to be handled with the same dignity as other patients (Satel, 2016).
Satel, S. (September 12, 2016). To Protect Children, Its Okay to Stigmatize Addicts. Forbes.com. Retrieved 29 September 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/sallysatel/2016/09/12/to-protect-children-its-okay-to-stigmatize-addicts/#7e7499f61e4c
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