You see it at least once every day scrolling down your Facebook news feed. If you are in the addiction field it is something that remains constant and unwavering. And it isn’t good. It isn’t helpful. It is the subconscious of our states, cities, towns and communities.
It is the stigma towards those with an addiction. And you are guilty of spreading it. Yes, you.
Every time you share a post with a humiliating mug shot, every time you share that post of the mom who got pulled over drunk with her kids in the backseat, every time you comment on that guy who ran naked high on crack through the streets—you are sharing the stigma. You are perpetuating the idea that these people are just messed up. You are not doing anything to propel the idea that these people are sick and need help. #STOPSHARINGTHESTIGMA
Where is our compassion? Where is the thought of others before we hit “like.” We have one of the most immense resources at our fingertips that can be used for the greater good and instead we sit pointing fingers, laughing, and perpetuating the problem.
Time to Change
It is time we made a change. That is why Wicked Sober is calling you to Stop Sharing the Stigma. Wicked Sober is asking you to change your perspective and to remember when you read those “weird” news stories, when you see those mug shots that those are PEOPLE. People who are sick, people who have families, people who most likely, if they get the help they need, will be utterly ashamed of what they did and you shared it, read it, liked it.
If we are going to effect a real change in our communities we have to treat all people with drug problems, even the ones we just see in our media outlets like they are sick. Why? Because they are.
When we read or interact with those kind of stories what are we saying to addicts? What kind of message are we putting out there to those who might want to get help but are scared to admit they have a problem? What happens when someone you know who is struggling sees your “LOL” on that story and wanted to open up to you about their drinking issue? What happens when your kid needs to escape the debt from their drug dealer and you are sharing about how horrible it is that “those” people are on the streets?
What are you inadvertently saying by doing this? Wake up people. Even if you don’t get it you can at least STOP SHARING THE STIGMA. You can at the very minimum stop telling addicts through your reactions to other addicts making the news that it is funny, bad, a joke, sickening, horrid to have a disease.
What Effect are You Having?
So with that all we have left to say is this. If you aren’t helping at least don’t hurt anyone. Stop Sharing the Stigma. You don’t know who is watching or who is seeing what you are doing and saying when you share that kind of stuff. You don’t know the butterfly effect that could have. And there is really no point for it. If we are serious about stopping the stigma and finally having the world recognize addiction for what it is, a disease, we must look at even the worst drug addicts, the craziest mug shots—as the result of sickened people. People who need are help. Not our judgment.
Think before you share. Stop Sharing The Stigma.