Discover the Types of Stigma That Surrounds Addiction


Stigma is when people negatively view other people or things due to a particular attribute. Individuals with substance abuse disorders experience stigma and discrimination regularly. This can make it more difficult for them to access the resources they need to overcome their addiction.

Although addiction is often seen as a choice that people make, the truth is that substance abuse disorder is a health issue. It can be caused by chronic stress, mental health issues, and environmental factors. With interventions and treatment, individuals who are struggling with substance abuse disorder can receive support and begin healing.

Here, we take a look at the different types of stigma that surround addiction:

  • Structural Stigma

    This occurs when workplaces, healthcare facilities, and social services unintentionally cause barriers to recovery support. This also includes certain policies that make it difficult to receive a comprehensive assessment in Ontario for treatment.

  • Self-Stigma

    This occurs when individuals internalize the negative responses they receive daily. This leads to feelings of shame and low self-esteem that may discourage them from seeking treatment. This can also worsen their addiction and cause fear of asking for support.

  • Social Stigma

    This includes negative attitudes or behaviors against people who are struggling with addiction. This entails talking about addiction like it is a choice and negative portrayals in media or daily conversations when discussing addiction.

We at Fresh Start Clinic are dedicated to treating individuals with addictions. We offer addiction treatment in Hamilton, Ontario for individuals who wish to overcome their addictions. With our services, we aim to conquer the stigma surrounding addiction and provide evidence-based, individualized treatment to ensure healing.

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