Public Perception of Hydrocodone Addicts

Public Perception of Hydrocodone Addicts

For years experts and health officials have been working to change the public’s perception that addiction is an immoral crime, to the fact that addiction is a disease and serious public health issue. Misperceptions affect addicts and their loved ones but they also affect society as a whole. The more people continue to ostracize addicts and hold prejudicial perceptions of addiction in general, the harder it becomes for addicts to find and achieve recovery.

Hydrocodone addiction is a disease. While drug abusers are fully responsible for their behavior and consequences when they consciously make the decision to misuse or abuse a drug, no person who starts experimenting with recreational drug abuse intends on developing a full-blown addiction. Once dependence and addiction sets in, a user’s brain changes so that it becomes nearly impossible for him or her to quit without professional help.

Is Hydrocodone Addiction a Moral or Public Health Issue?

Addiction is not a battle of willpower; rather, an addict’s brain chemistry is changed by addiction so much so that avoiding drug use becomes nearly impossible. Addicts are completely preoccupied with obtaining, purchasing and using their drug of choice. Addiction is characterized by compulsive behavior. Addicts know the harm that their drug use is causing, but continue using because it seems as natural as breathing. An addict’s brain is chemically altered during the development of addiction and this is something that cannot be overcome with high-hopes and determination.

The Effect of Public Perception on Hydrocodone Addiction Prevention and Treatment

It is hard enough for a hydrocodone addict to acknowledge his problem and seek treatment, but when family, friends, peers, classmates, coworkers and the general public hold a negative perception of addiction, it is even more unlikely that an addict will seek help. Instead addicts will attempt to keep their struggle a secret, not wanting to be ostracized or judged. Many addicts feel that once they admit to their addiction struggle, they will be forever labeled as an addict; no other achievements, accomplishments or identity will matter because the addiction has tarnished their reputation.

Furthermore, when others talk about how immoral or weak addicts are, those secretly struggling with drug use and addiction problems can develop serious mental health issues. Shame, guilt, embarrassment, fear, confusion, sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and low-self-esteem can overcome addicts who want to quit, but are too ashamed to ask for help. As addicts hear others talk about addiction as a criminal and moralistic issue, they can develop these beliefs too; thinking that there is something wrong with them instead of realizing that they are suffering from a disease and no longer have control over their behavior. Addicts can also grow to believe that they do not deserve help.

Addiction is a horrible disease that can affect anyone. Everyone can play a role in addiction prevention and education. The more the public knows about addiction, the more opportunity there is for treatment and recovery.

Find Help for Hydrocodone Abuse or Addiction

For help with hydrocodone abuse or addiction, please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline and a trained addiction counselor can assist you with your questions, concerns and other needs. You have several options for treatment and recovery and we can help you find the services and programs that will work for your unique needs, if you are ready.