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Apathy in Our Communities

One of the often unseen and rarely spoken of challenges we’re up against as addicts is apathy in our communities. We’ve experienced loved ones and strangers judging us for our drug use, condemning us and putting us down, calling us disgusting, sick and worthless. We’re called fiends and junkies, told we should be in jail or dead and looked down on with disgust. Many people believe addiction to be a choice rather than a disease, and people assume we lack willpower and that we’re weak and cowardly. We’re considered to be immoral, shameful, bad people. When we’re treated in this way, with a complete lack of compassion, we’re not encouraged to get help. We’re not motivated to seek treatment. Chances are, we’re made to feel even worse about ourselves than we already do and then find ourselves seeking comfort and relief from our emotional pain in our drugs of choice.

Apathy from our loved ones and strangers alike comes from their inability to put themselves in our shoes, to see our suffering and to try and understand what we might be experiencing and how we might be feeling. Non-addicts will often pit themselves against us, not realizing that it’s not us they should be fighting but the illness itself. If they care about the safety and health of their communities, demonizing us is not the solution, it only worsens the divide between us and creates more tension, conflict, and misunderstanding. We want to get to the point where we can speak up about better conditions for our communities, and especially the safety of the young people in our communities, without condemning, shaming and ostracizing the addicts who have fallen prey to such a debilitating illness.

Many people have intense anger towards addicts because they themselves have lost a loved one to addiction. When they see an addict, they can become triggered and reactive, sometimes lashing out with hostility. Their anger gets directed at us rather than towards addiction as a whole. We might make greater strides as a society if we’re able to have compassion towards people who are suffering. Anger, judgment, and resentment don’t clean up the streets. Yelling at drug users doesn’t help them in any way, nor does it serve the community. Apathy and judgment erode our spirits, worsen our already suffering sense of self-worth, and make it even harder for us to reach out for help when we desperately need it.

At The Guest House Ocala, we have personal recovery experience and over 12 years in the recovery industry. We have helped countless people recover, and we’re here to help you too. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.