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Coping With Discimination- Distorted views and presumptions of character

Coping With Discimination- Distorted views and presumptions of character

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Published by TheWeeklyStash
This is an article i wrote for the OMAP Newsletter it is a publication for addicts re-entering society after long rehabilitation stays. Anger over discrimination is one of the most prominent reasons we relapse.
This is an article i wrote for the OMAP Newsletter it is a publication for addicts re-entering society after long rehabilitation stays. Anger over discrimination is one of the most prominent reasons we relapse.

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Published by: TheWeeklyStash on Mar 06, 2010
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09/27/2012

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Coping with discrimination-Distorted viewsand presumptions of character
All you have to do is make an admission of addiction in mixed company toknow that the over-all perception of addicts is centered in primarily threeareas of belief.1. That addicts are weak willed people who seek pity.2. That anyone who is addicted to drugs is a criminal.3.That addicts are people of low moral and ethical standards.And still there are some people who believe more disturbing things aboutaddicts. (ie; “they are fiends bent on corrupting children and teens, seekingto enlist them into their satanic and sex crazed cults”) (See “ ReeferMadness”)More often than not addicts are thought of in varying degrees of these terms.While seeking pity, committing crimes, and ignorance or disregard of moralsand ethics can be used to describe some individuals who happen to be drugaddicts, it can just easily be used to describe many other individuals with-incertain segments of a population. One is not mutually exclusive to another. Just as nothing can be said that would accurately discribe every person in anysegment of any culture, the same applies to addicts. In fact, many addictshide their addiction for years before they are recognized by friends or family. This would not be possible if the behavior was so reprehensible. By and largeit is the media that is responsible for the public perception of addicts in thiscountry. It seems that they hone in on the portion of the addicted populationthat is the worst behaved. Thusly, displayed as the model for addiction andthose who suffer from it.In the book”The control of drugs and drug users: reason or reaction, authorRoss Coomber, states; in chapter 5; “The dominant, conventional approachhas seen the media as the as the key force in the demonization andmarginalization of drug users, as presenting lurid, hysterical images and as a
 
provider of an un-critical platform from which politicians and other moralentrepreneurs are able to launch drug wars. The media is thus seen tomisrepresent drugs, their effects, users, and sellers and indeed the wholenature of addiction.” Society is influenced by media and addicts are largelyrepresented as morally corrupt, feeble in mind, fiendish in nature, andcriminal in intent.So, what is an addict to do when faced with such prejudices anddiscrimination, especially in early recovery? There is no concrete, black and white, answer. Or even a perception of one.However there are things we can do, to dispel such hysterical rhetoric.In recovery we begin to accept ourselves, faults and all. And when we goback out, to re-enter society after a stay in rehab, or from hiding in ourfamiliar world of drugs and drug friends, we must also learn to accept otherswith their faults and mis-perceptions as well. We must also learn to speakand act with honor. (This would be ideal for anyone.) This is not always easyin face of ignorance. But it is something that we can become better at, themore we practice. We can also seek support and guidance from communitybased groups we may happen to belong to, friends that are supportive, orfrom professional psychologists. You don’t have to subscribe to any of thecurrently “state sponsored” or "supported" treatment models in order to getsupport on this issue. This is an issue that every addict, family member,addiction counselor, and therapist deal with on a regular basis. And thosewith more abstinence than you, may have information that will allow you tocope more readily. There will always be those in society who form their opinion of addiction onhysterical, inaccurate and sometimes absurd presumptions. We can notconcern ourselves with convincing the world, or even our neighbors, that wehave no interest in corrupting anyone, selling their children drugs, ordestroying anyones future. We are far to busy making amends to our ownfamilies, trying to make new friends, discovering ourselves all over again, andcoping with the day to day cravings, triggers, and thoughts that mire us inthe cycle of addiction. When we decide to quit drugs we rarely realize thescope of what we are undertaking but if we prepare ourselves, in this, theadventure of a lifetime, we will be that much closer to the goal of becomingbetter human beings.Simply put, if we conduct ourselves with respect and honor, then those thathave these negetive opinions of us, will eventually see our behavior and basetheir judgements on what we present. However, some will not change theiropinion, no matter what we show them. To that, I say this; If some peoplecan't see you, and treat you, with the respect that you treat them,

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