- Opioid use disorder is a disease.
- There is treatment.
- Recovery is possible.
Opioid use disorder doesn’t discriminate.
All ages. All walks of life. Big city or small town. The truth of the matter is that opioid use disorder can happen to anyone. And once someone becomes dependent, it’s often an uphill battle to escape the drug’s powerful and destructive grip.
The Stigma of Opioid Use Disorder
People who struggle with opioid use disorder of prescription painkillers and heroin (known as opioids) face a wide range of stigmas. A stigma is a mark of disgrace that sets a person or a group apart. When people are labeled primarily because of their opioid use disorder, they are being negatively stereotyped. Stigmas can also create physical and mental barriers that stop people from seeking treatment.
Biased, hurtful words, attitudes and behaviors represent prejudices against people with opioid use disorder, and can often lead to their discrimination and social exclusion. People with an opioid substance use disorder should be treated with respect and dignity. Remember that anyone can acquire an opioid use disorder.
Opioid use disorder is a chronic disease.
Some people think that if you’re a person with an opioid use disorder, you should get locked up. Or that you should just be able to “get over it”. And many say that you could have avoided the problem if you just hadn’t started in the first place.
It’s not that simple.
There are many factors that lead to trying opioids for the first time. And once it starts, it can quickly become a chronic disease that is difficult to overcome.