There has long been a terrible stigma attached to drug addiction. Decades of misinformation have communities misinformed about what drives someone to abuse drugs. Even more importantly, how they can help.
Too many people falsely assume addicts are beyond help. That is not true. Treatment facilities and recovering addicts are working to reverse this false perception. Rehab centers can offer new hope to recovering drug addicts.
But, they can also offer hope to their local communities. To help build support networks for everyone, rehab centers are striving to raise community awareness. Here are some ways they are accomplishing these goals.
One stigma attached to drug addicts is that they hide out behind drawn shades and locked doors. The first objective of rehab centers is to ease the community fear that drug addicts are lurking in the shadows.
Being visible in the community is a critical step to showing the residents that they will be held accountable. There are different ways that recovery fellowships and treatment centers are accomplishing this important goal.
- Recovery Walks – Lines of treatment professionals and recovering drug addicts are seen walking along the sidewalks of small towns and large cities. This helps people in the community begin to appreciate that these are real human beings with real problems.
Recovery walks are not restricted to addicts, treatment professionals or their friends and family. Anyone can step up and make a commitment to show their allegiance to improving community awareness about drug addiction and working together to make positive changes.
- Recovery Festivals – Recovering communities are learning to recover together. In an effort to help rebuild family relationships, rehab centers are coordinating community days. Information is available to help defeat the false perceptions surrounding drug addiction, plus ways community residents can help.
These events may have individual talks or workshops. Cookouts, full of games and other fun activities, can make recovery festivals something that completely changes local resident’s opinions about addiction.
- Conferences and Workshops – Treatment professionals are coordinating speaking engagements and community workshops to share the truth about drug addiction, and why the hope is in recovery.
These can be special events targeting businesses or community-wide workshops where anyone can participate. Residents can be exposed to ways to help someone they think may have a drug problem, plus how not to be part of the problem if they legally need prescription drugs.
- Literature and Information – Sometimes the only way to combat misinformation is with accurate information. Rehab centers are often focused on targeting the most vulnerable.
Providing literature and other types of informative information to schools might be a key weapon in helping curb the prevalence of drug abuse in a community. Kids can learn how to help a friend or how to help themselves if they think they have a problem.
Another way treatment programs and rehab centers are helping to raise awareness in communities is to show that there is hope. When community residents see someone they may have known to be addicted to drugs, clean and sober, it instills hope them.
Not everyone in recovery is going to be a competent public speaker. However, people who have strong public speaking skills are encouraged to offer to speak at public events. These don’t need to be the same as sharing at a group or fellowship, but allowing the community to hear the stories of hope in recovery can give them hope as well.
Another way some rehabs are helping build connections with community members and businesses is through an anonymous donor program. It is not uncommon that some entangled in the vicious web of addiction cannot afford treatment options.
By developing donation programs where anyone can contribute to a treatment scholarship fund, helps community members appreciate that recovery is available for anyone. Private residents, small community businesses and large corporations are supporting these donor programs.
If communities will just bond together, we can battle the plight of addiction sweeping across our towns and cities. Each member of the community cannot only be a key to breaking the drug addiction stigma, but also an asset to winning the fight against addiction.
If you’re a recovering addict, you owe it to your program to participate in some way. For those who are community members struggling with the addiction problem around their homes, it is a way to become part of the solution, not just a silent objector to the problem. Get involved today by asking about programs coordinated by a rehab center in your community. Call us today at 833-762-3739.