There’s been a common theme going on that I’ve noticed recently, which is how people look down to drug addicts and wholeheartedly believe any stigma or stereotype surrounding addiction and drug users. There are groups of people that believe that addiction is just an attention whore trait or even a hoax made by drug addicts. The situation surrounding drugs in North America has reached cataclysmic properties because of the increasing rate of overdoses, addiction, and stigma.
I’ve observed that people try to assume they think they completely understand how an addiction feels like, or how it’s like for the addict. It’s something every addict knows yet it’s so mysterious to others who weren’t touched by addiction. I find it obscene and demanding when people imply heavily that the drug users can stop when they wanted to, with a snap of fingers. Some individuals who suggest that addicts have it easy usually hasn’t even laid their eyes on a drug, let alone struggled with real addiction. It shows how poorly educated people in general are, in regards to drug knowledge, which is morose.
Stigma around drug addicts is rampant around people in general because the news media has consistently featured horror stories about drug abusers and their crimes. I’ve always thought there was just one difference between regular crime and drug-related crime; the fact a drug is involved. There might be a higher incidence rate regarding theft in the drug addict group, but I’ve noticed that people act as if the crime would have never happened if there weren’t any drugs involved. I completely disagree with that statement because yes, of course, there are people out there who aren’t drug addicts and still commit theft. This also applies to any other crime that exists, because crime will still occur even if every single drug in the world was eradicated.
Now, what should people do when they encounter an addict is to realize that they are addicted to certain substances, but please don’t patronize them or act as if you know better. Do not be condescending; it never helps when your words slice through the addict like a knife. Try to empathize if you can, and try not to judge a book by the cover. Most importantly, just treat the users as if they’re human beings because they literally are. C’mon, people.