Sobriety Without Shame
It’s still very sad to see the stigmas that surround addiction. Too often, people are branded in a negative light after overcoming a dependency; which, in turn, leads them to hide the fact that they successfully achieved sobriety. The truth of the matter is, there is absolutely no shame in announcing your recovery success and, in fact, it can often serve as a badge of honor that inspires others.
Harvard Medical School recently touched on the topic within the monthly blog section of their site. Dr. Peter Grinspoon, MD wrote a compelling piece that encouraged everyone who has completed treatment to Go Public With Their Sobriety.
In a bold moment, Grinspoon himself opened up about his past addictions.
“[The reason I am writing this] is because I was increasingly intolerant of the blatant discrimination directed at my brothers and sisters in recovery,” Grinspoon revealed. “Contrary to popular wisdom, we are people too. Not only that, but we have a lot to teach the rest of society, knowledge forged out of struggle and remorse (and therapy). There is nothing inherently wrong with people who are addicted except the addiction, which is treatable, and the only appropriate responses to this condition are compassion, solidarity, and support.”
It certainly does add a nice touch knowing that a Harvard Medical School professor fought and conquered a devastating addiction. Another unfortunate stigma is that these dependencies only impact low income individuals or those who lack higher education. Nothing could be further than the truth, as evidenced by Dr. Grinspoon.
His article also accurately pointed out that as many as 29 percent of all Americans have dealt with alcohol abuse during at least one point in their lives. The stats for people with drug addictions is nearly as high. Now clearly that is a large chunk of the country’s population, which goes to show what a wide variety of Americans this can cover.
The good news is, a large portion of these people are able to get help and overcome these issues. Our hope is that those who do can work to inspire the other portion of the population that continues to suffer.
For many, just knowing that a co-worker, family member or friend has gone through the same issue and survived is reason enough to get help. So if you have made it through to the other side, please join us (and Dr. Grinspoon) in advocating for sobriety!