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Addiction and Disease

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 Addiction and Disease

Addressing the stigma that is attached when we look at addiction and disease is crucial. In that it raises positive awareness around the issues concerned and highly profiled voices speaking out only strengthens attitudes and behaviours to addiction and disease.

Carlton Erickson from Addiction Today argues Public and professional stigma against addictive diseases is a major social problem when dealing with conditions which have traditionally been dealt with by behavioural and spiritually-based programmes.

Reducing this stigma is critical, as negative attitudes damage the level and quality of patient care – and funding for prevention, education and research.

He goes on to argue that for far too many years, the “field” of drug addiction treatment and prevention has drifted aimlessly, based on insufficient research evidence that addictions are brain diseases and about the pharmacology of addicting drugs.

Furthermore there is much misinformation about the effects of addictive drugs.

Finally there is a fundamental need for patients, family and friends to acquaint themselves with the information that is currently available.

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