One of the biggest roadblocks within our nation’s work to heal those who are suffering from addictions is the stigma associated with both addiction and mental health. Particularly in a time where the government is trying to reform health care, we need to think more carefully about where our priorities lie, who we’re really helping, and who we’re actually hurting.

Changing Healthcare Would Perpetuate Suffering from Addictions

All this “will be an exhausting and expensive endeavor,” according to experts in the field. Trying to not only preserve any positive changes that have been made thus far, but to also progress forward, is difficult. A lot of different groups want the money that health care can grant, but not everyone can get it, or likely won’t. As a country, we need to look at the issues of addiction and declining mental health of today and make some choices that work toward improving the state of things.

A former president of the American Psychiatric Associated remarked gravely that “If we cut back on the financing mechanism—reimbursing providers and giving people access to care—it will reduce the number of people who are able to get treatment.” This is obviously the opposite of what we want to do in terms of treating those who are suffering from addictions. This decline will only bring about more tragic cases and  higher numbers of those who seriously need aid.

One such group is those within the armed forces who is struggling with substance abuse, issues of mental health, or both. The stigma is even greater here, where non-physical ‘wounds’ are often not given the attention or recognition needed for their healing. On top of that, veterans already have enormous difficulty with PTSD and the associated risk of suicide as it is, and potentially losing the health care that has provided them with some relief in the recent past would be devastating.

What we need, perhaps most of all, is “to turn around this conversation on mental illness and related pathologies—from something to be ashamed of and hidden, to seeking treatment.” Suffering from addictions is becoming more and more common in our country, but that doesn’t mean we are allowed to become complacent about it or to accept it as something that is normal. Rather, we should be putting more energy in this issue than ever, focusing our healthcare rallying around the subject and calling for those in power to address the situation to the best of their ability.

The “gains” that had been made thus far may be small, but some progress is better than none. Unfortunately, all this has the potential to be unraveled depending on the choices  made by those in our government. As their constituents, then, we have to lobby for the rights of these people who badly need aid, who need for their voices to be heard. This is not a time for inaction and silence if we want to make real change in the U.S. for those dealing with addiction and mental health issues.

If you or someone you care about needs help recovering from drug use or abuse, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with drug addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.