Overcoming drug addiction is an incredibly challenging and often harrowing experience. However, even when someone has received help from a drug addiction center and is ready to rebuild his or her life, the brand of "addict" – and the surrounding stigma – can seem impossible to break free from.
Recently, Oscar-nominated actress and musician Juliette Lewis expressed her frustrations about the constant referrals to her struggles with drug abuse. In an interview with People Magazine, the star explained that most of the media coverage she receives mentions something "about Brad Pitt [whom she dated at age 17] or drug addiction, which hasn't been me since I was 22."
Lewis faced a very public battle with drug abuse in the early stages of her fame, transitioning from marijuana to cocaine and prescription pills. However, she received treatment for her addiction and has been been clean for almost 20 years, and argues that the references and branding must stop.
"I'm 40," Lewis said. "There is growth. Get out of the past."
Last year, a study from the University of British Columbia revealed that shaming recovering alcoholics about their abuse can be a significant risk factor for relapse. This same could well hold true for people who have visited addiction treatment centers for drug abuse. For this reason, these individuals need the support of their loved ones both during the recovery process and after treatment has been completed.
At Fairwinds Treatment Center in Clearwater, Florida, we understand that the struggle against addiction is never truly over. That's why we take a family-centric approach to drug abuse treatment that focuses on the psychological and emotional aspects of addiction alongside the physical. This approach was developed by Fairwinds Treatment Center founder Dr. El-Yousef, a nationally recognized leader in dual diagnosis treatment and addiction medicine.