A New Addiction Center in Vail, Colorado

Oh, the irony of addiction and stigma.

To make a successful camping fire you have to kindle the wood appropriately.  One of the biggest challenges I see in addiction is facing and overcoming stigma.  Stigma’s are beliefs imposed by friends, family, and communities onto others.  Ironically, stigma’s are precisely what fuel addiction.  Stigma’s kindle addiction.  Some of the stigma’s I see everyday include: 

  • Addiction is a character flaw
  • Addiction is a weakness
  • “Why don’t they just stop drinking?”
  • Addiction only happens to a lower socioeconomic level
  • Addicts are criminals
  • Addicts are dangerous 
Victims of stigma internalize these aforementioned misconceptions and the hate it carries, transforming it into shame.  What happens, all too often, is that this transformation of stigma into shame, silences families and those struggling in the throws of addiction, and all those affected begin to accept addiction as their own fault.  They begin to feel as though they are too weak, flawed, that they can’t stop, or are not “normal”.  This silence, kindles the addiction, and the vicious cycle continues.  This is one of the many reasons why addiction is an epidemic today.  Education, dialogue, and community are essential to overcoming addiction.  In other news a news, the Vail Valley will be home to a new Addiction Center.  After 5 hours of deliberation, the county commissioners unanimously announced their decisions.  See my statements and more as we take more step closer in squashing stigma and and putting out the fire of the fuels addiction: