Visit any AA 12 step meeting, and you’ll hear the familiar, “Hi, I’m Joe, and I’m an alcoholic.” For many, this is a cathartic reckoning: admit the problem, and then take positive steps to overcome it. For others, this kind of admission begins a journey into social stigma and self-labeling.
A Pandora’s Box
Mental health professionals see the power of language every day. When a person seeks help, there must be some way to identify the need. It is difficult to avoid applying a label. Using terms like “alcoholic” and “addict” can open a Pandora’s box for people who entering into rehab. Like all labels, these terms are laden with preconceptions in the mind of the patient, his friends and family, and society at large. The associated stereotypes may not always be accurate, but each “labeled” person must now contend with the stigma that such stereotypes bring to mind. Legal complications, social isolation, and feelings of shame and worthlessness may result. These are powerful disincentives to individuals who might otherwise be ready to get help for their substance abuse problem. Sometimes, just the fear of these consequences is enough to deter them.
Recovery without Stigma: Is It Possible?
Is there a way to start on the path to recovery without first classifying yourself as an “addict” or an “alcoholic”? Is it possible to achieve abstinence from alcohol and drugs while feeling that you are gaining something instead of giving something up? At AToN, Southern California’s luxury rehab center, treatment is based on the belief that, with the right tools, an individual is able to change both unproductive thinking and unwanted behavior.
With the Smart© Recovery program and non-12-step rehab, participants learn techniques for self-expression that bypass traditional labels. Since the connotation of words is so personal, clients are encouraged to listen to their inner dialogue and develop mindfulness. They are then given tools and techniques to use when they find themselves falling into patterns of negative self-talk and reproach. For individuals in recovery, the ability to turn off or change thoughts of self-imposed stigma is powerful.
Don’t Let Fear Keep You from Getting Help
Are you hesitant to ask for help because you fear being labeled? At AToN, you will find respectful, effective treatment that emphasizes the individual, not the condition. Skilled therapy professionals, supportive programs for personal enlightenment, and luxury amenities await you.
Call 888-535-1516 to begin your recovery journey at our beautiful San Diego facility!