What messages are we sending individuals working towards addiction recovery?
Having any medical issue can be difficult. Diabetes requires a complete change of daily habits and activities in order to manage the disease. If an individual is unable to make necessary changes to diet, exercise and follow a medication regime they will have health complications. However, society does not generally use negative language to discuss this disease nor do individuals with diabetes feel alienated from their families, the larger community etc. For those individuals that make the necessary changes in their life to effectively manage diabetes it will require limited effort to manage their disease and they will have few symptoms as a result of these changes.
Does language matter?
Language does matter. Using language that assumes someone will always be "sick" can negatively impact someones perceived trajectory. Additionally, treatment facilities often spend a lot of time focusing on the "what to not do" rather than spending time focusing on the things that a client wants to achieve and the steps they need to take to get there. When all topics lead back to a discussion about the substance they have had problems with then it can limit the amount an individuals focuses on what they want out of life. These concepts fall in line with the purpose of positive thinking and goal-orientated thinking. If an individual always is always focused on being poor then that is their mindset. If one has this mindset it is more difficult to make the changes to transition out of poverty.
It is important for a person participating in treatment to evaluate past patterns, behaviors, social groups etc. At Collective Recovery we also believe in focusing on overall well-being, goals, values and helping clients think positively about their potential. It is our experience that our clients, through recover, can live very fulfilling lives and be some of the most meaningful members of society who provide a variety of contributions.