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  #1  
Old 19-10-2011, 09:52
nomoremommyfood nomoremommyfood is offline
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The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

I've been studying the stigma of addiction - regarding both current and former drug users. This article was of particular lightening - and concerning:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ys-report.html

Seeing as heroin seems to be the most socially repugnant of illegal drugs (for example, regarding proposals to legalize marijuana, the "slippery slope" argument inevitably tends toward, "next, we'll be legalizing heroin!"), I felt this was the best segment of drugs-forum to post - correct me if I'm wrong!

I know I've brought up this topic before when requesting advice for a continued problem of being thought of as a junkie despite demonstrated sobriety. Writing about my perpetual anger at being labeled a worthless junkie who can't be trusted helped soothe my anger - but I'm also interested in learning of the experience of others.

I'd love to hear some examples of social stigma current and former substance addicts/users have faced - as well as how you've dealt with the seemingly endless effects.

My deepest gratitude for sharing!

Last edited by nomoremommyfood; 19-10-2011 at 10:05. Reason: Edited for clarity and grammar
  #2  
Old 22-10-2011, 11:04
Holly021255 Holly021255 is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

Fuck, absolutely!!!! SWIH could go on and on and on about the actual statistics and facts about heroin use (less than 23% that try it end up addicted, it's almost completely harmless by itself-the junkie lifestyle is what kills people, it's illegal status, and what it's cut with comprise 98% of the problem, on a molecular level, it's nearly fucking identical to morphine and to a lesser extent, other pharmaceutical opiates/opioids, etc.), but she'll try to keep it short: the way she views it, she's addicted to heroin the way she is addicted to food, water, sex, sleep, pretty clothes, makeup, pets, and other things she likes (for the record, SWIH has been physically addicted in the past, isn't at the moment and has always been successful at chipping-she chooses when she wants to become dependent, uses about 50% of the time): she likes it, has no desire to stop doing it, but if she absolutely HAD to-i.e., she couldn't finance her heroin use-then she could stop (and she has plenty of times, always "choosing" to go back, never "relapsing").

SWIH isn't saying that everyone who does heroin shares her experience. She has seen many individuals who hate heroin with a passion but can't stop doing it although it's ruined their lives, people who have died inadvertently as a result of heroin use, and many others who have suffered tragic consequences as a result of heroin in some way or another. In addition, even if it's pure & legal, it will most definitely still be addictive and lethal in high amounts, but the problem in most instances isn't really addiction in itself-it's what addiction causes one to do in order to get the heroin. For example, heroin maintenance programs have had extremely high success rates, and have helped lots of addicts become functional members of society while continuing to use heroin.

Sorry to go a little off topic, but SWIH thinks that people unjustly demonize heroin in comparison to to other drugs, when it is actually safer than some of these so-called "safe" drugs. Personal experiences of SWIH's include:

1) When SWIH told her family she liked to shoot heroin sometimes, and used to be a functional addict, but didn't plan on ever using enough to become dependent again. SWIH's mother was actually pretty accepting of this, since SWIH told her the facts and how most heroin "facts" given to the public are actually lies and propaganda, complete with inaccurate statistics. However, SWIH's sister immediately lost her shit, and got a gigantic deadbolt put on her door, and padlocked all of her drawers, because the heroin addicts portrayed in popular culture almost always steal money and personal possessions from their friends and family to finance their heroin use. Never mind the fact that SWIH has NEVER STOLEN A FUCKING NICKEL FROM ANYONE OR SHOPLIFTED FROM A STORE! She's always used her own damn money to pay for heroin, and when she doesn't have enough disposable income, she stops doing heroin until she can easily afford it again. Also, because ignorant people tend to assume all IV drug users, especially heroin addicts, share needles & works, and eventually infect each other with HIV/AIDS and Hep C, SWIH's sister immediately assumed that SWIH was carrying both of these diseases, and so when she accidentally touched a pair of earrings SWIH had never even worn, she freaked the fuck out and wanted to get tested for HIV. SWIH told her that she'd never fucking share needles, and that most junkies won't even reuse their own rigs, but her sister kept coming up with retarded scenarios like "You're a junkie, and that means you're a liar, too, so you probably have AIDS" and "Even if you never shared needles, what if someone wanted to do something bad to you, so they found someone with HIV, took one of their used needles, and poked you with it when you were unconscious?" SWIH got tested just to prove her sister wrong, and fucking duh, everything came back negative.

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Interesting perspective on the problems associated with heroin use
  #3  
Old 23-10-2011, 00:42
ructions ructions is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

One stigma that a heroin addict has to live with is not been believed, people think all junkies are lairs.

I live in Ireland, there has been a very bad heroin drought in the UK & Ireland since November 2010. When the drought first hit heroin could not be got anywhere in Dublin, as the months went by weak quality heroin trickled in, now at last things seem to be improving, there are many reports of proper heroin returning to the UK, but Ireland still only has low grade heroin available.

I am also on methadone, i go to my methadone clinic every Thursday & i do a urine test & i get my script. Back in December when the drought had been in full swing for over 4 weeks my urine test came back dirty for heroin. I said to my Doctor that there must have been a mistake coz i hadn't used heroin, there wasn't any heroin in the country to use even if id wanted to! I knew that i hadn't taken any medicines with codine or anything that would cause my test to come back dirty, & i hadn't eaten anything with poppy seeds! I told him the test was either wrong or else my results had been mixed up with someone else's.

But my Doctor just wouldn't believe me, he said that i must have used heroin. The funny part was he believed me when i said that i hadn't used any other medicines that could have made me dirty, but he wouldn't believe me about the heroin. I hated the way he looked at me as though i was just another lieing junkie!

My Boyfriend & i are in the same clinic, & to speed things up we always go into see the Doctor together, its our choice & we have nothing to hide from each other. But at was if the Doctor was trying to put a doubt into my Boyfriends mind, the Doctor was hinting in front of my Boyfriend that i was trying to cover up coz i'd used heroin without sharing it with him!!! But my Boyfriend made it clear to the Doctor that he knew that i hadn't used heroin & that i wasn't lieing! But if my Boyfriend wasn't such a nice guy this could have caused a big row between us.

I asked the Doctor to re-test it, but he said he couldn't coz it had been sent to a lab. So it went down on my record that i was dirty that week & as far as my Doctor was concerned i was just a liar!

It bugs me coz if a Doctor treated any other patients like they would go crazy! They would demand that there sample be re-tested. But if your a heroin addict then you can be treated any old way. I hated been treated like a liar, i never lie to my Doctor, but i lost all respect for him after that. It probably seems like i'm over-reacting, but i did upset me at the time. The whole' junkies are all liars' stigma really bugs me. I don't lie to my Doctor & i have never ever stole to support my habit. But regardless most people think all heroin users are thieving liars!
  #4  
Old 24-10-2011, 22:38
Tony Williams Tony Williams is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

Personally - myslelf is a useless junkie wanker. I don't lie+steal. I don't fit in with most of this stigma either, I know afew others who are the same but on the other hand! Although I'd be happy working with a ex-junkie or junkie I would still be careful with my belongings as I know if they were hs from sickness and anxious about it then it's possible thier addiction COULD get the better of them. Round my area most of the junkies are actually quite bad-people (nasty, violent) but I know (including myself) that it's not always the case - stereotyping is something we'll have to put up with.
  #5  
Old 25-10-2011, 06:57
Troussman Troussman is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

This is a very important issue and something that SWIM thinks about all the time. The majority of people do not truly understand the drug. They watch the news and see stories of overdoses and drug fueled violence...in other words society tends to emphasize the most destructive end of the spectrum. This is why heroin users are immediately labeled "junkies." SWIM finds the term insulting and degrading. The moment non-dope users hear you do dope they automatically remove their trust in you, label you a junkie and say your addicted. SWIM is an honest dope user, the drug does not control his actions, his morals prevail. SWIM also knows many other users who are honest, productive citizens. Some lead normal lives and keep it recreational while others become more seduced by its effects.

What frustrates SWIM the most is how using blues or Oxys is generally accepted by society. There is no dominating stigma for oxy users, perhaps some are called pillheads but still it does not posses the severity and image that is automatically placed on so called junkies. After all Oxys are basically a synthetic variation or brother of heroin, originating from the same plant. Yet because it is a prescription drug people accept it more then heroin. The amount of young people raiding their household medicine cabinets for blues and playing doctors for a script is amazing.

The bottom line is that, yes, it is unjust and naive how society labels heroin users. However that is the way our society works, we make assumptions about things we dont know. The only way to truly understand something and see past stereotypes is to be involved in or experience it for yourself. That will not happen on a large enough scale to change the current stigma. All SWIM can do is to try to inform people around him of the truth when appropriate.

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Good point about Oxys - which, by the way, tend to be pricier. Does this also make a difference?

Last edited by Troussman; 25-10-2011 at 07:05.
  #6  
Old 25-10-2011, 08:18
ALovelyDescent ALovelyDescent is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

Is this thread only for heroin? Because I've definitely faced some stigmas due to my meth usage.
  #7  
Old 26-10-2011, 07:50
Chukabal Chukabal is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

Some of the best people I have ever known are or were heroin users. They are looked down upon and judged all the time. Even if they support their habit by working and aren't actually hurting anyone with their habit. Yes I know some seasoned users who work full time and hold down a family. It's their business, not anyone else's to judge. NEVER judge a book by it's cover cos you'll end up missing out on meeting good people...
  #8  
Old 02-11-2011, 09:19
nomoremommyfood nomoremommyfood is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

Wow!

I was so bummed when I started this post and got no responses and now I look back and find the exact descriptions of experiences I was also undergoing!

Personally, I would apply the issue of stigmatization to all drug use, as per ALovelyDescent's question, though I may be corrected by forum rules. For example, I used to do a lot of coke. Now, everytime I get excited about something, I'm "back on coke." Or if I have a runny nose in cold weather (or lost half a Subonxone strips when it dissolves all over my fingers before making it to my mouth), it's always cocaine use.

But, as previously stated, I believe the biggest fallacy is all heroin addicts are liars.

Admittedly, this probably has some basis is truth - many heroin addicts, like all drug users, probably have lied about something. But what really unnerves me is the mere sentence "I did heroin," spoken by a person otherwise scrupulously honest, automatically turns them untrustworthy.

I think the mere fact that someone would openly admit to such a stigmatizing condition would indicate honesty. Instead, it becomes:

"Don't you think it's weird that she just ran across the street like that?"
(Bought cigarettes.)

"I won't pay the rent I owe you. It would just end up being used for drugs and I can't support that lifestyle."
(Didn't we have the "benefits of buprenorphine" discussion like, 10 times?)

"Why are you in such a good mood? Are you high?"
(No. I was in a good mood. Until now.)

What I find further upsetting, speaking as someone in treatment, is that the junkie stigma extends way after heroin use ends - my current least favorite assumption that one is getting stoned on their opioid replacement therapy of choice...or can't use any substance responsibly.

How can one recover when living in constant fear that a bruise from accidentally hitting your arm, under-eye circles from a sleepless night, or unexpectedly getting a little loopy on cough suppressant (which was uncomfortable, not fun) will come back to bite you?

This, in my view, is a great hindrance to recovery...and the stress of constant scrutiny can be one of the factors leading to relapse. Like an abused child turning into an adult transient, what's to stop an eternally hopeless, socially-abhorred "junkie" from ever changing?

Further grinding on my nerves, as Troussman said, attempts to change current attitudes often result in backlash. I've noticed similar attitudes when admitting to other mental illnesses, though truly none as powerful as drug addiction, and none as powerful as heroin addiction. It feels like one can remove the proverbial monkey from their back, but the scars from the monkey's clawed hands are ever-lasting.

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thoughtful and articulate post that hits the nail on the head re: the consequences of continuing stigma
Very good points about trustworthiness and recovery from heroin
  #9  
Old 02-11-2011, 10:30
Qualityplant Qualityplant is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

People cannot differentiate between moderate use requiring moderate help and hardcore self destructive use requiring intervention.

For most people, any heroin use at all = fuck up needs help

I was tarred with the junky brush 18 months ago when my use was every day and quite bad - the friends i had at that point have never been the same around me since, even though - as far as they know - i have been clean for over a year

i lie to people who love me about the fact i still use occassionally because they cannot take the new without reacting like i just told them I have cancer and this is the most destructive thing - if people were able to talk through the issues surrounding my use in a calm, rational manner where complete abstinance isn't the only option then everyone in my family and circle would be much happier - as it is, i cannot be honest and this drives a wedge between us

i have lost many friends because i chose to use H. The saddest thing is that they couldn't see past the use and just rejected me out of hand.

But then again, I have seen people who are in the grips of addiction when i have been clean and there is something very unattractive and disquieting about addicts because addiction robs people of what it is to be human and my initial reaction was to get the hell away from them

i think there is a primal revolution people feel towards addicts that needs to be recognised and overcome. I think people have been taught to fear addicts primarily and that excacerbates the problem and drives addicts underground

IME once tarred with the junky brush - some people will never ever see you like a normal human being again and that is as much on them as it is on you

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thought provocking post. first sentence is very true & the reaction to seeing people in addiction is very interesting.
  #10  
Old 04-11-2011, 20:02
Egypt4One Egypt4One is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

OMG this post really touches home base. especially the part about your sister, uughh. But SWIM too shut them all up, by getting clean & sober for over 6 years. Recently though had his back give out on him & now, not so lucky SWIM has been on Oxy's & Tramadol to get off the Oxy's & recently said fuck it "I can't take it anymore, as I am wired to kingdom come anyway." and went ahead & scored some China White.

Back in the day the stigma was pretty bad, SWIM was labelled "An Undesirable." hhahaha. Now SWIM goes to work, armed with his top notch education & attends meetings in a business suite & drives a pretty nice car.
Big difference then from before when SWIM thought it was cool to go bingeing.
  #11  
Old 05-11-2011, 06:35
runnerupbeautyqueen runnerupbeautyqueen is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

My grandma woke me up once to accuse me of being on meth. To which I replied "if I was using meth you wouldn't have had to wake me up to accuse me of it." Her response "so that must mean you're on heroin."

If I'm in a good mood its because I'm on drugs, bad mood = drugs, hungry = drugs, not hungry, sleeping, not sleeping, reading, wearing socks, anything and everything I do is because I'm on drugs. Can you blame them? What other reason do people have to eat, sleep, and wear socks if they aren't on drugs?

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Excellent and succinct. Posted from experience with a witty edge. That's the spirit!
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:55
dave addison dave addison is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomoremommyfood View Post
I've been studying the stigma of addiction - regarding both current and former drug users. This article was of particular lightening - and concerning:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ys-report.html

Seeing as heroin seems to be the most socially repugnant of illegal drugs (for example, regarding proposals to legalize marijuana, the "slippery slope" argument inevitably tends toward, "next, we'll be legalizing heroin!"), I felt this was the best segment of drugs-forum to post - correct me if I'm wrong!

I know I've brought up this topic before when requesting advice for a continued problem of being thought of as a junkie despite demonstrated sobriety. Writing about my perpetual anger at being labeled a worthless junkie who can't be trusted helped soothe my anger - but I'm also interested in learning of the experience of others.

I'd love to hear some examples of social stigma current and former substance addicts/users have faced - as well as how you've dealt with the seemingly endless effects.

My deepest gratitude for sharing!
Iam a recovering heroine addict I was living the jukie life for 16 years but for the past 8 months I have been stable on a methadone programme providing clean sampels every week to my doctor. I managed to get a job in a local fish factory its not a great job its hard labour and can be smelly work. But having a job is really helping me stay focused on my recovery and helping me lern the way of normal living. My boss knows of my addiction and also knows all about my methadone programme and to be honest I feel that he really wants to help me get my life sorted out. But he hears alot of storys from other people about me. Stupid things like sombody told him last week how he had seen me talking to another notable junkie that lives in our area and that we had exchanged money in the steet and that it was obvouisly a drug deal. This was a lot of shite I maybe was talking to somone in the street but I havent bought any drugs. This caused my boss to start to doupt me there are lots of exampels I could give you but this is the most recent. I spoke to my drugs worker about my problems so now every week she takes a slyiva test from me and I get the results which are signed by her that I tested positive for methadone but negitive to opiate and everything else and I show these results to my boss. This really helps him lern to trust me. I wish people who gossip about addicts would just get on with there own lives instead of poking there noses into and upsetting ours they dont seem to like the fact that we are able to admit that we have a problem and that we are big enough and strong enough to sort our problems out. FUCK THEM!

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Good for you! You sound like your really getting on with your life! Don't mind the haters! XXX :)
  #13  
Old 05-11-2011, 15:22
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

I think the reason people gossip and the reason people hate addicts is jealousy. Even though really there is nothing to be jealous of. It's kind of like when I was a kid being jealous of the special needs kids at school because they had special individual teachers who sat next to them, gave them attention, protected them from bullies, helped them with their work and so on.
But would I really want to be disabled to get all that extra help... no. So in the end they didn't really have it better off than me.

So when I detect that kind of jealous attitude toward drug addicts (how dare they be given help/special programs/methadone/whatver while us *responsible* citizens get nothing except higher taxes!) I say to them "it's clear to me you think they have it better off than you, in which case the logical thing for you to do is get hooked on drugs so you can have all those things too. And of course they never think that is really better, they don't really want that. So the jealousy is misplaced.

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Really good point, that is a really good way to look at it!!! :)
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Old 05-11-2011, 16:48
ratgirldjh ratgirldjh is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

my rattie girl was a junkie for over 12 years. it took a while for her family and friends to actually figure it out but after they did no one would really trust her to handle any money or drive their car or things of this nature.

also it has taken years of being clean for them to start trusting her again.
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Old 05-11-2011, 18:49
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

Another way that i have been discriminated against because of heroin comes from my so called friends. I have been using heroin for about 10 years, i have never told any of my friends that i use heroin, but some how the word got out.

One by one all of my friends have blanked me, some of these people have been my friends for more then 25 years! It was so hurtful. All of my friends are fond of the drink, & over the years we have all experimented with hash, acid, speed, coke, E's, every drug that you can imagine we all tried them together! You name it & we tried it! But heroin was always a taboo & none of my friends approved of anyone who used it. So when i started using it it was a case of one strike & i was out! They just listened to rumors & made up their minds.

The most hurtful thing is that not one of them came & spoke to me about it. When after a few years i eventually bumped into my so called best mate i asked her why she had blanked me out of her life. First of all she told me a pack of lies & then when i caught her out she said that she had heard that i was strung out & in a really bad way! When i asked her what sort of a friend wouldn't come running if they heard that their best friend was in a really bad way? If it was me i would be banging my friends door down to see if she was ok & to see if i could help, she couldn't answer this.

The truth is i have never been in that bad a way, yes i am addicted to heroin & methadone, but i still look the very same, i am still working in the same job, i live in the same house & i am still the VERY same person!

The funny thing is that i was out one night recently with my boyfriend when the door opened in the bar that we were in, & who was there only this best friend of mine. My bf & i looked up & smiled at her, my eyes locked with hers for just a second. Her friend was pushing her & saying 'go on in' & she had a look of panic in her face when she saw me, then she turned on her heel & ran out the door! So at least she knows that she has done wrong! Knowing her she probably had a bag of coke in her bag & she most likely went to the next pub to get drunk out of her mind, but i don't have a problem with that, each to their own! & i don't even drink myself, all i do is smoke heroin, although i have been mostly sticking to my methadone over the last year since the big heroin drought in UK & Ireland coz there is only very low grade heroin available.

I could maybe understand if these so called friends were young & naive, but they are all in their 40's. People can be so judgmental, it can be so hurtful, but we're so much better off without people like that in our lives.

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Accurate, true-life account of the social problem of ostracizing, rather than reaching out to someone potentially in need of help
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Old 05-11-2011, 19:10
LoveNwar LoveNwar is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

People (perhaps induced by fear) tend to confuse what's legal with what's right. The 2 not always match - many times they just don't, in fact. So, when something is known to be bad but it is still not illegal, it's accepted and even toyed about. "ha ha, i was at a party and everybody was dead drunk". The reaction is laughter, it's an amusing thought. But if you say "i was at a party where everyone was really high on heroin"... oh, man!!! Now imagine it otherwise, heroin was legal and booze not. The reactions would also be the other way around. People respect (should i say fear?) the law. And, funny thing, when the law changes, so does the behaviour of the people. There's a sentence in "the Islanf of Dr. Moreau" that quite sums it all: "He who breaks the law, goes back to the house of pain!".... and we all fear pain don't we? (ask a junkie)
  #17  
Old 05-11-2011, 19:43
Egypt4One Egypt4One is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

@ LoveNwar i totally agree with you. But even in general, when it is legal to get high like was the case with me when i was prescribed legal heroin in a pilot program. Going to the mall & contimually scratching due to the high purity & clean unadulterated H I was doing, was no less frowned on. Even though there are about 10,000 people on the methadone program who are more or less legally wired, society still frowns upon them. Because in essence, drugs are still illegal But you are totally spot on about the alcohol analogy. I wonder if I can give ya rep points on that, being a newbie n' all.

Egypt4One added 1 Minutes and 14 Seconds later...

Don't know if that worked

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  #18  
Old 05-11-2011, 22:11
ratgirldjh ratgirldjh is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

it has taken my rattie girl years of being clean to finally get her old 'before using' closest friend back.
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Old 07-11-2011, 21:02
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

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Originally Posted by ructions View Post
Another way that i have been discriminated against because of heroin comes from my so called friends. I have been using heroin for about 10 years, i have never told any of my friends that i use heroin, but some how the word got out.

One by one all of my friends have blanked me, some of these people have been my friends for more then 25 years! It was so hurtful. All of my friends are fond of the drink, & over the years we have all experimented with hash, acid, speed, coke, E's, every drug that you can imagine we all tried them together! You name it & we tried it! But heroin was always a taboo & none of my friends approved of anyone who used it. So when i started using it it was a case of one strike & i was out! They just listened to rumors & made up their minds.

The most hurtful thing is that not one of them came & spoke to me about it. When after a few years i eventually bumped into my so called best mate i asked her why she had blanked me out of her life. First of all she told me a pack of lies & then when i caught her out she said that she had heard that i was strung out & in a really bad way! When i asked her what sort of a friend wouldn't come running if they heard that their best friend was in a really bad way? If it was me i would be banging my friends door down to see if she was ok & to see if i could help, she couldn't answer this.

The truth is i have never been in that bad a way, yes i am addicted to heroin & methadone, but i still look the very same, i am still working in the same job, i live in the same house & i am still the VERY same person!

The funny thing is that i was out one night recently with my boyfriend when the door opened in the bar that we were in, & who was there only this best friend of mine. My bf & i looked up & smiled at her, my eyes locked with hers for just a second. Her friend was pushing her & saying 'go on in' & she had a look of panic in her face when she saw me, then she turned on her heel & ran out the door! So at least she knows that she has done wrong! Knowing her she probably had a bag of coke in her bag & she most likely went to the next pub to get drunk out of her mind, but i don't have a problem with that, each to their own! & i don't even drink myself, all i do is smoke heroin, although i have been mostly sticking to my methadone over the last year since the big heroin drought in UK & Ireland coz there is only very low grade heroin available.

I could maybe understand if these so called friends were young & naive, but they are all in their 40's. People can be so judgmental, it can be so hurtful, but we're so much better off without people like that in our lives.
Your definatly correct with freinds like that you would not need any enemys! good freinds are hard to come by tho, It always amazes me when people that take coke or speed or any kind of other drugs have got the hard neck to stand in a pub and call you a junkie scum bag or worse just because you might of had a habbit before thing is if the police wer to bust a coke head and then bust a heroine addict weed both get the same possesione of a class a drug so drugs are drugs at the end of the day but try arguing that point to some people its like trying to hit the sun with a snow ball!! fukining impossible! I had a freind who was grooms man at my wedding and back in the day we wer all on heroine and we all had habbiits any way this guy went to rehab about 3 years ago and since he came out he has done really well staying clear of taking any gear. Good on him I say thing is I compleatly understand that he has had a hard time in rehab and also when hes came out staying away from old freinds and his old life and I understand that he cant speek nor be freinds with the likes of my self but one day I walked into the local pub for a pint of lager and heers this guy the so called freind who was so good a freind to me that I asked him to be grooms man at my wedding sitting at a table with his new freinds the young ones with good jobs and plenty of money type the type of lads who have there own noses up ther own arse holes!! and as I walked passed there table on my way to the bar and I had al ready clocked that my old freind was not going to say as much to me as hello I herd him say to his freinds "look a fuking junkie" I stopped dead on my feet and thaught the cheecky bastard!! and I turned with full intension of going over to him and ripping his head off of his shoulders and I stopped again and thaught what would be the point? If I was to do that and lower my self to his level Id definantly feel good for about a second but why bother with the likes of fools like that? they have very short memorays. Well must be shorter than mine any way as all I can remember of that paticular guy is strung out and scoring. HA HA hes a fuking arse hole!!
  #20  
Old 10-11-2011, 06:35
Holly021255 Holly021255 is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

2) SWIH forgot one of her best ones: One time, SWIH was freaking out hardcore, as she thought she would be convicted of a DUI (even though she never drinks at all, let alone drinks and drives, and doesn't drug and drive for that matter either-but SWIH actually got arrested for Driving Under the Influence of MOTHERFUCKING ANTIDEPRESSANTS! Thank God she got off with a speeding ticket), and it was a few days prior to her court date, a couple days ago she IV'ed some dope after being clean for a month and a half. As everyone knows, one cannot develop a physical opiate dependence after using just once, so SWIH was having an extreme panic attack, which she confused for heroin withdrawal. SWIH's mom insisted on taking her to the ER, because she was hyperventilating and about to jump out the third-floor window, and when SWIH got there, she said she thought she was going through diamorphine/alprazolam withdrawal. The triage nurse thought SWIH had said "morphine WD" not "diamorphine WD", especially as people in the states rarely call heroin diamorphine. Anyway, the nurse was being a complete angel to SWIH, b/c she thought she was an MS Contin/Xanax addict, and rubbing SWIH's back, calling her 'honey' and 'baby', and acting very loving and motherly. When SWIH noticed that her chart said morphine WD, not diamorphine WD, she corrected the nurse, who did not know what diamorphine was, so SWIH had to explain it to her. But the second SWIH said the 'h' word (heroin), the nurse, who had been stroking her hair seconds earlier, recoiled, shoved SWIH's head as far away from her as possible, and gave her an icy, malicious glare of deep hatred/disgust. Moments earlier, she had been reassuring SWIH that the doctors wouldn't let her suffer, and that they would give her some methadone or buprenorphine ASAP. But, because SWIH used diamorphine and not morphine, she changed her mind, saying "Junkies go through WD all the time. They deserve it for everything they do to ruin society. It's not pretty to look at, but you should shut up, act like an adult, stop with the hysterics, and suck it up, because it's your own fault that you're here, and I don't have the least bit of sympathy for heroin users like you. You probably were shooting your alprazolam, too, right? I hope to God you haven't infected me with HIV or Hep C. People like you are disgusting."
After spending a few hellish hours in the ER, SWIH finally got to go home, but not before seeing Nurse McCunty yet AGAIN. SWIH's dad has been to rehab 13-16x in the past five years for alcohol, and always goes in to the ER at least once every other month with a bad case of the DT's, and happened to see that same twat of a nurse that SWIH had. Because she hadn't been rude enough to SWIH before, bitchy nurse had to go and say (to SWIH's mom), "How's your husband? He's such a sweetheart, all of nurses just love him and he is so funny, and just a joy to be around. In general, alcoholics are much more 'together', kinder, and have a better conscience than those filthy heroin users. I'm sorry your poor husband has to see his daughter like this, she must be a real disappointment to him. I mean, she did HEROIN! All's he ever did was drink, but sometimes bad kids come from good people." On the contrary, SWIH has never been to rehab/detox, always kicked on her own, hasn't been convicted of any crimes, let alone felony DV, assault & battery, or done 3 years time and counting in the trap. And the entire fucking reason SWIH used heroin a couple days prior was because she had gotten in a fight with her dad, who gave her an unprovoked black eye, called her fucking scum and a trashy cunt whore who deserved to be raped because she was a junkie (Oh yeah, and this 'darling' man used to be an H user himself, and has stolen SWIH's stash many times), and would fuck anyone for a dime bag. Finally, SWIH's dad encouraged her to commit suicide, and said "you're an embarrassment, and the entire family would be thrilled if you were dead-shit, I'll even give you enough money so you can OD on heroin if you like, or if you want, I can procure a gun illegally if you promise to shoot yourself."
SWIH told the nurse the entire fucking story, and was shaking with rage by the time she was done. Luckily, the nurse just stood there with her mouth open, and SWIH's never going back to that fucking ER again, EVER!
  #21  
Old 10-11-2011, 06:59
Egypt4One Egypt4One is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

Holy fuck Holy!

Where do I start? Hopefully this account of events is just a little tiny bit exaggerated, especially the part about your dad. But seriously, fuck the nurse. You shouldn't have ven corrected her sorry ass because H & morphine are basically the same God damn thing as far as what they are going to give you Morphine withdrawal. But getting it in an emergency room, that sounds sweet. That usually never happens unless you are spending the night in the hospital & are already on the program, as each day is logged. But that is Canada for you, light years ahead of the States when it comes to free up-to-date medical care. yet all our good doctor's head south because the freagin Canadian government wont allow any dr's to earn more than 300k a year, while dr's in the states don't have any restrictions on how much they make. go figure.
Cheers

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  #22  
Old 11-11-2011, 01:56
Holly021255 Holly021255 is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Egypt4One View Post
Holy fuck Holy!

Where do I start? Hopefully this account of events is just a little tiny bit exaggerated, especially the part about your dad. But seriously, fuck the nurse. You shouldn't have ven corrected her sorry ass because H & morphine are basically the same God damn thing as far as what they are going to give you Morphine withdrawal.
Thank you! Sadly, SWIH's dad says shit like that on the regular, and I actually left out some of the more disturbing parts of that one particular conversation, so it's probably UNDERexaggerated if anything ! Shit, this even happened on SWIH's birthday. Needless to say, it was not one of SWIH's better birthdays. But SWIH's seen fathers that are far worse than hers, so she shouldn't complain, and hopefully he'll die of the delirium tremens or cirrhosis in the near future (knock on wood) so he can leave behind whatever money he hasn't drank/drugged away !
SWINY's definitely right about Canada. SWIH thinks that EVERY country (America is the worst) should fuck methadone/bupe maintenance, end the pointless War On Drugs, and either legalize all drugs, or have an easily accessible, widespread heroin maintenance program. If SWIH's correct, Canada doesn't have HMT yet, but aren't they experimenting with a Dilaudid maintenance therapy? Like SWINY said, there are certain problems associated with socialized healthcare (govt. interference with doctor salaries, the extensive waiting period, etc.), but SWIH has lots of family in B.C., Montreal, and Toronto, and she's received healthcare in Canada many times, and she thinks it is far superior to American medicine when it comes to treating IV drug users, especially heroin users. SWIH's seen the shooting gallery in Vancouver, and wishes that the U.S. had a similarly pragmatic and enlightened attitude when it comes to making decisions concerning heroin use. Sorry, I'm going off-topic here !
SWIH thinks the BIGGEST stigma that junkies face is the one that comes with HIV and Hep C. I don't know why people continue to think this (NVM, probably because the govt. propagates this bullshit), but the vast majority of the population believes that almost ALL IV heroin users use dirty needles they find in the street, share rigs with anyone and everyone, and is infected with HIV, Hep C or both. Before she began IVing heroin, and interacting with other IV drug users, SWIH certainly thought that most heroin users shared needles and had HIV/Hep C. This is so far from the truth it's not even funny. Of the 150+ heroin users SWIH has met, about 8-10 of them have Hep C, and 2-3 had HIV (and they were both in their 70s, and were using heroin intravenously before the AIDS virus was even discovered). SWIH isn't trying to be homophobic or 'blame' any particular demographic for AIDS, but nearly all of the HIV+ individuals SWIH has met (and she has actually met quite a few) were older gay men that had contracted the virus from having unprotected sex, not from IV drug use. SWIH has met a few HIV+ straight men/women, but they also caught it from unprotected sex, not IV drug use. I don't know why this attitude prevails when everyone knows about needle exchanges (or one would assume), but AIDS and IV drug use are still synonymous with each other to the non-heroin user population. Everyone SWIH knows who began using heroin intravenously in the mid-1980s or later is well-educated of the dangers related with HIV, and would never share needles with anyone, except for maybe an intimate partner who they knew was HIV-. Simply put, when you can get an unlimited supply of rigs from the needle exchange, and especially when they will even deliver them to you on 24 hours notice, no questions asked (and being too dopesick to leave the house, or just too lazy are both perfectly acceptable excuses), there is no fucking reason to reuse even your own rigs, let alone share them with a perfect stranger. Even most of the poorest junkies SWIH knows who have deplorable hygiene and no problems using toilet water to shoot up with would lose their shit at the very idea of using a needle more than one time.

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Very good point about hiv and hep c, definetly a prevailing stigma
  #23  
Old 13-11-2011, 09:04
nomoremommyfood nomoremommyfood is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holly021255 View Post
SWIH thinks the BIGGEST stigma that junkies face is the one that comes with HIV and Hep C.
Yeah, SWIM couldn't BELIEVE when she fell upon this misconception, coming right through the rumor-mill, aimed right at her, after one...one!...slip following four months of stone-cold sobriety, through the mouth of her already-paranoid-thinks-a-skin-tag-is-cancer boyfriend, who has never touched a drug in his life, when trying to deal with his (one time!) dope-sick girlfriend (who actually never used needles in the first place), and SWIM's boyfriend repeats what he was told by some unknown (maybe?) and unknowing entity to SWIM, "She says she doesn't inject, but how can you trust her? How do you know she hasn't already given you HIV?," and now SWIM's hypochondriac, never-even-smoked-weed boyfriend, is not only afraid of his girlfriend dying, but now thinks he's dying.

Frankly, I wish I had a (clean) needle - to poke whomever said that in the eye!

(maybe just a fork would do...)

Not only is this kind of gossip disturbing to former/current addicts and those who are close to former/current addicts, but it's also damaging to people who are HIV positive. The insult places both IV drug users and those who are HIV positive in the same category: infected, infectious, untruthful, undesirable, untouchable.

Rumors seem to spread faster than the viruses, themselves.

Another repeated factor (and perhaps responsible for rumor-mongering) seems to be turncoat "friends." A few months ago, I brought up the issue of lost friendships. I apologize to whoever first suggested an ideology behind their actions (in other words, I apologize for not looking up the original thread).

While abandoning friendship with an active heroin user, particularly without explanation, is incredibly shitty and two-faced, I think it's even slimier when these actions are taken upon heroin addicts known to be in recovery and no longer using heroin.

A little like schadenfreude.

When this occurs, I believe the former friend misses being able to compare their own problems to the problems of someone doing much worse. For example, SWIM used to be friends with a woman who had an eating disorder. This friend would often come to SWIM for support, stating SWIM was the "only person who understood her."

SWIM cleans up her act. SWIM's friend suddenly has no interest in continuing the friendship. SWIM's friend could no longer say to herself, "I've got anorexia, but at least I'm not a junkie."
  #24  
Old 13-11-2011, 10:02
10outof10 Gold member 10outof10 is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomoremommyfood View Post
I've been studying the stigma of addiction - regarding both current and former drug users. This article was of particular lightening - and concerning:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ys-report.html

Seeing as heroin seems to be the most socially repugnant of illegal drugs (for example, regarding proposals to legalize marijuana, the "slippery slope" argument inevitably tends toward, "next, we'll be legalizing heroin!"), I felt this was the best segment of drugs-forum to post - correct me if I'm wrong!
Here's a summary version of report :

Getting Serious about Stigma: the problem with stigmatising drug users

A summary of findings

The stigmatisation of people with drug problems has serious consequences for government policy. Key policies seeking greater reintegration and recovery, the moving of people from benefits into work and a focus on public health will not succeed while stigmatising attitudes are pervasive. If we are serious about recovery and reintegration, we need to be serious about tackling stigma.

This paper summarises some key findings from new research looking at public attitudes, the way the press reports drug use, how those with drug problems and their families experience stigma and an examination of the evidence about stigma. The synthesis of these findings and the UK Drug Policy Commission’s conclusions about what might be done to overcome stigmatisation can be found at:

www.ukdpc.org.uk/publications.shtml#Stigma_reports

What can be done to reduce the stigma that impedes recovery?

• Improve the knowledge and understanding among the general public about drug dependency and recovery to reduce the levels of fear and blame.
• Ensure workforce development across the range of professions that work with people with drug problems to improve service responses.
• Remove the legislative and administrative barriers which reinforce stigmatisation towards people with drug dependency and addictions.
• Support and promote self-help and mutual aid bodies and the nascent drug-user recovery communities as vehicles for reintegration and normalisation.
• Engineer new ways to support and promote community participation and increased contact with recovering drug users in order to foster more constructive perceptions.

Why tackling stigma is important

Our research with drug users and their families highlighted a range of problems relating to stigma:
• Feelings of shame and worthlessness prevent people and their families seeking help, which may exacerbate their problems.
• The long-term nature of stigma contributes to low self-esteem and prevents a belief in recovery.
• Participants in the research reported being stigmatised by professionals in a wide range of health
and social care settings.
• Stigma makes it difficult for people recovering from drug dependence to obtain jobs, which are important for reintegration and participation in society. Previous research found almost two-thirds of employers would not employ a former heroin or crack user, even if they were fit for the job, and people in our study reported having offers of employment withdrawn when their history of drug use became known.
• The assumption that people never recover from drug dependence can prevent people getting accommodation in areas where drug use has been a problem.

What the public think about people with a history of drug dependence

A large UK-wide survey of public attitudes towards drug users was carried out in early 2010. It is similar to one carried out about attitudes towards people with mental health problems.
• 58% of people think a lack of self-discipline and willpower is one of the main causes of drug dependence. But only 15% of people think this about mental illness.
• Only 5% of people think that people with a mental illness ‘don’t deserve our sympathy’. But 22% took this view towards those with drug dependence.
• Nearly 60% of people think drug dependence is a ‘chronic illness like any other’. But nearly 80% think the same about mental illness.
• Only 9% of people said they would not want to live next door to someone with a mental illness. But 43% felt this about people with a history of drug dependence.
• 93% of people think those with a mental illness deserve the best possible care, but only 68% think the same about drug dependence.
• But, 64% of people think people with a drug dependence are ‘too often demonised by the media’.
Findings from an analysis of press reporting about drug use
Loughborough Communication Research Centre undertook an analysis of a sample of British newspaper reporting of drug use stories over three time periods.
• The reporting and portrayal of drug users was dominated by two overriding themes: those of crime reports and of professional sports people and celebrity figures.
• The most reported drugs were cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy.
• The issue and challenges of treatment and recovery were barely mentioned
– except in the context of celebrities.
• Most reporting is considered to be ‘neutral’, but the linkage to crime aspects (rather than health) was overpowering.
• Where adjectives and labels are used, they are more likely to be negative, with words such as ‘vile’, ‘hopeless’, ‘dirty’, ‘squalid’ or ‘evil’.

Conclusions

This research highlights the importance of tackling stigma if people with drug problems and their families are to be able to access the support they need to overcome these problems. There is a need to challenge the entrenched and widespread assumption that drug users are solely culpable for their condition by educating people at all levels in society, including health professionals and the media, about the causes and nature of addiction. Stigma, by making assumptions about individuals and denying the possibility of change, works against government policy by putting barriers in the way of recovery.

Source: UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC), December 2010. Full report in file archives here:http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/loc...5&linkid=11101

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thanks for posting this summary.

Last edited by 10outof10; 13-11-2011 at 10:38. Reason: adding file to file archives and linking
  #25  
Old 21-02-2012, 16:35
Black Transit Blues Black Transit Blues is offline
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Re: The junkie stigma: Have you faced discrimination due to your addiction?

I have a differnt take on this to most posters it will not win me any popularity contests but I don't care.

I'm an addict, clean fifty seven days today, but for seventeen of the past twenty five years i have been a daily Heroin user, of the eight years "clean" three were on methadone, two and a half were in gaol and then on parole when I didn't use because of the piss tests.

Of course we Heroin addicts suffer prejudice but at least in some respects I am not sure this is such a bad thing.Society is also prejudiced against raging alcoholics or people who eat themselves into gross obesity.

This is because deep down most people know that for civilzation to survive; for society to work,requires a degree of self restraint on the part of the individuals who comprise it.If we all just scratched at every itch every time it appeared things would quicky decay into barbarism.

People are prejudiced against addiction because addiction is a disease that brings
with it a total collapse in an individuals capacity for self restraint, a society that consisted entirely of drug addicts and alcoholics would not be a very pleasent one in which to live.

And lets behonest if any of us were looking to employ someone in a job that involved handling large sums of cash would we employ them if we knew they were Heroin addicts.Not all dope addicts are thieves but the percentage who are is much higher than that of say someone with a coffee addiction.

So yes I have felt a great deal of prejudice against me over the years because of my dope addiction and to be quite frank, at least some (not all) of it was warranted.

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valid points here that may not be popular on the surface, but are certainly worth thinking about. well done for being brave enough to post this!
great post. valid points. addiction is a disease on society in many ways. stigmas can be untrue and hurtful but in general exist for a reason.

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