So I recently participated in a 3.6 mile walk to end the stigma of addiction. This walk represents ending the judgement that people have on ex-addicts and those who are struggling with addiction. My view on this is pretty simple, do not judge someone you do not know. You have no idea what one person has gone through in their life that can lead to addiction. You do not know if maybe they made a stupid mistake when they were younger, and then became addicted. You just do not know. So why do we judge someone we do not know?
People make bad choices every day, even though addicts originally choose to use does not mean it is their fault they are addicted. Everyone makes stupid decisions like cheating on a significant other, stealing from a store, or cheating on an exam. Doing drugs is just another one of these bad decisions. However, doing drugs is a life threatening choice. For a lot of people drugs are an escape from what they are dealing with. Their reality might suck and the only way they can get rid of the pain is through drugs. We again DO NOT KNOW what addicts or ex-addicts have gone through and why they even decided to start using in the first place. But what I do know is this: we can stop judging people for what they are doing, and start helping and raising awareness. Addiction and mental illness are all viewed in the same way. It is something that is frowned upon in our society, but why? Without ending the stigma of addiction, those who are addicts are always going to feel judged and never want to reach out for the help they DO deserve. We as a society really need to stop judging others and start helping others.
Romans 15:1 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.