While substance abuse is no respecter of persons, content to plague someone regardless of gender, race, orientation or any other personal aspect, it is nonetheless true that addiction can be a serious risk for patients in marginalized communities. The farther outside of the perceived default of the mainstream, the more likely an addict will have less access to health care, will face more barriers to getting help for addiction and will be confronted with hostility and prejudice even during recovery.
To ensure such individuals get the help they need, we must work on breaking barriers and empowering individuals in marginalized communities on their recovery journey.
The risks and danger factors are numerous for those in marginalized communities. Such individuals are more likely to live in poverty, more likely to live in areas with higher crime, which in turn means more likely to live in closer proximity to illicit substances or face unique stressors that lead them to substance abuse as a coping mechanism.
Once someone in a marginalized community is a confirmed addict, it can be harder to find treatment or seek help. They’re less likely to have health insurance or have coverage for drug or alcohol rehab. If treatment is available, it’s likely harder for them to take time from work to enter a long term treatment program.
These are, of course, generalities. Not everyone from a marginalized population will face such hurdles. But, statistically, such problems do increase in probability for those who hail from such groups.
Even if they don’t have financial problems to face, though, they can face increased scrutiny and prejudice during recovery, too. Stereotypes about what addicts look like can negatively impact people in marginalized populations and make it more difficult to navigate recovery without dealing with wrong assumptions or cruel beliefs.
This is why recovery must be a source of empowerment, particularly for those in marginalized communities. While treatment should be non-judgmental for all patients, it is particularly important that patients from minority groups be provided with the tools to navigate a recovery process that will involve not only cravings and the threat of relapse but additional stigma and prejudice that can create stress that only adds to the pressure of recovery.
Treatment can’t make the world less stressful or more fair for those in marginalized communities, but with proper care and preparation, it can better empower addicts to confront that world with greater success.
At Good Landing Recovery, treatment is designed to treat anyone regardless of race, gender or creed, but treatment is also designed to empower each patient, particularly those from marginalized communities. Only this way can each patient get the proper care they need to overcome all challenges they’ll face once they leave treatment and seek long-term recovery back in their everyday routines.
Breaking barriers can be a struggle but it can be a necessity in the course of empowering individuals in marginalized communities on their recovery journey.