Doctor Says Dissolving ‘Stigma’ of Heroin Addiction Is First Step

No two heroin addicts are the same. Our reasons to start using aren’t the same. Our reasons to keep using aren’t the same. Our experiences with the drug aren’t the same.  Misinformation will only result in ineffective treatment. And worse than that, a grossly unprepared new generation of drug users who realize they’ve been lied too about other drugs and will try heroin to discover the truth on their own. You may think your intentions justify exaggerating the truth to save lives. This philosophy will only backfire, leading to an uneducated generation of drug users who will be completely unequipped for the realities of such an addictive drug.

“Westfield-based addiction specialist Dr. Steven Kassels wants to quash the notion that drug abuse issues across Massachusetts are someone else’s problem.

“Number one is to dissolve the stigma,” said Kassels, author of a new novel called Addiction on Trial: Tragedy in Downeast Maine. “I think the most important thing is to de-stigmatize and to set up programs—local programs—that educate and that make it easy for people to enter treatment and to stay in treatment.”

That’s part of the reason Kassels turned his attention from his duties as a physician to pen his work of fiction.

“I wrote Addiction on Trial: Tragedy in Downeast Maine, which could be ‘Addiction on Trial: Tragedy in Taunton, [or] ‘Addiction on Trial: Tragedy in…Vermont,’” Kassels said. “I wrote the book to demystify and de-stigmatize the disease of addiction. That it’s our neighbors who are addicted, it’s in our community.” READ MORE…

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2014/04/23/heroin-epidemic-step-one-getting-rid-stigma/

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