Equality in Addiction Treatment

Drugs and alcohol do not discriminate, so treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) should not discriminate, either. Whether it is location, cost or quality of care, you deserve access to treatment regardless of gender, race, religion, politics, economic background or anything else. While in the past, there may have been more barriers to treatment for some, there have been many changes to the industry and the laws surrounding addiction treatment to offer equal access to all.


Education About Addiction Treatment

One of the most important aspects of addiction treatment is educating people about it. Treatment should be for anyone who finds themselves with a substance abuse problem. Treatment can rescue the lives of those who are spiraling out of control. Treatment for chronic alcoholism and addiction to substances such as cocaine, meth or heroin, restores dignity and purpose to the lives of those who are willing to put in the effort. 

Also important for people to understand is what treatment looks like. There are different types of treatment to fit different lifestyles and needs. Outdated beliefs of what addiction recovery looks like need to be dispelled and education about modern treatment needs to be shared instead. 


Overcoming Stereotypes

Another important point in achieving equality in addiction recovery is in overcoming stereotypes about who needs treatment. Old-fashioned beliefs that someone with notable chronic alcoholism or the young urban person with a heroin addiction being the “type” of people who need treatment are stereotypes that do not aid those who truly need help for addiction. Substance use happens in all walks of life, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, economic situation or anything else.

When the public at large acknowledges the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse amongst the general population, more people can receive help. When stereotypes are replaced with an open mind and compassion, then receiving treatment truly becomes accessible to all.


Equality of Race or Economic Status

In the past, race or economic status may have affected the access to or quality of treatment. That is being changed by laws and funding to increase availability to those who need treatment the most. Addiction treatment facilities are expanding to areas that are more accessible to a larger population. Rather than shackling those in alcohol addiction recovery with extensive costs for treatment, most insurance plans cover treatment, and there is state and federal funding available for those without insurance.

Many organizations and people are working to ensure proper access to care regardless of conditions such as the color of your skin, or how much money you do or do not have. Treatment for substance abuse is available for all.


Finding Equal Access for Gender

Historically, studies about drug and alcohol abuse have been limited to males. However, as data has shown that substance use is not limited by gender, increased emphasis has been placed on studies about women. Additionally, more facilities have recognized that sexual orientation is not a factor in someone needing help for substance abuse. Making facilities available and inclusive helps to increase the number of people who can access treatment.

There have often been barriers to treatment experienced by women or those within the LGBTQ+ community. Some of those barriers include:

  • Access to child or elder care while the caregiver is in treatment
  • Laws regarding custody that impact a woman who is pregnant or a mother
  • Sexual harassment or abuse
  • Inability to feel safe in treatment

Thankfully, these barriers are being broken down and there is greater understanding and access to people of all genders or sexual orientations.


Preventing Discrimination Promotes Equality

As changes are made in scientific research and studies, facilities and in people’s awareness, discrimination regarding treatment for addiction becomes a thing of the past. Rather than seeing substance abuse as specific to any gender, race, sexual orientation or economic status, it becomes a human issue. 

The more that is done to prevent discrimination, the more people can be helped by drug and alcohol addiction recovery. As changes in perceptions and stereotypes are broken, the more support there is available in recovery. As substance abuse is no longer seen as a problem for a certain type of person, the reality that substance abuse is a human issue comes into play. 


Equality in treatment for addiction begins with education and overcoming stereotypes. Removing barriers to treatment based on gender, race or other factors helps to promote equality in treatment as well. As people realize that substance use is a human issue, and is not limited to any particular group of people, then compassion and support will increase, helping those in recovery to heal more effectively. At DiscoveryMD, we firmly believe in equality in treatment. We do not discriminate for any reason and are prepared to help anyone through the treatment process. Our rehab treatment center is an outpatient facility that offers all of the services, including specific support groups, under one roof. Our compassionate staff members understand what it is to be in recovery, as they have been there themselves. Contact us today. We want to help you to get your life back on track. We believe that treatment for addiction is a human issue.

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