Why Is There a Stigma Surrounding Ritalin Rehab?

Why Is There a Stigma Surrounding Ritalin Rehab?
Stigma of Ritalin Rehab

Anyone beginning a rehab program for Ritalin addiction faces a lot of challenges. Encouragement from friends and relatives, and the wider community, can provide crucial strength and support. Unfortunately, Ritalin addicts may instead encounter stigmas instead of encouragement. Negative feelings about Ritalin rehab may be based in established prejudices about Ritalin, individual experiences with drugs or even disagreements about rehab methods.

Everybody Loves (or Hates) Ritalin

Negative feelings about Ritalin addiction rehab may be rooted in feelings about the drug itself. Its primary medical use as a treatment for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is well known and controversial. Since ADHD is associated with children and teenagers, an addiction to Ritalin could be thought of as something a grown-up shouldn’t need any help to overcome.

Some people reject the entire notion of ADHD as a disorder. They may blame poor discipline for the difficulty focusing and controlling physical activity that are stereotypical symptoms of ADHD. By extension of that outlook, anyone dabbling with the ADHD drug Ritalin should also be able to recover with old-fashioned willpower.

Roots in Addiction Stigmas

Stigmas surrounding Ritalin addiction treatment may also develop as the result of stigmas about addiction in general. Moral corruption, weak character or simple stupidity may be seen as the causes of chronic Ritalin abuse. From this perspective, many derisive labels for Ritalin addiction rehab can develop such as:

  • A waste of money
  • A stunt to get attention
  • Validation of immoral living
  • An escape from personal responsibility

People who refuse to see addictions as disorders are simply not prepared to respect a recovery process which treats addiction as a disorder.

Personal Prejudices Against Ritalin Rehab

Some stigmas against rehab may arise among friends and family as reactions against a message the addict’s choice appears to send to them. People who also use Ritalin can feel threatened by a friend’s choice to get help. They may hear an unwelcomed implied message that their own use is wrong or even that they are to blame for their friend’s problems.

Family members may feel even more threatened by one of their own seeking professional help. Mental health professionals have a reputation for blaming their clients’ problems on issues of family dynamics or upbringing. The idea of addiction as a “family disease” can lead to further distrust of and stigma against treatment.

Reactions to Addiction Treatment Methods

There are many ways to recover from Ritalin addiction. Almost as soon as an addict decides to get help, she must also begin choosing between different, and sometimes competing, ideas about recovery.

Other recovering addicts may have very strong opinions about rehab, support groups, tactics and methods that appear to have helped or hindered their own progress. 12-step groups, for example, may or may not be part of a successful addiction recovery. Some advocates of 12-step principles, however, may consider recovery incomplete if certain elements are left out.

Even addiction professionals may stigmatize methods of rehab they disagree with. Philosophical tensions between doctors and psychologist over the value of addiction medications may percolate into stigmas about one method or another. Professionals may also be biased either toward or against 12-step and other self-help groups.

See Beyond the Stigma and Recover from Ritalin Addiction

Unfortunately, there is no path toward rehab that is guaranteed to avoid stigma. Regardless of what other people think of you, recovery from Ritalin addiction is worth the effort. If you need help with Ritalin addiction, please call our 24 hour helpline to learn about the choices you can make about own rehab. The call is toll-free.