21 Quotes Everyone Should Read Before Judging Someone Facing Addiction


When you think of someone who struggles with addiction, who do you see?

Probably a stereotype, according to research. In a Recovery Brands survey, 76.7 percent of people believed addiction is fully or partially a choice. Next to cost, stigma is the second largest barrier for individuals considering treatment. And the kicker — 82.2 percent of surveyed people struggling with addiction said they’ve felt stigmatized for what they face.

There’s still a lot we don’t understand about addiction. So, talking to people who are actually affected is a great place to start. We teamed up with the Recovery Brands, an organization that provides online resources for individuals and families seeking addiction treatment, and asked people who live with and are affected by addiction to tell us one thing they wish others understood.

Before you judge, listen to what they have to say:

1. “The opposite of addiction is connection.” — Johan Harri (submitted by Nick Warren)

2. “That it isn’t a choice, it’s a disease.” — Sandra Bitting

3. “Until you have loved someone who abuses substances, don’t judge the family’s choices… the line between enabling and supporting is blurry.” — Tanya Stanley

4. “It’s not necessarily because the parent was a bad parent or the child (in my case) is a bad person.” — Amy Talcott Kennard

5. “Addiction is not the entirety of me. I am me; I am not just my addiction. There is a lot of other stuff to love.” — Ryan Sachse

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6. “People who suffer from addiction do not choose to be that way, nor do they have to let it define them.” — Teresa Taylor

7. “Addiction is so much more common and pervasive an issue than society thinks.” — Sarah Hollowell

8.“I wish people saw the time that addicts spent alone. Thinking about everything they’ve done every time they’ve lied and stole.” — Thad Knisely

9. “My addiction does not define who I am or who I will be!” — Lisa Renee Barnes Lampros

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10. “It’s not a matter of willpower or a lack of a moral compass.” — Brian Lewis

11. “We do recover.” — Jennifer Jones

12. “I am not the face of my addiction.” — Roxanne Logel

13. “Sometimes you honestly don’t realize what you’re doing, and who you’re hurting, until you’re looking back months later. I wish people could understand the suffocating guilt.” — Kaylee Jane Kominek

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14. “Just because I am/was an addict, doesn’t make me a bad person. Deep down inside we are wonderful, loving people.” — Shelly Rice Garcia

15.Wish people would not judge others… some have no idea what is going on in their lives…” — Sarah Kelly

16. “The public needs more education on addiction. People need to know how it starts, what it does to every aspect of your life, how to get or give help to an addict, and what recovery is like for an addict.” — Sarah Kelly

17. “It goes deeper than the substance.” — Roe Brown

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18. “A lot of addicts/alcoholics are the most sensitive, caring and intelligent people you’ll ever meet.” — Haley Pharis

19. “It’s not about willpower.” — Erin Butler

20. “There is hope for us one day at a time.” — Jc Harms

21. “Good people sometimes make bad choices. Not every person is bad people because they have a drug problem.” — Allie Gosnell

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Do you want to join Recovery Brands’ LIVES (Leveraging Impactful Videos to End Stigma) Challenge? Click here to learn more.

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