It is important to treat the addicted person as someone who is sick with an illness and needs treatment, not someone who is morally bad and needs to be made “good” again. We wouldn’t call an Alzheimer’s patient or someone with cancer “bad”, even though their illness might cause them to act in ways that they normally wouldn’t. Shame keeps people in hiding and keeps them from being honest and seeking help. Shame also can lead a person to relapse or engage in self-destructive behaviors. Remember, addiction is not a moral issue, intelligence issue, or personal weakness. It is a genetic, biological brain disease.

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