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Changes in How Addiction Is ViewedAttitudes about addiction and addiction treatment have changed drastically over the past 50 years. Addiction to drugs and alcohol is now viewed as a medical condition, rather than a moral failing. This changing attitude should make it easier for Anchorage residents to seek treatment for addiction without fear of social stigma.

Attitudes about Addiction in the 1950s

In the 1950s drug abuse and addiction was viewed based on different circumstances. Soldiers coming back from World War II who struggled with drug abuse were given latitude because they fought for our country. The use of drugs to deal with the atrocities they participated in during the war was seen as justifiable. During that same time, many people believed drug abuse to be an urban problem most often associated with lower socioeconomic groups. However, drug use within the movie industry also supported the notion that drug abuse was associated with the celebrities of that time. At the same time, the medical community looked at psychosis and neurosis as the root of drug abuse and addiction. Regardless of the cultural attitudes of this time, there were no drug rehab centers besides those that were associated with hospitals and psychiatric institutions. This attitude made it difficult for all Americans, including Anchorage residents, to seek treatment for drug and alcohol abuse.

Attitudes about Addiction in the 1960s

As tumultuous as the 1960s were, it is not surprising that attitudes about addiction began to change at this time. Drug use was a part of many civil rights movements, anti-war protests, peace festivals, and riots. Drug use became more a part of the mainstream and a major player in the drug scene in the 1960’s was LSD. Harvard psychologists Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert became advocates of the growing recreational drug culture in America. Drug abuse and addiction became badges of the counterculture. By the end of the 60s, America was being called the addicted society.

Attitudes about Addiction in the 1970s and 1980s

The number of heroin addicts was at its peak in the 1970s and part of the reason for this increase in use was the more permissive attitudes regarding drugs. However, in 1970, under the Nixon administration, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act was enacted. The CSA is a combination of numerous laws regulating the manufacture and distribution of narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids, and chemicals used in the illicit production of controlled substance.

Administered by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), enforcement of the CSA includes investigation and preparation for the prosecution of violators of these laws, on both interstate and international levels.

Attitudes about Addiction from the 1990s to Present

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the last three decades have resulted in a more detailed understanding of the risks, mechanisms, and consequences of drug abuse and addiction. More scientific research has been performed during this period, which has increased the public’s understanding of addiction as a chronic, relapsing disease and not a moral failure.

Supporting this awareness, The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, along with increased accessibility to insurance coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act, expanded people’s access to substance abuse treatment and improved delivery of integrated healthcare for addiction and its health consequences. This allows all Americans, including Anchorage residents, to seek the drug addiction treatment they need.

Addiction Treatment Therapy Options for Anchorage Residents

Even though attitudes about drug addiction have changed over the past half-century, one thing has remained consistent: If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you need to find the most effective addiction treatment therapy option for you. To explore the options available to Anchorage residents, please call our toll free number today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about addiction treatment therapy options.