Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? 

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A Story of Addiction Stigma

Years ago, my then girlfriend and I were invited to a dinner party with four other couples. As we sat down to dinner, everyone was making chit-chat or catching up on the latest events in their respective families. As things quieted down, a woman named Deb called across the table and asked one of the other women “did you hear about so-and-so’s daughter?” The reply was “no, is everything all right with her?” Deb lowered her head and in a loud whisper voice replied “drugs, rehab.” To which the other woman responded, “that’s too bad.” After a few minutes of grazing on our salads, I kicked my girlfriend’s leg and asked Deb how the young girl was doing. Without missing a bite of her salad, Deb replied “oh, I don’t know.” We continued to enjoy our meal and conversation when Deb asked me “what do you do for a living Matt?” I told her I was a marketing director for a boutique rehab nearby. She followed up with “how did you get into that?” I quickly told her that I was a recovering drug addict and alcoholic and went back to eating my dinner with a smile on my face.

The look on her face as her jaw dropped was priceless. While I could have explained that I have been a marketing professional for a long time, I could not resist and gave Deb what she had coming, and she seemed awkward for the remainder of the evening. Maybe she will think twice about stigmatizing people with addiction and learn to be kind in the future (although, I would bet against it!)


Addiction Stigma

Stigma is described as a set of negative attitudes that a group or society holds about a topic or group of people. According to the World Health Organization, stigma is a key cause of bias and rejection and it adds to the abuse of human rights. When an individual feels stigmatized, they are seen as less than because of their real or perceived health condition. Stigma is typically not based on facts but rather on assumptions, preconceptions, and gossip; therefore, its negative impact can be prevented or reduced through education. Stigma results in prejudice, avoidance, rejection, and discrimination against people who have a socially objectionable trait such as drug addiction or alcoholism.

Family, friends, and a community can carry damaging feelings about people suffering addiction. They use pejorative phrases like “junkie,” “drunk,” or “crackhead.” These thoughts, feelings, and labels can create and perpetuate stigma. This is not helpful but only harmful to those suffering from the 2nd largest health crisis in America – addiction. It was number one but swiftly replaced by Covid-19.

Simple Path Recovery is an oceanside, boutique addiction treatment center located in Pompano Beach, FL. Recognized as a Top Florida Drug & Alcohol Rehab, Simple Path is committed to individualized care, 12-step integration, and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). Their addiction helpline is available 24/7 at 855-467-3625.


About the Author
Matthew Koenig is the principal of Last Call Marketing, which devotes their efforts to Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Website Design and SEO, primarily in healthcare and tourism concerns. Mr. Koenig is based out of South Florida. His sober date is June 10, 2013.


"I have sent numerous patients to Simple Path with great success. The transition from my facility to theirs has always been a smooth one. The care and compassion at this facility is remarkable. Most of my work is with Matt O’Malley who goes over and beyond to make sure our patients feel comfortable when they arrive at the facility. It’s an honor to collaborate with this facility daily!"


Pat C.

"Simple path by far is the place to go for help with alcohol and drugs.. I went through there intensive out patient program which you live in their house for 30 days. It changed my life for the better... They have the best theripest that work with you individually and in group,. This is where I found myself again.. I have been sober for 6 months now thanks to simple path and all their great employees that really care about you and build you up for your next chance at life... This is the place to start your new journey in life."


Allison W.

"I am so grateful for simple path and all the staff there. They have taught me a lot about myself and how to deal with everyday life challenges. Ian with out a doubt saved my life without him in my corner I don’t know where I would be. The clinical staff is very informative about addiction and help client’s get back on there feet. I’m so very grateful they got to be part of my journey."


Jake S.

"I attended Simple Path in June of 2019. I had never tried to get sober and I never went to treatment before. I was scared and vulnerable. I immediately felt safe at Simple Path. In the IOP the therapists listened to me, like actually heard and genuinely cared about me. They not only helped me on my path to sobriety but they also helped me immensely with my trauma. God willing I'll have 16 months on the 1st. I couldn't have done it without all the love and care from Simple Path. Thank you to Cathy, Heidi, Carrie, Emily, Sammy Jo and Ian!"


Vanessa

"I can’t put into words what this place have done not for just for my daughter but our whole family. The phone calls/ text didn’t stop when she finished treatment. They still go above and beyond to stay in contact with us all. I know without a doubt these guys love what they do!! I would recommend ANYONE to this treatment center. And can never thank them enough for what they did for my family."


Dana J.

"Simple path gave me a second chance at the life I was always meant to have... and a second, and a third. If you really want to get sober Simple Path will arm you with the knowledge to do so. 90% of all the staff at housing and clinical are in recovery with substantial time. By far the best experiences of my life were at Simple Path Recovery. Shout out to Matt, Stevie, Pete, Carrie, Adam, and Derick. I love each and every one of you guys."


Davey R.

"Simple path recovery has truly been a godsend for me. From day one, they took me under their arm and showed me how to live a happy and successful life in recovery! They gave me all the spiritual tools I needed and a lot more! I’ve met a lot of people in recovery and I can honestly say simple path cares. I’m still friends with all the staff and they are definitely my recovery family. God bless you guys!"


Justin M.

Simple Path was there for Dennis when he was most broken. They provided him with support and gave him the tools he needed to shed the ill feelings he once felt about himself. Today, Dennis has a new perspective, gaining the confidence to walk out of Simple Path’s doors a changed man; living a healthier and happier life.


Dennis

"I sent my son here and the staff at SPR made the process so easy and comfortable for us and my son. I can't say enough good things about this place.


Delores M.

Jack’s journey began when he arrived at Simple Path to get clean and sober. He never thought he could deal with his anxiety and depression without using drugs. Group and one-on-one therapy empowered him to deal with his problems and get better. Going strong at his one-year anniversary, Jack is in a very good place.


Jack

"I just want to say thank you simple path you helped to save my life. I was broken before I came here but today my life is amazing. I learned so much from talking with staff and all the coping skills I learned in the groups. The fact that the staff walked in my shoes gave my hope when I first got here. I am so grateful that I chose this place. If you want to get sober this is the place to be."


Jordan D.

"Staff genuinely cares, clinical staff and therapists are educated and also care about clients. Techs, Jason, And Dave care and will talk with clients and provide experience and advice."


Matt K.

"Simple path is a good place to go if you're in need of halfway with some clinical help! The staff is great both at iop and at housing. Lee, Derrick, and Ian are all great employees along with Denise and Peter at IOP."


Dan D.

"All the therapists are great and very supportive!"


Matthew L.

"Amazing place if you are trying to get sober. Helps kick start your life when you get into the real world. All the staff here genuinely cares about all the clients."


Jake B.

"This place is great. I have nothing but the best to say about simple path I would definitely recommend it to anyone. I never thought recovery was possible before I came hear but I now have 8 months of sobriety. The staff was very helpful and I learned a lot from the groups."


Devin C.

"This IOP program has been a pillar in my recovery. They let me stay for as long as I needed to and worked on my core issues. "


Jessica R.

"Simple Path is an absolutely great place to start turning your life around! From the beginning they were extremely helpful and made sure my entire process very easy and smooth. Everyone that helped me personally there from the start - Lee, Kyle, Matt are all fantastic guys who always had my back with any assistance I needed, always went the extra mile and remained that way my entire time there."


Max B.

"Nice staff, beautiful property and facility along A1A."


Jeremiah C.

"I've worked with a number of addiction treatment centers over time and I'm always impressed by the smaller programs. Simple Path rises to the top of this group that resonates with staff and patients alike."


Matthew K.

"Simple Path saved my life. There hands on approach to helping you start living a self reliant independent sober life has been nothing short of a blessing to me. I am totally grateful for the staff and the techs."


Harry C.

"Amazing program! Very life changing and caring-people! Simple-Path saved my life."


Chase D.

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