In a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” society, it’s difficult to ask for help, especially when it comes to battling addictions. Maybe not just difficult … it’s almost unheard of. There is a “get over it” mentality that plagues modern society to the point that sympathy is a dying fashion.
When studying rhetoric surrounding addictions, it’s easy to see the negative attention it gets. To say that someone is a “junkie” or “abuses drugs” reinforces a negative feeling for that individual’s circumstances. It doesn’t allow us to see the person apart from their actions. Yes, they are associated with a certain circumstance, but they still need help. They are people, and they can still be considered “patients” in need of just as much help as any other person.