The stigma that still seems to be attached to seeking help for drug and alcohol problems

Michael Lukens

Dr. Michael Lukens SFYB Addiction Expert

By: Dr. Michael Lukens SFYB Addiction Expert

Anthony L Drake is talking about recovery from the first person standpoint inside a rap song.   “No more shame if you had enough pain.” My take is he’s talking about the shame and the stigma that still seems to be attached to seeking help for drug and alcohol problems. Can you believe shame is still happening. The industry should be ashame.


Shame on our culture for this still being the case.From the time we began to use the concept of disease to explain addiction we were supposed to be removing the stigma and the shame associated with being addicted, and further diminish the emotional obstacles to seeking help. That has not happened, at least not in any full or complete sense of stigma removal.


The situation reminds me of the dynamic that occurred in relation to homosexuality  Only a little bit in reverse in that decades ago the then psychiatric/medical authorities woke up and decided to stop labeling homosexuality a disease or a mental illness. But decades of normalization since has not completely changed the minds of men, as there  still exists widespread discrimination and homophobia.


Similarly and regrettably we’ve got a long way to go to fulfill the call to action implied in Anthony’s lyrics – – to remove the shame and the stigma associated with addiction and recovery and help seeking. You have to appreciate his efforts here in acknowledging his  own addiction history and calling for the minds of men to be changed, perhaps one mind at a time.

You get the implied idea that currently a person’s Rock-bottom experience has to be too overly severe in order to provide enough motivation for them to overcome the emotional barriers to seeking treatment.  The more we keep at this, the more we succeed at removing the stigma and reducing the shame, the more we can expect rock-bottom to be less of a lethal experience for a smaller number of people.

If less stigma is associated with people admitting they have a problem or in seeking to get help for it then more people will do that more readily without having to wait for the ultimate desperate moment.  And that would be a very good thing — for everybody.


Michael Lukens
Dr. Machel Lukens at The Lukens
Dr. Michael Lukens is a clinical psychologist who specializes in substance abuse recovery and trauma resolution. Dr. Lukens’ distinguished career spans years as the clinical director for some of the premier inpatient addiction recovery programs in Southern Florida, as well as an expert consultant to the corporate health programs of a number of Fortune 500 companies.

Throughout his 25 plus years as a psychologist Dr. Lukens has come to understand the role that deep seated emotional experiences play in shaping human motivation and behavior. He has created a truly unique and powerful therapeutic method that focuses on the fundamental emotional issues that are the root cause of addiction and PTSD. His proprietary method is called Core Issue Completion Therapy ®.

Utilizing the incredible healing power of small group therapeutic dynamics, Dr. Lukens and the clinicians he’s trained are able to quickly identify the stuck points for people struggling with addiction and/PTSD. for each individual.

The intense therapeutic work that gets done at The Lukens Group requires tremendous personal courage, a hard work ethic and the desire to change. There are no shortcuts; however the total quality of life, happiness and peace of mind that our clients discover and embrace at the end of this intense journey are well worth it.

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