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What does AST e.V.do? _______________________________

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The Problem

Addiction is defined by the dictionary as a compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance, and defined by our society as a problem. The consumption of so-called “psychotropic” substances is part or our culture. Any substance can lead to dependency. A large part of the population can separate risk and enjoyment, danger and consumption, can recognize and limit harm. When we think of addiction, we think of drug, alcohol, nicotine and medication addictions, of craving for food or compulsive gambling.

Addiction is a serious illness. Yet in society, many addicts are considered to be failures, not ill – and undeserving of being treated with respect. The causes of addiction are varied, and so are the problems of those affected.

In the daily life of addicts, there are many instances of open or hidden discrimination: In the search for education, work and a place to live, in the search for help in the health sector, social services and health insurance offices.

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The Approach

Some people believe marginalization can be helpful. We don’t!

Addicts have the image of failure in our society, though they come from its heart. Dependency and addiction can affect anyone and any family.

We oppose discrimination and the neglect of treatment for those affected. The first step to help and prevention is the liberation from stigma and discrimination.

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The Goal

We want to stimulate people to rethink their ideas about addiction, because addiction can affect anyone, directly or indirectly. Addiction is not a fringe phenomenon, but a part of our society!

It is important to create a consciousness in the media not only for prevention of addiction, but beyond that also for the behavior in relations with addicts.

AST advocates these fundamental values:

  Help for everyone who needs help.

  Anti-stigma is the first step in prevention and timely help.

  Help can take manifold forms and everyone should be able to decide the path he takes, without disadvantage and without discrimination.

  Addiction is tied with relapse, just as most other chronic processes and illnesses. Everyone deserves another chance, a second chance.

  Consumption is part of our society. Treatment of addiction lies in societal and social responsibility.

  Marginalization and stigmatization is the most expensive way of dealing with addiction.

  Stigmatization endangers life through exclusion from help, for example with emergency interventions in suicidal addicts, by the non-treatment of lethal physical diseases in addicts, by lack of dialogue and tabooing.

  Competence is the prerequisite for autonomy; only he who knows the risk can avoid it.

AST e.V. actively supports those affected and advocates better access to treatment and therapy.