With so many myths about addiction, you may find it difficult to get treatment. Here are the most common myths – debunked.
You know that you cannot always believe everything that you hear. And when it comes to addiction, there is no exception. Unfortunately, with the first step in overcoming addiction being to understand it, all the misinformation and rumored myths make that step difficult.
Common Myths About Addiction
You may hear statements such as:
- Addiction is only for weak individuals.
- If you are an addict, you don’t have morals.
- As long as you can handle yourself while using, then you are not an addict.
- Some drugs are safe if they are all natural.
It is these myths about addiction – and many others – that trick so many addicts. And, the family and friends surrounding them.
Take time to get yourself educated on the facts today. To have the best opportunity to understand addiction, you must debunk this false information.
To help you get started, we’ve taken the most common myths about addiction and have decided to spill the truth.
Myth: Addiction will never happen to me
Truth: Addiction can happen to anyone – even you. Many people associate addicts with those individuals they see on the street.
In reality, though, an addict can be a parent, a doctor, a government official, a teacher, etc.
Addiction doesn’t have a face. Why?
Because it could happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter what your sex, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, etc. is.
Addiction does not discriminate. Those who are entangled in the web of addiction didn’t ask to be. And, they likely never thought they’d be there, either.
Myth: Addiction only affects weak people or those with no willpower
Truth: Addiction is more powerful than anything else you will encounter. It can even change your brain and how your body functions – leaving you struggling to maintain control.
Your brain begins sending intensely powerful cravings and urges throughout your body which, in turn, cause you to continue to use.
This is a very difficult cycle to break and is why treatment is almost always necessary for a successful recovery.
Myth: Detoxing is all you need to recover from an addiction
Truth: Detoxing and obtaining a clearer focus is only the very first step of overcoming addiction.
In order to successfully recover, you need to understand what addiction is, how it happens, and how to keep it from happening again.
In treatment, you will not only gain tools and knowledge, but also a team of support that you can learn to lean on when you need to.
All of this is not built overnight – and surely not just in detox.
Instead, going through treatment, participating in group and individual therapy, and even making the decision to live in a sober living environment after treatment all have positive impacts on your recovery.
Myth: Healing from addiction is hopeless. It’s a lifelong disease
Truth: Healing from addiction is never hopeless. It is, however, a lifelong disease.
Once you go through treatment, you don’t miraculously get “cured” from addiction. You will forever be in recovery and forever be fighting through the demons of addiction.
But that does not mean healing is hopeless. Many people overcome the grip that addiction has on their bodies and their lives. They go on to live healthy, happy, and fulfilled lives – free from the bounds of addiction.
For some, it happens quickly and for others, it takes a little longer. But with each new day, you will become stronger.
One day will turn into one week, then one month, one year, and one decade.
Myth: Forced treatment will fail. An addict has to make the choice for treatment to be successful
Truth: There is an equal opportunity for overcoming addiction no matter how you got there.
Whether it is due to a personal choice or because of family, your employer, or even the legal system, each person has the same option: you either let the treatment work or you fight it.
Quite often, it all becomes an equal playing field after arrival in treatment.
Because despite your method of arrival, once you sober up, you are able to think more clearly and make better choices.
Myth: You have to hit rock-bottom before you can get help
Truth: You absolutely do not have to hit rock bottom before you can get help.
Anyone can get help at any time they are ready. Addiction can have strong impacts on the brain. Therefore, the sooner you get treatment for the addiction, the easier it is to overcome.
If you think you may be addicted or you feel that you may be losing grip on your habits, then seek help.
It is never too early and not necessary to wait until things get too bad.
Myth: Prescription drugs are safer than the alternative – and less addictive
After all, a doctor prescribed them so they must be ok to take, right?
Sadly, prescription drug addiction is very prevalent in the society we live in. And, doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.
Something else to note about prescription drug addiction is that it often turns into illicit drug addiction.
It is very real.
Myth: Addiction is a choice
Truth: Nobody wakes up and thinks, “Gee, I think I will become an addict today.” If that were how it works, addiction would not be a problem in our world because no one wants to be an addict.
Ok, sure, we have all made decisions that have impacted our lives in one way or another.
Choosing to use for the first time is definitely your choice to make.
However, once an addiction forms, it is no longer a choice, but a disease. And, this disease makes it very hard to get away from it.
Without understanding how you became addicted in the first place, you will never be able to keep yourself from falling victim to its grip again.
Learn the truth and ditch the myths about addiction and give yourself the best opportunity for a successful recovery.