10 Common Myths About Addiction
Why are there so many myths about addiction? The truth is that addiction is an incredibly complex issue. Not only is it complex, but it’s also controversial.
For those who find themselves in the grips of addiction, this can cause an incredible amount of confusion. Everyone has an opinion about addiction, and those opinions are often not based on fact. It’s easy to see how people start to believe myths about addiction. Sometimes the lack of factual information on addiction makes users feel isolated. Educating yourself on the facts about drug addiction can help you or your loved one find support by debunking myths about addiction.
To learn the truth about addiction and how it affects users, keep reading. Here are 10 myths about addiction and the facts you need to know.
The need for addiction treatment and services is stronger than ever. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, you’re not alone. Call us today at (385) 327-7418 to discuss your situation.
- 1. Addicts Are Weak People
- 2. Addiction Only Happens to the Homeless
- 3. You Have to Hit Rock Bottom
- 4. Prescription Drugs Are Safer Than Street Drugs
- 5. Rehab Doesn’t Work
- 6. Relapses are a Sign of Failure
- 7. Addicts Choose Addiction
- 8. Having a High Tolerance Means You’re Safe from Addiction
- 9. Detoxing Cures Addiction
- 10. Natural Drugs Are Always Safe
1. Addicts Are Weak People
False. This myth about addiction prevents those who are suffering from getting help.
You aren’t addicted because you’re weak. You’re addicted because the substance altered your brain chemistry. No amount of sheer will can reverse your brain chemistry back.
Many addicts turn to drugs because of trauma, stress, or experimentation. None of those causal factors indicates weakness. This myth must get busted so addicts can stop feeling bad about themselves and get help.
Watch: How Addiction Affects the Brain
2. Addiction Only Happens to the Homeless
False. Addiction doesn’t discriminate and can happen to anyone.
Society has a misconception that addiction is only for the homeless and disadvantaged. This is far from the truth.
Addiction occurs at every income level, gender, race, etc. Some substances are more available to certain groups, but addiction is universal. Its reach doesn’t stop just because you’re educated or have more money.
Everyone from the homeless man on the corner to your family doctor can have an addiction.
3. You Have to Hit Rock Bottom
False. This myth prevents people from intervening in their loved one’s addictions. Hitting rock bottom isn’t necessary, and sometimes “rock bottom” can be death.
Some people believe that once they hit rock bottom, they’ll get help. Family members lose hope in their ability to save their loved one with an addiction, so they wait.
Rock bottom doesn’t have to happen. You can get help now and prevent a dangerous situation.
For some addicts, rock bottom is death. For others, it’s the loss of someone they love. You can avoid these results by seeking treatment. This myth is one of the most dangerous ones out there!
4. Prescription Drugs Are Safer Than Street Drugs
False. Prescription drugs present just as much of a risk to your health as illicit street drugs. Also, prescription drugs abuse often leads to street drug abuse.
Drugs from your doctor aren’t any less dangerous than ones found on the street. Every substance comes with its risks.
We often associate addiction with street drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine. In 2017, just over 800,000 Americans abused heroin.
Over 11.4 million Americans abused prescriptive pain medications. Don’t overlook the dangers of prescription drugs; they can be just as harmful as street drugs.
5. Rehab Doesn’t Work
False. Rehab has been proven to work, but you must find reputable centers that offer evidence-based treatment.
Some people believe that drug rehab doesn’t work. They believe they can quit their addiction on their own or ‘cold turkey. Or, they’ve been to rehab once before, and it didn’t work, so now they believe it won’t work for them.
It’s important to know that rehab isn’t a cure-all. The path to long-term recovery is different for every individual.
It’s often very effective when you find the right center for you and your needs. Do your research on treatment options and embrace the support provided.
You may have to go to a few rehabs before the truth sinks in.
6. Relapses are a Sign of Failure
False. For many, relapse is a part of the recovery journey (although it doesn’t have to be). People can bounce back just as strong after a relapse.
It’s expected that up to 60 percent of recovering addicts will relapse. It’s not a rare occurrence; 60 percent is a huge number.
Since they’re so common, why does society view relapses as failures?
Every day as a recovering addict will pose triggers and temptations. It takes willpower and mental strength to choose sobriety. As you build that strength, you may stumble.
Remember that a relapse isn’t the end of your sobriety. You can and will get back on track and continue living a sober life if you believe you can.
It’s all about prioritizing your recovery and building a plan that works for you.
7. Addicts Choose Addiction
False. While the first time an individual takes a drug is a choice, the ensuing addiction and brain chemistry changes slowly remove their ability to choose.
People get addicted to substances for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s to cope with stress or trauma. Others, it’s a result of experimentation and poor decisions.
The important thing to understand is that not one addict sets out to become an addict. No one chooses to have a physical and mental dependence on a harmful substance. No one wakes up one day and says, “I’d love to destroy my life and the lives of those around me.”
Addiction slowly takes over the lives of those it touches. It happens one denial, one justification, one rationalization at a time. It’s truly insidious.
If you ask any suffering addict, they’ll likely tell you they wish they hadn’t started in the first place. Once the addiction starts, they no longer have much of a choice.
8. Having a High Tolerance Means You’re Safe from Addiction
False. High tolerance is an indication of a substance use disorder. The body can still overdose or experience intense reactions regardless of tolerance.
It’s common for addicts to refuse to admit they’re addicted because they have a high tolerance. “I can drink 10 pints without feeling a thing, and I can’t be addicted!”
High tolerance for a substance means your brain has become accustomed to it. The effects of having a couple of pints or a couple of hits don’t exist. You have to increase your dosage to feel them.
If you can drink alcohol all day long and function like a sober person, you have an addiction. If you must take an excessive number of pills to feel the effects, be wary of your dependence.
9. Detoxing Cures Addiction
Partly False. Detox is the first step for many on the path to recovery. However, by no means does it cure addiction. It’s more the beginning of the journey.
Part of the rehabilitation process is detoxing your body of the addicted substance. Treatment centers have safe and proven methods for doing this.
But, going through detox doesn’t make you sober.
After cleansing your body of the substance, you must tackle the dependence. Your body will still crave the drug, and your brain will demand it. To truly cure addiction, you need to address mental and emotional dependence and the physical.
10. Natural Drugs Are Always Safe
False. While natural drugs are technically “safer” than many synthetic drugs, it doesn’t mean that drug dealers can’t lace them.
Marijuana, mushrooms, and other plant-based drugs are pretty popular worldwide. There’s some controversy over whether these drugs are safer than synthetic drugs.
It’s important to remember that no one drug is 100 percent safe all of the time. Each body is different and will react differently to substances.
Do your research. Can you be sure that the weed you bought isn’t laced with anything? Are you sure your body will react positively to those ‘shrooms?
Be cautious and protect yourself. There’s no guarantee that any drug is always safe.
Interested in Busting More Myths About Addiction?
There are so many myths about addiction that prevent users from getting help. You must know the facts; addiction is a disease. Addicts need treatment just like sufferers of any other disease do.
Drug rehab is often the most effective way to heal from addiction. You can enjoy safe and beautiful accommodations while getting help. Most offer individual and group therapy, 24/7 care, and fun activities.
If you or your loved one is suffering from an addiction, know help.
Reach out today to learn about our customized treatment programs to help you overcome your addiction.