There were over 70,000 overdoses resulting in death in America in 2017. That number was on a gradual rise until 2015 when it spiked. 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. 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.
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. It’s crucial that this myth gets busted so addicts can stop feeling bad about themselves and get help.
2. Addiction Only Happens to the Homeless
Society has a misconception that addiction is only for the homeless and disadvantaged. This is far from the truth.
In fact, addiction occurs at every income level, gender, race, etc. Some substances are more available to certain groups, but addiction is universal.
Everyone from the homeless man on the corner to your family doctor can have an addiction.
3. You Have to Hit Rock Bottom
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, 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.
4. Prescription Drugs Are Safer Than Street Drugs
Drugs from your doctor aren’t any less dangerous than ones found on the street. Every substance comes with its own 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
Some people believe that rehabilitation doesn’t work. They believe they can quit their addiction ‘cold turkey’. Or, they’ve been to rehab once before and are now using again.
Rehabilitation isn’t a cure-all. It’s different for every person, and each treatment center is different.
When you find the right center for you and your needs, it’s often very effective. Do your research on treatment options and embrace the support provided.
6. Relapses are a Sign of Failure
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 the horse and continue living a sober life.
7. Addicts Choose Addiction
As mentioned above, 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 set out to become an addict. No one chooses to have a physical and mental dependence on a harmful substance.
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
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, I can’t be addicted!”
In fact, a high tolerance for a substance means your brain has become accustomed to it. The effects of having a couple pints or a couple 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
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 the mental and emotional dependence as well as the physical.
10. Natural Drugs Are Always Safe
Marijuana, mushrooms, and other plant-based drugs are gaining popularity worldwide. There’s some controversy over whether these drugs are safer than synthetic drugs.
It’s important to remember that not 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. It’s crucial that you know the facts; addiction is a disease. Addicts need treatment just like sufferers of any other disease do.
Rehabilitation 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 there is help.
Better Help Addiction Care is a safe and trusted treatment center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Reach out today to learn about our customized treatment programs to help you overcome your addiction.