Drug and alcohol addiction is unfortunately severely stigmatized by our society. There are many negative feelings, judgmental viewpoints and flat-out falsehoods surrounding the drug crisis in our nation.
The first step in helping a loved one recover from drug addiction and alcoholism is knowing what’s true – and what is not. Here are seven myths about addiction that can be helpful for determining the appropriate recovery process.
Myth 1: Those Who Struggle with Addiction are Weak or Bad People
It’s easy for those who have never experienced addiction to look down their noses at drug users and label them as “weak” or “bad.” Many substances are so addictive that even the strongest person is unable to quit using willpower alone. Additionally, those who struggle with drug addiction have oftentimes faced severe traumas of their past and have turned to unhealthy means to cope. It does not mean that they are bad people.
Myth 2: Prescription Medication Prescribed by Doctors are Always Safe
While a prescribed drug may be safe and effective initially, many medications can easily be abused. Pain killers and anti-anxiety medication especially can evolve into dangerous dependency. Overdoses and severe withdrawals are common with prescribed and legal pills.
Myth 3: Addiction is a Disease with No Cure
Although circumstances surrounding addiction can oftentimes be linked to genetic traits, that does not mean that drug and alcohol addiction is a hopeless disease. Even if a person’s brain is prone to addictive behavior, the brain can always be trained to react differently and combat temptations. Read more about the facts of drug abuse.
Myth 4: Those Who Experience Addiction Choose that Lifestyle
On the flip side, it would be an over-generalization to assume that those who have a drug addiction freely and willingly choose this lifestyle. Initial drug use is a choice, but the resulting addiction is not. Psychological and biological factors are what form the addiction.
Myth 5: Addiction Refers to Only One Substance
When many people think of addiction, they picture one single substance. In reality, those who experience addiction oftentimes abuse numerous drugs, along with alcohol to find a combination that satisfies their urges.
Myth 6: Addiction Treatment is Cookie Cutter
Not all addiction treatment centers are created equally. Just because one recovery program didn’t work for someone struggling with addiction, that doesn’t mean that no recovery program will work. Learn more about Choice House’s approach to addiction treatment.
Myth 7: Sometimes You Should Give Up Hope on Addiction Recovery
Family members and friends of those who abuse drugs and alcohol experience countless burdens trying to help their loved one regain sobriety. They often deal with numerous drug and alcohol relapses. But there is never a point when addiction recovery becomes pointless. We’ve seen numerous individuals attain a long-lasting sober and healthy lifestyle following addiction. There is always hope around the corner.
If you know someone who is struggling with drug addiction or alcohol addiction, they need compassion, community, love, support, and to be exposed to and taught the tools they need to recover. See how our Boulder drug rehab programs start the long-lasting journey to sobriety.