Addiction Misconceptions

12 Common Myths About Addiction

Addiction and recovery topics are plagued by information that is outdated and false. There’s no doubt that if you or a loved one are struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism, then you’ve probably received advice that is well-meaning but coming from people who don’t really understand. Because some people lack a clear understanding, there is a stigma attached to addiction that can lead to embarrassment and shame. These make it that much harder to get better. So, it’s essential to discuss addiction honestly and openly so anyone needing treatment can get the support they need. Today we will dispel

12 Common Myths about Addiction that Everyone Should Know.

1. Myth About Addiction: Addicts lack moral fiber

No one wants to become a drug addict or alcoholic. It’s a force that can take control of anyone regardless of their life circumstances. Once it takes hold, addiction can cause a person to change. They may become unavailable to family and friends, steal for money or drugs, or make bad choices they wouldn’t have otherwise made. But, the fact is that they aren’t addicts because they lack moral fiber or because they are weak or bad people. They make bad choices in life because they are addicted.

2. Myth About Addiction: Addicts need willpower to overcome the addiction

Addiction is a disease and has very little, if anything, to do with willpower. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, their brain function has been altered, so even if they want to stop, they can’t. Once the brain is chemically altered by addiction, the disease begins to take over the person’s life in detrimental ways. Drug addicts and alcoholics are usually not weak-minded people, they are often extremely strong-willed, but the brain gives them misinformation, convincing them getting high is the best option. Once drug and alcohol addiction takes hold, it doesn’t matter how strong-willed a person is because their ability to make choices is gone. Learn more about how drugs and alcohol affect the brain.

3. Myth About Addiction: Addicts are easy to spot

There are many stereotypes when it comes to how addicts look. Some people believe they are easy to spot as they are usually poor or homeless. However, the truth is, anyone can become an addict, and they are often hard to spot. Addiction should have no stereotypes because no one is safe from this disease. It can be your favorite Hollywood celebrity, a Wall Street stockbroker, or simply the soccer mom who lives next door. Addiction is an equal opportunity offender that affects all classes, ages, races, genders, and professions.

4. Myth About Addiction: Addicts who use in private aren’t hurting anybody

Regardless if an addict is drinking, gambling, or using drugs – even in private – it eventually does begin to hurt people around them. Addiction can not only affect others, but it can also ruin other people’s lives, especially those closest to the person. Addiction can also destroy relationships because, let’s face it, it’s not easy to see a loved one suffer. This type of disease usually causes behavioral changes in people, leading to them acting differently towards their friends and family members.

5. Myth About Addiction: Alcohol is not as dangerous as illegal drugs

Some people believe that because alcohol is legal and many people drink, it’s not as dangerous as illegal drugs. However, alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs available. Globally, nearly 3 million people die each year due to the harmful effects of alcohol, which represents 5.3% of all deaths. Consuming too much alcohol can lead to overdoses, and people addicted can actually die from withdrawal. This drug also negatively affects the body’s kidneys, liver, stomach, and even the brain. Actually, alcoholism kills more people than any other substance. Visit our blog to learn more.

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6. Myth About Addiction: Changing your life through education, relocation, or a new job can fix addiction

While making a significant life change can provide temporary relief from addiction, it’s not a permanent fix. Most of the time, people turn to drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms. So, the stress from moving away from everyone you know, getting a new job, or going to college can be enough to cause a person to return to bad habits.

7. Myth About Addiction: Addiction only pertains to drugs and alcohol

Though addiction to drugs and alcohol is well-known and widespread, many other forms of addiction are less known. These types of addictions are referred to as process addictions, and they occur when a person is dependent on a compulsive behavior rather than a chemical. Examples of other types of addiction include over-eating, shopping, gambling, gaming, and sex.

8. Myth About Addiction: Alcoholics drink every day

Did a person with diabetes eat sweets every day to get the disease? No. So, why do so many people believe the common myth that alcoholics drink every day? With alcoholism, it doesn’t matter if a person consumes daily or not. What matters is when the person drinks, why the person drinks, and how much they drink. Visit our blog that explains the difference between heavy drinking and alcoholism.

9. Myth About Addiction: Once an addict, always an addict

Addiction is a treatable disorder. Those who seek help can indeed recover and go on to live long, fruitful lives. Support is available from inpatient and outpatient treatment centers and other recovery programs such as counseling and AA. However, since addiction is chronic by nature, some people relapse and begin using again after recovery. It’s important to understand that this is part of the process, and with effective treatment, relapse can be prevented. The bottom line is that addicts who seek help usually do recover. Visit out blog about curing addiction.

10. Myth About Addiction: If a doctor prescribes a substance, it’s not drug addiction

Doctors can prescribe medications that are effective for treating pain and other conditions. However, these drugs are very dangerous when abused, primarily when it occurs with young adults and teens. Many prescription drugs are commonly abused, including narcotic pain medications, ADHD medications, and anxiety drugs. Prescription medications can be more deadly than illicit drugs and it’s estimated that around five young people die daily from overdoses with these medications. Benzos, which were previously considered non-addictive, are now considered by the FDA to be addictive as well. Visit out blog to learn more.

11. Myth About Addiction: Addiction can be overcome alone

There’s a reason most addiction recovery methods are group-based. It’s been found that overcoming addictive behaviors is more manageable when surrounded by people who understand what you’re going through. Additionally, overcoming addiction alone can be dangerous and even fatal because withdrawal symptoms can lead to death in certain situations. Therefore, it’s always best to seek help with treatment to overcome addiction. Isolation itself can also lead to addiction and worsening symptoms. Visit our blog to learn more.

12. Myth About Addiction: Addiction is a choice

This is perhaps the biggest myth in regards to drug addiction and alcoholism. It is not a choice. Sure, taking the substance in the first place is a choice, but when addiction takes hold, the user no longer has a say in the matter. Leading experts agree that substance abuse is a chronic disease much like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. And there are many reasons people struggle with addiction. Circumstances such as mental illness, trauma, and genetics can play a role, and it can happen to anyone. As we mentioned, when drug addiction is present, the brain has been chemically altered, which makes it hard for a person to control impulses. So, even if they want to quit taking drugs or drinking, they cannot.

In the end, it’s essential to understand the reasons why addiction occurs and what the disease does to a person’s body and mind. We need to eliminate the stigma surrounding this condition, so more people want to get help. Always remember that addiction is not a choice, it can happen to anyone, and it does not make someone a bad person. Instead, it simply means we should be more compassionate and empathetic toward them as we try to convince them to seek help!

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Twelve Common Myths About Addiction
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Twelve Common Myths About Addiction
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Because some people lack a clear understanding, there is a stigma attached to addiction that can lead to embarrassment and shame, making it that much harder to get better.
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Ventura Recovery Center
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