If you’re locked in a battle to overcome addiction, an alcohol or drug recovery program can help — no matter what you may be addicted to. The longer you wait to seek help, the larger your problems can loom, potentially causing irreparable harm in every part of your life.
Unfortunately, many people fail to seek treatment when they need it. Often, they don’t feel like it’s possible to recover from addiction or they may feel as if they’re not ready yet to break free of substance dependence. In other cases, however, they may not seek help because they have fallen victims to some of the pervasive myths about addiction.
Education is important for anyone who is battling to end substance abuse and addiction – and for anyone who is trying to support their battle to get clean. Here are some of the most prevalent myths about addiction and the truth behind them.
Myth No. 1: Alcohol or Drug Use Is a Choice, So the Addict Is to Blame
It’s a common belief in society that those who choose to use drugs and alcohol – and who, as a result, become addicted to them – have made the choice to become an addict or substance abuser. Certain, everyone makes their own choices in life, but this belief asserts that the substance abuser actively chose to become addicted.
In truth, many factors contribute to addiction. Past trauma, the way you were raised, and even your genetics play a role in addiction. It’s not a struggle you have chosen, so it’s important not to become caught up in this myth.
Myth No. 2: Addiction Is a Failure of Willpower
Our society often places an unhealthy level of emphasis on willpower. However, the idea that anyone can magically will themselves to stop being addicted is a dangerous concept.
For those who are vulnerable to addiction, substance use can alter brain function and, in a sense, hijack specific aspects of its function. Addictive substances flood the brain with pleasure-enhancing chemicals which, in turn, can erode self-control and the ability to make healthy decisions. Over time, the brain begins to require even more of the substance to produce the same pleasurable effect.
For most people, willpower alone will never be sufficient to overcome the powerful effects of this cycle.
Myth No. 3: Addiction Only Affects Certain Types of People
Addiction is a disease that does not discriminate.
It can impact the lives of any person, no matter their background, education or income level. In fact, about one out of every eight people over the age of 12 struggle with addiction, a number which may be far higher than most people realize.
Falling victim to addiction does not place you into any category or stigmatize you in any way. Never hesitate to seek help for this problem because you fear what admitting it might say about you.
Myth No. 4: You Can’t Recover Until You Hit Rock Bottom
This myth is not only false, but it’s dangerous.
The reality is that, the longer you wait before you get help, the sicker you will be and the more in danger your life will be as well. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that if you get help before your illness spins too far out of control, then you will have more resources for support such as a job and family to help you have a successful recovery.
The sooner you get help for your addiction, the better it is for you and everyone in your life. It’s literally never too early.
Myth No. 5: Stable, Successful People Do Not Fall Victim to Addiction
Anyone can become addicted to drugs and alcohol, including those people who have a stable family life and those who are successful at their jobs. Socially and psychologically well-adjusted struggle with substance abuse and dependence just as much as those who have challenges.
The ability to have a family, hold a job and maintain a decent lifestyle does not preclude anyone from addiction challenges related to drugs or alcohol. Even if you don’t have a drink until you get home from work or if you only do drugs on the weekend, recreationally, you can still be vulnerable to addiction.
Myth No. 6: Addiction Treatment Will Make Your Problems Disappear
While addiction treatment is important, the reality is that addiction is a chronic illness that you may always have to battle. Treatment is a crucial first step, but it’s just the start of a long process.
It’s not uncommon for someone to need more than one stay at a treatment facility, in order for them to get well enough to move on to the next step of recovery. Staying sober requires a lifelong commitment to managing the disease.
Myth No. 7: Those Who Suffer from Addiction Are Bad
Addiction does not make you a bad person.
Unfortunately, this myth persists because, throughout prolonged substance abuse, people with addiction often make poor choices that can negatively affect the lives of those around them. The truth is that addicts act in ways that occur due to changes in the brain’s functioning. This can can compel them to do things they may not otherwise, so they can continue to use.
Of course, you cannot condone behavior such as stealing or cheating, but that doesn’t mean an addict is a bad person. Like anyone who is fighting a debilitating disease, they need treatment.
Myth No. 8: You Cannot Become Addicted to Drugs a Doctor Prescribes You
Many, many people have started on the road of addiction because of a medication prescribed by their own doctor.
Prescription medications such as sedatives, stimulants and painkillers are highly addictive and have many potential harmful effects. Never assume that, simply because your doctor has prescribed a medication, you can’t become addicted to it.
If you are battling substance abuse, it’s important to reach out and get help. The caring, experienced professionals at Moonlight Mountain Recovery have the skills to help. Contact us today to learn more about our programs, including alcohol rehab and drug recovery in Boise, Idaho.