It’s hard enough to find the information you need when seeking treatment and solace from a drug abuse problem, but it’s made even harder when misinformation, quack remedies, old wives’ tales and other outright fallacies are just as easy to find when looking for the truth.
Putting each and every fib about addiction to bed would take longer than any of us have, but for a start, here are five myths about addiction debunked to help you get a grasp on where to start finding the right direction for addiction treatment and recovery.
Each of these myths are statements you may have heard in passing, seen mentioned online or just something you absorbed from the attitudes around you at one time. But each is an insidious falsehood between you and proper recovery, so make sure you understand the truth about each myth.
Here are five myths about addiction debunked:
- Addiction is caused by a lack of willpower.
Addiction is not a matter of choice or an ethical matter. Addiction is a disease, pure and simple. Some are more susceptible to it than others – alcohol consumption is one of the most obvious here, as the difference between a casual social drinker and a hereditary alcoholic can hardly be more stark. But even the most addictive substances can affect users differently at first. The vital matter is that once addiction has sunk in, simply deciding to quit cold turkey is generally out of the question. Addiction is a medical condition that can require clinical treatment, not just a matter of deciding to stop on a dime. Understanding the truth about this myth changes everything about later treatment decisions.
- Prescription drugs are safe substances.
We think because a doctor gives them to us that prescription drugs are harmless, but that’s hardly the case. They can be useful and effective when taken as prescribed, but many prescription drugs can be addictive in their own right, particularly pain pills that are taken as needed rather than on a set schedule. It’s vital to take such drugs only as advised and not to abuse them or use them past the prescribed term, lest what was meant to help become a harm in its own right.
- You can’t get addicted to marijuana.
As weed becomes more socially acceptable, with many states legalizing or easing restrictions on the drug, marijuana is more and more seen as a benign drug, yet it can be as addictive as any other such substance. The legality of alcohol and nicotine hasn’t made them less addictive, after all. If it’s legal in your area, you may choose to partake, but know that marijuana can be as habit forming as anything else in the right circumstances.
- Detox is enough.
Many see rehab as about kicking a habit and think once the drug is out of your system, the job is done. Without any drug left in you, the cravings will surely go away, the thinking goes. But addiction is far more insidious than that and can create habits and ways of thinking that can persist long after one has dried out. Rehab isn’t just getting sober, but about staying sober, and treatment is needed to teach addicts how to do that.
- Rehab doesn’t work.
This is perhaps one of the darkest myths of them all, as it strikes at the heart of getting help for those who need it. If you don’t believe such help works, you’ll find yourself trapped in addiction forever. Rehab can be long and hard for some, and it’s a challenge for all, but it does work and can work for you.