Top 3 Misconceptions About Drug and Alcohol Addiction
When seeking treatment for drug or alcohol addiction or trying to help an addicted friend or family member, the common misconceptions about addiction can produce deadly outcomes. If you are harboring some common misconceptions about addiction, substance abuse disorder, and what it takes to beat addiction, you could end up doing harm even when you are trying to do good.
Even after all these years, there are still some persistent untruths about alcohol and drug addiction. Myths are taken as gospel but are still entirely untrue. If you want to help yourself or someone you care about, it is essential to educate yourself and learn more about the top three misconceptions about addiction.
#1: Addiction Is a Choice
Even after decades of learning and research about addiction and how it works, there is still a widespread feeling that using drugs and alcohol is a choice and that addicts and alcoholics could quit if they simply tried hard enough.
This thinking is a harmful misconception on several different levels, and falling prey to it could mean missing out on the opportunity to help an addicted friend or family member or yourself. The simple fact is that once addiction sets in, the use of alcohol and drugs is no longer a choice, and the severity of the withdrawal symptoms that accompany detox can be enough to overcome even the most ardent attempts at sobriety.
#2: Legal Substances Are Less Addictive Than Illegal Substances
There is also a harmful perception about the relative risks of legal and illegal substances, and this untruth can also be very dangerous. Many people simply assume that the medications prescribed by their doctors are totally benign and that they do not have to worry about addiction or dependency.
The truth is that some of the most addictive drugs in the world are also perfectly legal, including the powerful opioid painkillers that have sparked a worldwide epidemic. Legal does not necessarily mean safe, and you should talk to your doctor about tapering the dose and watching out for the early warning signs of dependency.
#3: Once an Addict, Always an Addict
This final misconception could be the most harmful of all, especially if you try to help a friend or family member who has struggled with substance use disorder. There is a widespread belief that once an individual is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they will simply not be able to recover and eventually, a relapse will take place and they will end up going back to their old ways.
It is true that relapse is a constant threat for those in recovery, and also true that relapses are common in the early days of a recovery. Still, it is untrue that addiction is permanent or that living a successful and substance-free life is impossible.
With the proper support and guidance, the recovering addict in your life can stay drug and alcohol-free for a lifetime, and there is a lot you can do to lend a helping hand. No matter how difficult their past, recovering drug addicts and alcoholics can enjoy a bright and healthy future.
WhiteSands Addiction Treatment
Even after all these years and all the advances in the field of addiction science, there are still plenty of myths and misconceptions about how addiction works, who it impacts, how addicts can be helped and what it takes to overcome dependency. Maybe you have been harboring these myths and misconceptions in your own mind, even as you have tried to help a friend or family member. Or perhaps the person suffering from these misconceptions is yourself, and those untruths have held your recovery back or kept you out of rehab.
Now that you know the truth behind these myths and common misconceptions about addiction, you can begin to educate yourself and learn more about how to help the people you care the most about. If you are ready to learn more, the help you need is just a phone call away, so pick up the phone and give the staff at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab a call today.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.