In the media, people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol are often portrayed in stereotypical and destructive ways. In television and movies, addiction itself is characterized as quirky or evil, with the common theme that once you’re addicted, there is no other way out. Sadly, this leads to a lot of people to believe that their addicted loved ones can’t change. There are a lot of different and negative ways that these stereotypes affect society and people who are addicted as well.
It’s time to clear up some of the dominant myths about addiction:
- Myth #1: Addiction is a choice. If a person uses drugs willingly the first time, then every time after that is a choice as well, right? Sadly, this is a prevalent belief among some parts of society. It prevents people from helping their loved ones who struggle with addiction. The truth is simple: no one wants to become an addict, but genetics prove that many end up that way.
- Myth #2: Willpower and addiction have nothing to do with each other. If a person could merely “will away” their addiction, they would have done that as soon as they became physically dependent on their drug of choice. But the fact that they have withdrawal symptoms is often enough to prevent people from getting clean, even if they want to. Addicts are bad people who deserve to be punished.
- Myth #3: Addiction is a moral failing, and the addicted are bad people. It’s true that the addicted may do bad things because of their desperation. Remember that substance abuse addiction is similar to many mental health disorders, causing a person to make bad decisions. It’s true that people addicted to drugs may do bad things, but they’re sick, not evil. They need the tools to get out of the grips of their addiction.
- Myth #4: Treatment cures addiction. This is a belief some people share, but it’s only because they are misinformed about addiction and recovery. Just as becoming addicted took time, so does recovery. Most people consider themselves in recovery for life. Many people in recovery believe in the process of lifelong healing and self-improvement and empowerment.
Addiction is a lifelong, chronic disease that must be managed by the person who has it.
Addiction is ugly and painful for the person who is addicted as well as the people who love them. It takes time for a person who has just detoxed to begin the arduous process of starting again and rebuilding their lives, but thousands do it every year. Being addicted doesn’t mean that a person is “bad”, it means that something is broken and needs treatment.
Most people in recovery want to be better people and align their lives with their core values, but they’re not sure how to do that. Physical withdrawal symptoms may make it extremely difficult to quit using without help.
Once a person is done with treatment, they still will probably choose to remain in recovery. There is no cure for addiction, only treatment, tools, and self-care. A person in recovery is in charge of these things.
Are you or somebody you love addicted to drugs? We can help you take the first steps to get clean in a safe and comfortable environment. Our staff is compassionate and out facilities are located in a calm, serene area.
Learn more about how we can help by calling us at 1-877-228-2401. All calls are 100% confidential