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15 Addiction Myths You Can Ditch Today

Maybe we should call them “zombie addiction myths” because whenever they appear to be vanquished, they always seem to pop up again.

Even though scientists, researchers and drug treatment advocates have made strides in understanding and combatting addiction, some kernels of misinformation just won’t seem to die. Here are 15 myths associated with addiction:

  1. Addiction can be thwarted through willpower alone.

    The more advances that are made in the scientific world, the more this myth is debunked. Repetitive substance misuse causes chemical changes in the brain that render the person unable to simply stop using drugs.
  2. Once you go through detox, you’ve beaten your addiction.

    Not all of those with substance use disorders remain substance-free after detox. Many people will need additional treatment to refrain from becoming dependent on drugs or alcohol again.
  3. If you’re addicted, it’s your parents’ fault.

    Though there is a strong genetic component to the susceptibility to substance misuse or addiction, it’s not the only factor. Even if your parents have a substance use disorder, that does not mean that you have to have one too.
  4. Everyone who gets high or drunk is addicted.

    Addiction is characterized by the physical and psychological response to the substance, not necessarily by the frequency of use.
  5. Addiction is only a risk with illicit drugs.

    There are millions of people with a substance use disorder who will tell you otherwise. Cocaine, methamphetamines and heroin are powerful drugs, but they’re not the only ones that can lead to a substance use disorder. Alcohol is a substance that can also bring about a substance use disorder.
  6. It’s impossible to get addicted to a drug that is prescribed by your doctor.

    Physicians are knowledgeable, but they don’t know how every individual responds to every drug. That’s why some people that have been prescribed oxycodone or other opioids for legitimate reasons sometimes find themselves unable to stop taking the drugs.
  7. There’s no addiction concern if you have a high tolerance.

    Actually, the opposite is true. If you consume numerous drinks, smoke several joints or take multiple pills without feeling any effects, you likely have a serious drug or alcohol problem.
  8. If your home and work lives are stable, you aren’t addicted.

    Addiction affects everyone differently. If you’re consistently working or enjoying your domestic life, it could mean that these aspects of your existence will be the last to be impacted by substance misuse before you hit rock bottom.
  9. Taking methadone or other medications to combat addiction is just trading one drug for another.

    Often, these prescribed drugs will help wean your body off of its physical addiction without providing a feeling of euphoria. When used correctly, such medications can help ease your recovery process.
  10. If you relapse, you’ve failed.

    Drug treatment professionals treat recurrences of use as speed bumps in the recovery process, not fatal pitfalls. Almost all successful recovery programs are honed using trial and error, which oftentimes includes adjusting medications or treatment tactics after a recurrence of use.
Teenage girl drinking
  1. Rehab doesn’t actually work.

    On the contrary, about one-third of those with an alcohol use disorder who complete rehab remain substance-free and symptom-free for at least a year, and 40 to 60 percent of those with substance use disorder experience a setback in their recovery.
  2. Rehab only works if you voluntarily enter the program.

    Research has revealed that substance treatment success rates are similar between those who are encouraged to enroll in rehab (by parents, employers or judges) and those who register for treatment on their own accord.
  3. You must be a religious person in order for rehab to work.

    This myth likely arose due to the “submission to a higher power” aspect of 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. However, there are plenty of rehab programs like LifeRing and SMART Recovery facilities that are available for atheists and agnostics.
  4. Once you leave rehab, you’re “cured” of your addiction

    Recovery is a never-ending journey because a substance use disorder is a lifelong condition. Cravings, urges and habits can be kept at bay, but they never vanish completely.
  5. No one can help a person who is addicted.

    The truth is, family members and friends can have a positive impact on the recovery efforts of those who misuse substances.

Sure, recovering from addiction is no picnic. But there’s no need to fall victim to the myths surrounding rehab, drug treatment and recovery programs. Like many other things, the more information you have about addiction and how to conquer it, the greater your chances are of a successful recovery.

Need more information about drug treatment programs? Contact Next Generation Village today.

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