Sober living

7 Common Myths About Addiction

Your doctor should always consider your health conditions, current, and past drug use, as well as alternative medications before prescribing a potentially addictive drug to treat your symptoms. If you feel uncomfortable taking a medication that your doctor prescribed, there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking a second opinion or asking your doctor about alternative options. Speak with professionals at your treatment center to find out the best way to end addiction in your life, once and for all. For all of these reasons, it’s important to seek professional help right away if you’re struggling with substance abuse. Did a person with diabetes eat sweets every day to get the disease? So, why do so many people believe the common myth that alcoholics drink every day?

myths about addiction

So, the stress from moving away from everyone you know, getting a new job, or going to college can be enough to cause a person to return to bad habits. Regardless if an addict is drinking, gambling, or using drugs – even in private – it eventually does begin to hurt people around them. Addiction can not only affect others, but it can also ruin other people’s lives, especially those closest to the person. Addiction can also destroy relationships because, let’s face it, it’s not easy to see a loved one suffer. This type of disease usually causes behavioral changes in people, leading to them acting differently towards their friends and family members. Addiction is a disease, and it is comparable to physical ailments like diabetes or heart disease.

Even if yourinsurance won’t cover drug rehab, some recovery centers offer financial aid or payment programs. Your employer may be willing to help with costs, or a family member may be able to help. The long-term costs of addiction are far greater than the short-term costs of medical treatment. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 40% to 60% of those who get substance abuse treatment will relapse within 1 year.

Common Myths About Addiction Recovery, Debunked

However, these drugs are very dangerous when abused, primarily when it occurs with young adults and teens. Many prescription drugs are commonly abused, including narcotic pain medications, ADHD medications, and anxiety drugs. Prescription medications can be more deadly than illicit drugs and it’s estimated that around five young people die daily from overdoses with these medications. Benzos, which were previously considered non-addictive, are now considered by the FDA to be addictive as well. Some people think that because a doctor prescribed a drug, it’s not “as bad” as street drugs like heroin, crack, or cocaine. The opioid crisis has helped dispute that myth about addiction.

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Prescription drugs like ADHD medication or narcotic pain medication can be and are abused if not taken under a doctor’s supervision. For example, a report from the National Institute on Drug Abusereported that an estimated 18 million people in the U.S. misused prescription medications in the past year. However, it’s important to know that addiction treatment will not “fix” an addict.

Binge drinking is also risky, accounting for almost 50% of deaths from excessive alcohol use. Furthermore, alcohol is responsible for impaired driving deaths. At least one American dies every 52 minutes from drunk driving.

The concept of addiction is clouded with many misconceptions and assumptions, making it difficult for friends and family members to truly understand what an addicted loved one is going through. There are countless myths floating around about drug abuse, addiction, and alcoholism, but here are just a few of the most common myths and misconceptions. It’s a force that can take control of anyone regardless of their life circumstances. Once it takes hold, addiction can cause a person to change. They may become unavailable to family and friends, steal for money or drugs, or make bad choices they wouldn’t have otherwise made. But, the fact is that they aren’t addicts because they lack moral fiber or because they are weak or bad people.

myths about addiction

Relapse is always a risk, but that risk can greatly diminish the longer you’re in recovery. Addiction is still a rather misunderstood and controversial topic in society, making it difficult for people to seek professional help. There are several misconceptions and myths about addiction, leading to individuals being stigmatized or alienated from society.

Common Myths About Substance Addiction

Many people believe prescription drugs are safer than illicit drugs just because they are recommended by a doctor. In fact, prescription opioids are the most commonly abused prescription drugs. This can’t last forever, but in many cases, loved ones don’t find out about the problem until it has completely spiraled out of control. High-functioning addicts may be able to function for a while, but in the end, the truth always makes itself known.

  • While it’s easy to view their current state as a sign of weakness, focus on the strength they show by admitting there is a problem and asking for help.
  • It takes a constant effort and unconditional support to stay ahead of the disease.
  • In fact, rehab facilities have made great strides in developing treatments for people who struggle with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Did a person with diabetes eat sweets every day to get the disease?
  • She graduated Magnum Cum Laude from Purdue University with a B.S.

The substance becomes a craving, an obsession that can become more important than other aspects of life. Getting well involves changing deeply embedded behaviors. This takes time and effort and sometimes results in setbacks. This doesn’t mean previous treatments failed, because the person with addiction still made progress overall in getting well. A recurrence may be a sign that the treatment approach or other supports need to change, or that other treatment methods are needed. Many people believe that addiction is a sign of weakness.

Addiction changes the way a person’s brain and body functions, inhibiting their ability to resist their substance of choice. When drugs are abused, pleasure chemicals are released in the brain, and over time, this release of chemicals modifies the parts of the brain that control pleasure, motivation, and memory. As a result, people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol with experience extreme cravings and frequently end up prioritizing their drug use over life-sustaining necessities like food, water, and shelter. There’s a reason most addiction recovery methods are group-based. It’s been found that overcoming addictive behaviors is more manageable when surrounded by people who understand what you’re going through. Additionally, overcoming addiction alone can be dangerous and even fatal because withdrawal symptoms can lead to death in certain situations.

Be kind and take care of both yourself and the people around you. We’re all in this together and experience different struggles throughout life. Recovery is for every person, every family, and every community. Educating Families We provide resources to millions of families who are looking for information, tools, and support. Getting sober is just the first step on the road to recovery.Staying sober— that’s the next challenge. Ongoing support is important to enabling projects to continue their work, so we encourage donors to continue to contribute to projects over time.

Addicts typically already feel ashamed, especially if they’re in recovery. Shame is one of the powerful emotional drivers behind the continued cycle of addiction, driving addicts to seek solace from their habit or substance. But that doesn’t mean that successfully recovering or recovered addicts somehow have lost the ability or privilege to be talented, capable caretakers. That helps greatly when caring for a loved one, regardless of age or ability/disability. We can’t tell for sure what factors are in every case, only that there is research to back up the involvement of each of the above factors and that every case is different and unique.

#4 Substance Abuse Isn’t Serious if You’re “Functioning”

It is important to talk about addiction openly and honestly so that not only those who need treatment get the support they need, but those around them can understand how to be a positive support system. Worse, the people who care about the person in recovery often double down by expressing disappointment either with words or body language. What has been learned about addiction from research into basic neurobiology and the brain, psychosocial and behavioral factors, and epidemiology. Rehab for addiction, let’s discuss some of the common myths that exist in regards to treatment.

In fact, the NIDAfinds that relapse statistics show that 40-60% of people relapse after completing addiction treatment. “Rock bottom” varies from person to person but it is not a prerequisite for seeking treatment. Recognizing early that an addiction is getting out of hand is crucial. An addiction doesn’t just simply taper off; it will continue to escalate until there is nothing left to lose. But it would be naive to say it is as easy as just recognizing the problem—and then putting a stop to it by seeking treatment. However, encouraging a loved one to seek treatment may give them the motivation they need.

Whether or not you are recovering from drugs, changing any habit can be hard. Having a mental and physical dependence on something makes it that much more difficult. Some people may think that relapsing is a sign of failure. They may feel there’s no hope after a relapse and that they should give up. With the proper support and treatment, you might not relapse. But if you do, it just means you may need to readjust your treatment.

Around 247,000 people in the U.S. died from a prescription opioid overdose from 1999 to 2019. The truth is addiction doesn’t discriminate by type of drug and any substance that you abuse can be dangerous and deadly. If you or a loved one waits to hit eco sober house ma rock bottom to get help, it could be too late. It’s true that you cannot force people into treatment or do the work for them, but if they’re showing warning signs of addiction, getting help sooner rather than later can be a life-or-death situation.

It also implies that people can quit any substance through sheer willpower. Over time, the brain changes and adapts to the substance, making it difficult to quit without help. If you’re battling an addiction to heroin, prescription painkillers, alcohol, or some other substance, it’s crucial to seek treatment right away. Neglecting care can lead to more significant problems, such as using harder drugs or having an overdose. Some people don’t seek treatment because they don’t feel they can do it or aren’t ready to give up the substance. However, other people are blinded by myths concerning addiction that keep them from getting off drugs or alcohol.

Many factors influence a person’s risk factors for addiction, and willpower is not one of them. Addiction often runs in families, and genetics are often to blame. Social factors and untreated mental health issues are all known risk factors for addiction. Amanda is a prolific medical content writer specializing in eating disorders and addiction treatment. She graduated Magnum Cum Laude from Purdue University with a B.S. As a person in recovery from disordered eating, she is passionate about seeing people heal and transform.

  • By using these guidelines, you can better identify programs that will promote and empower your lasting recovery.
  • No one should feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help to get their life back on the right track.
  • Benzos, which were previously considered non-addictive, are now considered by the FDA to be addictive as well.
  • Amanda is a prolific medical content writer specializing in eating disorders and addiction treatment.
  • As a person in recovery from disordered eating, she is passionate about seeing people heal and transform.

It may just mean that they need to try a different approach. Perhaps, it may help to choose a different rehab facility. It may be “free”, but, it’s not the safest way to end substance use. This can be problematic, especially because addiction is not just the physical use of drugs and alcohol.

Five Common Myths About Addiction (And Five Truths!)

It’s not uncommon to refer to some addictions as more “serious” than others. But, it’s important to realize that this can actually be a dangerous way to look at addiction. See, many people feel that “severe” or “serious” addictions are the type of substance use problems that cause people to lose their jobs, families, and homes. This leads individuals to believe that those who have not “hit rock bottom” are what people call “functioning addicts” and may not need intensive care. For many individuals, this is the “free alternative” to an addiction treatment program.

While an inpatient alcohol and drug rehab program may have been a fantastic choice for your mom, your coworker may benefit more from an outpatient drug rehab program. Much of it will depend on personal circumstances, the person’s current and past drug use, and any previous treatment they have received in the past. Doctors can prescribe medications that are effective for treating pain and other conditions.

Studies show that people who volunteer for treatment and those who were pressured into it still experience the same success rates. If a loved one isn’t ready to begin treatment, at least they are aware of the option to get better, so don’t wait to express your concerns. Prolonged exposure to drugs alters the brain in ways that result in powerful cravings and a compulsion to use. These brain changes make it extremely difficult to quit by sheer force of will. The information on this website is not intended to be a substitute for, or to be relied upon as, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified health provider with questions regarding a medical condition.

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