Myths About Addiction
Addiction is a prevalent disease, but society still has a difficult time understanding it. People make assumptions about addiction based on what they see and hear on TV, as well as what they have been taught by others. There are many Myths About Addiction. The problem with these myths (aside from spreading false information) is that they can prevent individuals and families from getting the help they need.
It’s important to talk about addiction and the truths behind this disease. These discussions remind families that they aren’t alone, reduce the stigma of addiction, and encourage people to seek outpatient alcohol and drug abuse treatment in Denver. We have more treatment options and approaches than ever before!
Below are 10 interesting myths about addiction and the facts you need to know.
Myth #1. Addicts are typically unemployed people living on the streets.
It’s convenient to think that most addicts are homeless people who are choosing their lifestyle for themselves. But this is just not true.
According to SAMHSA, 70 Percent of Illicit Drug Users are Employed Full or Part-Time. Considering that there are over 22 million illicit drug users, that’s a lot of people going to work while also struggling with addiction. Most heavy drinkers and binge drinkers are also employed.
Without help, working addicts are likely to lose their jobs over time. Eventually, the addiction will probably affect their work performance. This is why it’s important for people to know that addiction is not a moral failing. It’s a brain disease that requires treatment. The sooner people know that outpatient rehab in Denver is available, the sooner they can get help.
Myth #2. Drugs and alcohol cause permanent brain damage.
As a brain disease, one might believe that addiction causes long-term brain damage. But science has taught us that the Brain Cells can Regenerate Just like other Cells in the Body. So, it is possible to have a full recovery over time. And by following an effective, evidence-based treatment program, you can replace old brain cells with new, better cells.
Myth #3. Drug addicts can stop using if they really want to.
To someone without a substance abuse problem, it’s easy to assume that others can just stop using. Turning down that extra drink or finding other things to do aside from getting high – isn’t that what the rest of us do?
Recreational drug and alcohol use is a choice. That is true. But once the addiction takes hold, it becomes an obsession that people can’t control. The addiction changes the brain chemistry so that it’s focused on carrying out certain behaviors. Even if a person can overcome the mental cravings, the withdrawal symptoms start.
Battling the physical, mental, and emotional effects of addiction are just too much for a person to simply stop. Addicts need professional Denver treatment centers to stop the cycle.
Myth #4. Addicts have one substance they like to use.
It’s understandable why people think this myth is true because we often refer to people as “heroin addicts” or “alcoholics.” But in reality, most addicts mix substances. Addiction is more about the experience than it is the substance.
The fact that addicts do mix substances is concerning, as this raises the risk for overdose and death. As the addiction grows more severe, addicts will often mix whatever they can to get the greatest effects.
Myth #5. Addiction only happens to certain demographics.
Again, it’s easy to think that addiction is only something that affects lower-income individuals hanging out in the alleys. But the majority of people with substance use disorders are living and working among us. They’re intelligent, creative, and successful individuals with jobs, families, and hobbies.
Sadly, millions of addicts suffer in silence because of the Stigma and Judgement that Surrounds Addiction. And once the addiction is in full force, it changes people and causes them to do things they wouldn’t normally do. Bottom line: Addicts are not bad people making bad choices – they are driven to these things by a compulsive brain disease.
Myth #6. Addiction is a sign of weakness.
Addicts are not weak. Even people who are successful and determined can fall victim to this disease. Instead, addiction is much more complex and involves biological, psychological, environmental, and social factors. With So Many Root Causes of Addiction, it’s difficult to know what creates the perfect storm for some people.
Myth #7. Drug addicts need to hit rock bottom before they accept help.
This is a dangerous myth to believe because “rock bottom” can mean overdose or death. Actually, addiction can be treated at any time. In fact, the earlier you can treat addiction, the better, because it may not have led to mental, emotional, physical, or financial problems yet.
So where did this myth come from? Some addicts say they reach an epiphany that leads them to get help. Pain is a catalyst for change, after all. But rock bottom can mean something different to everyone. For you or a loved one, knowing there’s a problem should be enough to seek outpatient treatment and rehab in Denver.
Myth #8. Prescription drugs are not addictive when used properly.
While it’s true that following a doctor’s orders is the best way to use substances safely, this is not enough for some people. Certain prescription medications like opioids, anti-anxiety meds, and stimulants (used to treat ADHD) can be habit-forming even when used correctly.
Myth #9. Addicts need criminal punishment to change their behaviors.
Do addicts need punishment or do they need help?
We do believe in holding addicts accountable for their actions, so we’re not saying that they should be relieved of any punishments. However, Criminal Punishment is not the Best Way to Treat Addiction. After serving jail time, people with substance use disorders will usually return to their old ways and end up back in jail.
Scare tactics don’t work. Addiction is a compulsive brain disease that requires intense rehabilitation, including detox, counseling, and aftercare. It’s possible that a better option for addicts who commit crimes is court-ordered addiction treatment that blends together punishment and treatment.
Myth #10. People only get addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Even though most people associate addiction with drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, any behavior or activity can become addictive when it makes us feel good. Non-Substance Addictions are Called Behavioral Addictions and they can result in physical, emotional, and financial harm. These addictions benefit from therapy and support groups. Otherwise, they’ll continue ruining lives just as drug and alcohol addictions can.
Let’s End the Addiction Myths with Proper Education
What do you think about these myths? Are you surprised by any of them? Addiction is a difficult disease to understand, which is why continued education is crucial. Continuum Recovery Center of Colorado aims to support the entire family unit so they can help their loved one recover from addiction in a safe and supportive setting. Contact us today to learn more about our rehab facilities in Denver and how they can support your family unit.