Four Myths about Addiction Debunked
Substance abuse, whether it is alcohol or drugs, can be a tricky topic, and there are many myths floating around about addiction that should be addressed to avoid the spread of false information. This is especially important if you or a loved one is facing the struggles of addiction, as the issue is personal and relevant to you.
1. Myth: Addiction is a Choice
This belief may arise from the knowledge that an individual has control over whether or not they take a drink of alcohol or use drugs, but the actual addiction itself is not a choice. An individual may choose to cope with their problems with these substances, but what they don’t have control over are the changes in their brain that evolve over time with the use of the substance.
There are also genetic differences in individuals that can make them more prone to substance abuse. So although the beginning stages of exposure to the substance is the responsibility of the individual, it is important to understand that once they have reached the stage of addiction, it is not simply an on/off switch that you can turn off.
This is important because most addicts will require professional help and treatments to overcome this disease, so friends and loved ones shouldn’t be expecting them to just turn it off easily.
2. Myth: The Individual Has to Want Treatment for it to Work
The idea behind this is that an unwilling individual will not respond to drug treatment in the desired way, but this is not the case. Most addicts are not eager to go into rehabilitation, but are often pushed into it by encouragement from their loved ones or even a court order.
As NIDA reported, though, many people that enter substance abuse programs are forced to face the underlying reasons that they abused drugs or alcohol. The effectiveness of the treatment doesn’t rely on the state of mind of the individual, which allows more addicts to be treated and set on the path of recovery.
3. Myth: One Cure Works for All
Just because you know someone who used to be an addict and was treated by specific medications or therapy, this doesn’t mean that the same treatments will work for another person. Everybody’s body and brain will respond to medications or therapy in different ways, so it is important that an expert helps the addict find the right method of recovery for his or her own personal needs.
4. Myth: Anyone Who Drinks or Uses Drugs Often will Become Addicted
While this may be a very common idea, it is not true for everyone, as there are other factors that play into whether or not an individual will develop addiction. According to the University of Texas, there have been studies that have proven that addiction can be hereditary.
Therefore, even if alcohol or drugs become an individual’s coping mechanism, this does not necessarily mean they will develop an actual addiction to the substance.
For the sake of you or a loved one who may experience addiction, it is important to understand what the truth is regarding this issue. If you have any questions or concerns, just call 800-605-6597 for expert advice and answers to your questions.