The Most Common Myths About Addiction

There can be a lot of misconceptions about substance abuse and addiction because of stereotypes or preconceived ideas of what an addict is. Those who have never experienced an addiction could believe certain myths about it and even an addict can believe these same ideas about themselves.

It is only when people begin to understand the true nature of addiction that they can dispose of these myths and see an addict with more compassion for their problem. Learning more about what addiction really is can also help an addict themselves be more successful in their recovery.

Addiction Is Not A Choice

One of the biggest myths that still remain prevalent about addiction is that it is really a choice and an addict should be able to stop. This myth can lead people to look down on an addict for failing to quit or for the addict themselves to be frustrated and self-critical with their lack of progress.

What more people need to understand is that substance abuse can actually alter the brain in ways that make it very difficult to quit. It is not a matter of simple self-control but of dealing with chemical changes that increase compulsive behavior. With substance abuse treatment, an addict stands a better chance of quitting rather than relying on will-power and self-control.

Addiction Stereotypes

Some of the myths that exist about addicts are based on stereotypes of what people perceive a person with addiction to look or act like. They might think an addict is typically a person who is unemployed or of a lower economic status, involved in crime or violence or from certain ethnic or cultural backgrounds.

The truth is that addiction has many faces and an addict in rehab for drugs could be from any sort of status or background and they look and act the same way as anyone else. A person with an addiction could be a co-worker or family member that functions in everyday life but is adept at hiding their abusive behavior. Having an addiction does not automatically mean being a degenerate, it means having a disease that can happen to anyone.

Addiction Is Not Incurable

Another belief about addiction that can be damaging for the people that hope to recover is that it is an incurable disease or that they will never quit. The important thing to understand about addiction is that it takes time and work to get rid of the same way it would with any other mental or even physical illness.

Substance abuse requires professional treatment in a rehab center for addiction and for some people it can take several attempts to finally quit. Experiencing relapse does not mean an addict is hopeless or will never get rid of their problem. Relapse is something they want to avoid but even after faltering there is still more to learn that will eventually lead to a complete recovery. 

Widespread Problem

Taking a look at some of the biggest myths related to addiction can shed more light on this widespread problem and give people the chance to second guess their attitudes about drugs.  Addiction is a treatable illness that can happen to anyone caught in circumstances beyond their own control.