A lot of misconceptions revolve around the topic of substance abuse, affecting both addicts and the people who care about them, as well as the general perception of the addiction in society. These misleading beliefs significantly depict addicts in lousy light, mostly showing them as the hopeless outcasts of the society.
However, addicts of the real world are ordinary people; they are somebody’s children, spouses, friends, cousins and so on.
So, let’s talk about several the most common myths that addiction is being associated with:
Being Addicted is a Moral Weakness
In a significant number of modern society’s substance abuse is stereotypically seen as a disruption of moral sets and norms of the society with the only way out being sanctioning to a jail term or forced treatment. However, the change in this old-fashioned mindset is evident since a high number of the doctors who are looking into the matter of addiction agree that it is more of a brain disease than a moral crime, which is most successfully treated through rehabilitation.
Having a Stable Life – You Can Not Be an Addict
It is perceived that successful people with careers and families cannot possibly be a part of the substance abuse world. This kind of belief is entirely baseless since material wellbeing and family never worked and the sort of immunity from life or mental issues which can result in even prescription drugs’ addiction.
When it comes to addiction, social status does not matter.
Addiction Bespeaks the Lack of Willpower
For centuries, the usual attitude towards addiction was that those who have been using were merely lucking strength in life to deal with their substance abuse problem. Nevertheless, nowadays an entirely different approach towards understanding the working mechanism of addiction exists.
Jessie Gould in her research “Is Drug Addiction a Disease or Choice?” argues that “drug addiction follows a similar pattern to other chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes. The patient will go into remission but may have several relapses before beating the disease entirely. And like these diseases, addiction too can be treated and managed.”
So, if the case is that the addict tries to fight the addiction, as if it was any other disease, on his\her own, and it keeps ending up with relapses one time after the other, it’s not because of the lack of will-power, but because that person is in need of the proper and guided treatment.
Relapse Means Never Being Able to Recover
The myth of the relapse bringing an end to the ability to recover still does exist and does contribute to, unfortunately, a significant number of addicts losing faith and setting the stone of self-inflicted doubts.
To dispel the myth, relapse is a natural element of the recovery process for anyone who attempts it. Thus, falling back into addiction, even for the shortest period, merely indicates that the treatment technique should be changed or modified.
Being Sober is Living Boring Life
This is probably one of the worst myths to hold on to, since one of the biggest fears for most of the addicts, perhaps, is the feeling of loneliness and not belonging. And, whereas, it’s evident that sober life will bring about changes and differences from what the regularities of the growth in addiction were, that should never be associated with immediate boredom and the feeling of being an outcast.
Life in sobriety just comes as a blank page, allowing you to start writing your own, new, life-story. It means that you are given another chance to make things better for yourself and the people around you who care; that you are shown who your real friends are; and that new people, emotions, and passions are about to come into your life and seek your attention.
Prescription Drugs will Not Get You Addicted
In this case, the myth is partially true, upon condition that any medications are taken only in the prescribed quantity and throughout the time that the doctor considers being necessary. However, any self-medicating for an even short period can be dangerous and addictive. Some prescription drugs are hazardous if overused or taken in combination with the medication which is not determined by the physician.
So, it is safer to stay in touch with your doctor and not do any self-medicating.
“The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics are wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.”
― Russell Brand