Addiction Myths That Undermine Recovery

Many negative stigmas and false rumors tend to surround the topic of addiction. Oftentimes people falsely believe that addiction is a choice, not a mental disease. On top of this, addicts become associated with traits of cowardice, irresponsibility, and being compulsive liars. The fact is many addicts form these habits through addiction and may gradually become aware of their actions.

As with addicts themselves, countless false norms and myths surround addiction itself. Not only do these assumptions spread flat-out lies, but they can discourage and even undermine an addict’s recovery.

Taking the time to properly educate not only about addicts but the addiction can prevent a lot of headaches. Widely spread rumors can be easy to believe, but research can provide a better understanding for everyone involved in addictions.

Treatment Requires Shaming

The habit of addiction is by no means something to be proud of. In fact, most addicts are deeply ashamed of these unhealthy habits and go out of their way to hide it. Furthermore, friends or family tend to shame addicts in reaction to discovering their drug abuse. Some may be surprised, however, that this is by far one of the worst ways to handle the problem.

Addicts commonly become labeled as weak-willed, sickly, and immoral people, creating hostility between family and friends. This is how shaming becomes instilled in relationships, and addicts ultimately may end up abandoned.

While it is true that addicts are guilty of mistakes, being one does not make them terrible people. Punishment does not work as a means of absolution for them but instead make the problem even worse. Rather than shaming a drug user, related parties should help them and encourage healthy decisions instead.

People Only Become Addicted to One Substance

One outdated yet collective belief is that a drug abuser is limited to one substance at a time. The truth is, it is actually more common for addicts to abuse multiple drugs.

Known as polysubstance abuse, highs can be given strengthened effects or used to weaken the side effects of another drug. An example would be using alcohol to calm the stress that comes from stimulants or combining heroin and cocaine. Some addicts simply abuse drugs interchangeably, opting for alcohol one night, cigarettes the next evening, and prescription drugs later.

This polysubstance abuse is not only dangerous, but ignorance towards it can hurt recovery as a whole. By ignoring the possibility, you are treating only one addiction and not the other. Ignoring polysubstance can also undermine an addict’s problems altogether, and damage morale in recovery.

Prescription and Illegal Drug Addiction Are Different

One of the most common misconceptions is that there is a stark difference between prescription and illegal drug addiction. Paved with good intentions, many consider prescription drugs inherently safer than illegal drugs.

Abuse of the latter may open a legal can of worms, but prescription drugs are not any less severe. Heavy abuse of prescriptions may have side effects just as severe and deadly. By ignoring prescription drugs for illegal drugs, this gives addicts the impression that they have fewer issues.

candle 1281245 640This not only undermines the addiction itself but the recovery and the process of it. Parents of addicted teens may even disregard the problem and outright believe prescription drugs are safer. Shattering such misconceptions is crucial not only in preventing addiction, but encouraging recovery for the addicts who suffer.

If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, contact a local Treatment & Rehab alternative in Tennessee. You might be interested in Discovery Place’s own treatment center alternatives, such as our 30 Day Residential Addiction Alternative Recovery Program or our Long Term Alternative Recovery Program in Burns, Tennessee. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-725-0922.

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