Even though addiction has touched most of our lives in one way or another, the topic is still misunderstood. Not everyone who tries alcohol or drugs will become addicted to them, and not everyone who becomes addicted succumbs to the same level of dependence. Common substances that may lead to addiction can include opiates, stimulants, depressants (including alcohol), LSD, and cannabis. Substance use disorders do have consequences that may impact social, legal, educational, familial, and occupational realms, so it’s essential that those suffering do seek help. However, knowing the difference between fact and fiction can help you make better choices in your life and your interaction with addictive substances.
Five Common Misunderstandings About Addiction
There are many myths about addiction that have become more and more common as addiction has spread across the US. Here is a list of five common ones that, while you may have heard them before, are entirely inaccurate:
- “Addiction is always lifelong.” Addiction does not treat everyone in the same manner. For some people, active addiction may be endured for years, while others may learn to cope with their symptoms and begin their recovery more quickly. The length of time may depend on how quickly an individual responds to treatment. In the long run, the goal is always the same: to be able to live a healthy, normal, and productive life, free of drug or alcohol addiction.
- “Addiction is a disease that cannot be cured.” Most experts are in a consensus that addiction occurs due to physical and chemical alterations in one’s brain during their substance use. This does not mean that someone in active addiction cannot begin to fight back against their dependence through different kinds of treatment, such as medication, therapy, and exercise. While this does require hard work from an individual following a treatment plan created with a professional, changes to the brain which occurred during active addiction can be changed back and the person can go on to live a sober life.
- “Willpower is the only thing needed to fight addiction.” Due to changes to the brain when a person uses substances, the brain begins to send intense signals throughout one’s body, leading to cravings and compulsions to continue using. Often, professional help is needed to help the person reverse these changes and learn relapse prevention skills and techniques.
- “No one seeks help until they hit ‘rock bottom.’” Recovery does not happen at the same time for everyone. It can occur during any time within the addiction process. Often, individuals find it easier to follow a sober lifestyle when they seek treatment earlier. By seeking help quicker, there is less chance of continued changes to a person’s brain. The longer that an individual resides in active addiction, the more costs their behaviors tend to incur. In turn, this leads to needing more work in therapy, regarding guilt, shame, and remorse.
- “Attempting treatment has to be an internal decision and must not be forced. If the individual goes into a treatment program against their will, they will fail.” Being under the influence of a substance creates a fog over the person’s thoughts. Anyone (a family member, friend, the legal system, or someone else) may push an addict to seek out treatment. The time away from the mind-altering substance will allow the individual to think more clearly and process what their addiction has cost them.
Finding Treatment to Conquer These Myths
Don’t allow any substance to have power over you and your life! Call the addiction treatment professionals at Discovery Place at 1-800-725-0922 to find an opioid addiction program, an alcohol addiction program, or a cannabis addition program in Burns, Tennessee. We have many options for treatment, including a long-term drug and alcohol addiction recovery program. Our trained professionals at Discovery Place are standing by to begin your path to recovery.