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Published On: Sun, Jul 28th, 2019

The Truth About Addiction Myths

Addiction is a dangerous thing. It’s also something that is widely misunderstood. Below, we’ll explore some of the most common, most damaging myths about addiction, and dissect some of the truths that exist with each of them.

Substance abuse is a choice

facts

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The most basic myth about substance abuse is the most illogical one, but it’s easy to see why it exists. Substance abuse hurts not only the addict, but his or her family and friends as well. It can be easy for those other victims to feel as if the addict is “choosing” the substance over them.

In reality, of course, this “choice” is beyond the control of the addict. Addiction is a disease, and it requires real professional treatment.

Addiction is a personal flaw (or the result of one)

Closely related to the myth of addiction as a choice, is the idea that addiction is a character flaw. Like a person who is just a bit too lazy or a bit too selfish, some people think, perhaps addicts are just a little too “weak” in some way. This is wrong-headed thinking: The reality is that addiction’s grip is powerful enough to control anyone. Because addiction is a disease, it is not a character flaw any more than having cancer or diabetes could be.

Nor is it productive or fair to consider the beginning of a person’s addiction to be related to some flaw. Plenty of addicts begin their journeys with doctor-prescribed pills or normal social drinking. Even if a poor choice was made, addiction is not a proportional “punishment.” It’s a terrible disease that nobody deserves. Addictive substances affect different people differently, and it’s not a person’s choices or flaws that determine the outcome.

Addiction treatment is temporary

Substance abuse can lead to dramatic and immediate treatments. If you’ve abused opioids or alcohol over a long enough span, you’re likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when you quit; you may need to go through a detox period under the supervision of a medical professional.

Once you’re clean, however, the treatment isn’t over — far from it. The reality is that substance abuse recovery is not a one-time thing. Addiction is a lifelong challenge, and those who commit to recovery need to continue to seek therapy and support groups in order to stay on the right path, explain experts who run a Toronto addiction rehab center. Detoxes and rehabs are often vital for getting the process started, but treatment will continue for an addict’s entire life.

Addicts won’t seek treatment until they hit “rock bottom”

Speak to a person about their recovery, and you’re likely to hear about a “rock bottom” — an all-time-low moment that made that person realize that they could no longer live their lives in a terrible way. For many people, rock bottom is what triggers the choice to seek help and pursue recovery.

However, this concept can be a dangerous one if we apply it too broadly. First of all, there’s no neon sign that lights up to alert an addict that he or she has hit rock bottom. In a way, rock bottoms exist because addicts choose treatment, not the other way around. Any addict who chooses to not seek treatment will no doubt hit a lower point soon in the same way that a lost item is always, by definition, in “the last place you look.” 

Secondly, and even more importantly, there’s no need to wait around for a particularly terrible moment in order to seek treatment. While there are plenty of people in recovery with “rock bottom” stories, there are also plenty of individuals who never had one big moment of realization. If you’re suffering from addiction, why wait for further proof? Nothing is stopping you from seeking help right now.

If you get the help you need, you’ll have a chance to earn back the life you deserve. Whether you had a rock bottom moment or not, that’s the important thing: To find recovery and a better life.

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About the Author

- Rupesh Singh is freelance writer and founder of moneyoutline.com You can follow him on Google + & Facebook.

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