There are many myths about addiction that continue to plague our society.
The one truth about addiction is that it begins as a behavioral problem and ends up as a biological one. This is what makes it so difficult to understand and to treat.
Here are some common myths about addiction that some people today still may believe:
- Myth #1: Natural drugs are safer than synthetic ones. Many people think that mushrooms or marijuana are safe because they grow from the ground. So does opium. Just because drugs are not manufactured in a lab does not mean that they are not dangerous and do not change brain chemistry.
- Myth #2: Addiction is a matter of choice. Drug use may begin as a matter of choice, but once the brain chemicals and the bodily responses change, it becomes addiction, a brain disease in which there is no longer a choice.
- Myth #3: Drug addiction is a character flaw. Drug addiction is a brain disease. Any drug that is abused changes the molecules and neurons in the brain. This leads to mood changes and other brain functioning problems. As these changes take place, the cells in the brain crave more and more of the drug until it becomes the person’s most powerful motivator.
- Myth #4: Prescription drugs are safe. This is one of the most common fallacies that leads many people into addiction. Drugs prescribed by doctors have powerful effects–and side effects. They require prescriptions so that doctors can decide how much of the drug is safe for the patient. When a patient does not follow the doctor’s guidelines–or when someone obtains a prescription illicitly–tolerance, dependence, and addiction can develop.
- Myth #5: Meeting-makers make it. Some people believe that simply going to AA or NA meetings is enough to stay clean. But a lot of people go to meetings to meet the opposite sex, flirt, go on outings, etc. This may be a good way to meet sober people, but it won’t keep you clean. Meetings are a very important piece of recovery, but sobriety requires active participation and commitment to a healthy lifestyle outside of meetings. And what is the point of going to a twelve-step program if you are not going to do the twelve steps?
- Myth #6: You cannot be addicted if you have a stable job, family, and life. This may be one of the biggest lies that addicted people tell themselves. Just because you have not lost everything dear to you does not mean that you do not have an addiction problem.
- Myth #7: Addiction can be cured. There is no cure for addiction. It is not like cancer or other diseases that can be permanently cured. Addiction is a disease of the brain, spirit, and body. It cannot be cured, but it can be managed so that one never has to use again to live a fulfilled, happy, joyous, and free life.
- Myth #8: Recovery is a religious program. Most recovery programs encourage people to find a higher power. The higher power does not have to look like a traditional god-figure; it can be anything that inspires you to be your best self. The point is to find a spirituality that works for you.
- Myth #9: Addicted people are bad people. This is a stigma that society often has against people with addiction problems–and also one that addicted people can believe about themselves. But all kinds of people, of all ages, backgrounds, races, religions, and genders, can become addicted. Addictive substances are powerful. They take over the brain. How one behaves while addicted does not define who they are.
- Myth #10: A relapse means you have failed. Recovery is progress, not perfection. Addiction is a chronic disease. Forty to sixty percent of people in recovery relapse at least once. A relapse is not a failure; it’s a sign that you need to reevaluate your recovery process. Get back into treatment and make the adjustments necessary to return to your sober life. Every step in the right direction is progress on the road to recovery.
Are you looking for addiction treatment? Contact us today at (877) 958-0778 to learn more about our Georgia addiction treatment clinic. Recovery is possible, and the professionals at Twin Lakes Recovery Center can get you on the right path.