Drug and alcohol addiction may be one of the most misunderstood diseases out there. Most people who haven’t experienced it have an incorrect view of what addiction is, how it comes to be, and what it does to a person. We at The Ridge, a premier drug and alcohol abuse rehab center, believe that educating addicts and their loved ones about addiction is one of the best ways to help foster understanding, support, and recovery, so we rounded up some of the most common myths about addiction so we could help explain them.
Myth #1: Addiction is the sign of a weak person.
Many people think that getting hooked on a drug or on alcohol means that the addicted person is weak-willed or irresponsible. People who think this imagine that one gets addicted to drug by choosing to take large amounts of drugs without worrying about the consequences. This isn’t true. Many people get hooked on opiates or benzodiazepines prescribed to them by their doctors. Others are genetically predisposed to addiction and find themselves addicted after using the same amount of a substance as friends who do so without becoming addicted.
Becoming an addict isn’t a matter of weakness. It is a disease – Springfield, Ohio. The Ridge treats this disease with as much care as one would a physical illness. Contact us to learn more.
Myth #2: Addicts could recover if they just chose to stop.
People who aren’t addicted don’t always understand the compulsion that comes with addiction. They think “I can stop drinking whenever I want to. An alcoholic ought to be able to do the same. If they can’t, it’s because they aren’t as strong as me.” To the layman, it seems obvious when someone’s addiction is destroying their life. They might think “it’s so obvious how destructive their drug or alcohol use is. Why don’t they just stop?” The thing is, an addict probably knows exactly how much their addiction is ruining their life. However, once someone becomes addicted, they can’t choose to stop. Addiction alters the brain so that not taking the drug or drinking alcohol brings about nigh-unbearable withdrawal symptoms, and makes it so they are unable to feel pleasure without the drug.
Myth #3: One day, an addict will be able to safely drink or take drugs in moderation.
Some people assume that once someone is treated, detoxified, and off of drugs for a while, that means that addiction has been cured. However, anyone who has struggled with addiction knows that this isn’t the case. Addiction is never “cured,” the addict simply goes into recovery, a state that they have to work to maintain every day. Their brain is still vulnerable to the mood-altering effects of drugs or alcohol, and using them will lead to a relapse almost every time. For the best chance of lasting sobriety, recovering addicts should stay active in support groups and aftercare, and know that they should never even attempt to consume drugs or alcohol in any quantity.
Myth #4: You need to be Christian to do a 12-Step Program
Some people are wary of 12-step programs offered in drug or alcohol abuse rehab because they talk about a “higher power.” For non-believing patients, they may worry that the program will force them to feign belief in a deity. In reality, 12-step programs don’t require being part of any belief system. While many equate the “higher power” mentioned in the program with a deity, the important thing is that the addict realizes that they are not the highest power and they need help to heal themselves. Even if the “higher power” is the addict’s collective friends and family, admitting that help is necessary for recovery is what really matters.