Addressing Common Myths About Drug Addiction
There are many stereotypical ideas of addicts portrayed on T.V and in movies. These misconceptions can have a negative impact on addicts and how people perceive them in everyday life. People often have the idea that individuals suffering from drug addiction are “all the same.”
The reality is that addicts are just everyday people and they do not fit a “mold” of what some people may think. Individuals struggling with addiction are daughters & sons, brothers & sisters, fathers & mothers. It is important to help people understand that these myths or stereotypes simply are not the truth when it comes to addiction.
Below is a list of common myths about drug addiction and why these myths are not accurate perceptions of those struggling with addiction.
- Addiction is a choice: Although people do make a decision to use drugs, it is important to recognize that addiction is not a choice. Prolonged drug use changes the body and rewires the brain to a point where the body depends on the drug for survival. At this point, drug use is no longer a choice.
- An addict must hit rock bottom before receiving help: The term “rock bottom” is subjective. Although some people may need to “hit rock bottom” before seeking treatment for addiction, early detection can provide many benefits. Early identification of addiction occurs at the first signs of a problem. With early identification of addiction patients often times are better equipped to work on recovery.
- Drug addiction is part of a character flaw: Addiction is a chronic, life threatening, and potentially fatal disease and must be treated as such. It is not a character flaw in an individual.
- There is only one right way to recover from addiction: Personalized treatment programs are a critical part of addiction treatment. Each person is unique and requires an individualized approach to addiction treatment for long-term success in recovery. The use of medical treatment, individual therapy, group therapy, and other activities provides a unique combination of treatments for the individual.
- Drug addicts are bad people: The idea that all addicts are bad people is simply untrue and unfair. The reality is that a person from any background can develop a substance abuse problem. No one ever plans to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. The idea that an individual does not fit the typical stereotype of an addict can give them the dangerous false belief that addiction will never happen to them.
- All drug addicts fit a stereotype: The idea that all drug addicts fit a certain stereotype of young, unemployed, homeless, or criminals is a dangerous misconception. In reality there are many faces of addiction; young, old, wealthy, and poor. Addiction affects individuals from every walk of life and in any stage of life. People often think that addiction is something that could never affect them because they don’t fit this stereotype. This idea gives people a dangerous false sense of security to experiment with drugs.
It is important to be aware of the way that common misconceptions about addiction can affect those recovering from drug addiction and those around them. If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction please contact A New Start today at 1.844.TALK.ANS.