When you’re fighting addiction, the road to recovery can feel like a lifetime. The amount of false information about addiction and recovery has scared many who want to recover. Then, there is shame and embarrassment tied to addiction, making the process even more challenging.
Almost everything you have heard about addiction and recovery is wrong. These myths could be hurting you or your family since they make it harder for people to get well.
A support system may be more favorable than you think. Don’t let the misinformation stop you from getting help. So, let’s debunk some myths around addiction and recovery to clear the air:
Myth 1: Drug abuse is a choice, and it’s the person’s fault that they took it
No one would ever consciously choose addiction, just as no one would ever give themselves cancer. Many factors have a role in addiction, including genetics, environment, trauma, and other influences. Addicts are usually unhappy people who wouldn’t choose to live that way if given the opportunity. Likewise, some give in to peer pressure and begin indulging in various substances. Nonetheless, most of them want to consider treatment options and regain a healthy life.
Myth 2: Addiction is a character flaw
It’s not. Every addictive substance has its unique mechanism for altering brain function. However, many of the impacts of addiction on the brain are similar, ranging from changes in the molecules/cells that make up our brain to mood shifts, changes in memory functions, and motor skills like walking and talking.
These shifts have a significant impact on every area of a person’s conduct. The substance becomes the most substantial incentive in the life of the addict. As a result, the addict is willing to go to great lengths to get the drug. That’s because drug usage has altered the person’s brain alongside its functioning.
Myth 3: The one who relapses is a lost cause
A relapse or reappearance of symptoms should not be taken too seriously. Addiction is a chronic health issue that requires lifelong management, just like any other disease. Addiction is no more prone to relapse than other chronic disorders.
Getting better necessitates a shift in deeply ingrained habits, taking a lot of time and effort. Therefore, it can sometimes lead to failure. But this does not imply that earlier therapies were ineffective. A relapse may indicate that the treatment strategy or other supports need to be adjusted or require a new treatment strategy.
Myth 4: If you’re addicted, you’re a terrible person
Nobody ever plans on becoming an addict, and it is a force that takes hold regardless of your life situation. Addiction can make someone steal money or drugs or make irrational decisions.
However, they are not an addict because they were the wrong person. Instead, they may become agitated and make poor decisions due to their addiction.
Myth 5: You must hit rock bottom before you choose a rehab
It is always best to seek assistance before you reach rock bottom. Don’t wait for things to go out of control to seek help. Act immediately.
The consequences of untreated addiction compound over time, becoming increasingly severe. It is always preferable to get treatment sooner rather than later to avoid complications.
Myth 6: The only way to treat addiction is rehab
Inpatient rehab centers are a well-known therapy option. Many people believe that these rehab institutions are their only alternative for therapy. While such programs can benefit many, most people who recover do not attend such programs. So, don’t assume rehab is the only way out for you.
There are many treatment options available, and people with addiction can try as many as they like until they find the one that works for them. There are always numerous paths to recovery.
Myth 7: Detoxification can be a nightmare
Drug detox is challenging, but it’s not impossible. While detoxification is an unpleasant process, it is essential to recovery. Treatment centers do everything they can to make detoxing as safe and painless as possible.
Medication-assisted detox is now available at many facilities, making the procedure more comfortable. This detox entails taking a longer-acting or safer pharmacological substitute for the substance of abuse to help alleviate withdrawal or reduce cravings.
Myth 8: All recovery programs are the same
Wrong. Different types of therapies are available in recovery programs, and you will have a lot of possibilities. No two programs are alike, and some basics are the same, but there’s always something unique.
A crucial decision you must make is whether you want inpatient or outpatient treatment. Inpatient therapy is staying at a treatment facility for an extended period. In contrast, outpatient treatment means visiting a facility for treatment. Each program has its distinct approach to treatment.
Myth 9: No one will understand me
Many people who struggle with alcohol and substance abuse feel like they don’t belong anywhere. And this is usually the reason why they choose the path of addiction in the first place. It is a rather typical problem. Low self-esteem often leads to drug abuse.
Most users don’t consider how drug usage can exacerbate low self-esteem and make you feel even worse about yourself. This fear should not be used as an excuse to refuse treatment. Besides, you’ll almost certainly discover common ground with the other people in the program. It might help you keep going. According to Abbeycare Foundation, it is possible to overcome an addiction, and asking for help is totally worth it.
Myth 10: The treatment must work the first time
Relapse is a constant aspect of recovery from addiction. It does not imply failure, and many treatments are essential to make things work.
Some people can successfully quit drugs or alcohol only after staying in a treatment center. Others require frequent admissions or attempts. On the other hand, addiction is chronic – it is ongoing. Recovery is a lifelong process that differs from person to person. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment since everyone’s road to recovery is unique. Moreover, no one can promise that treatment will succeed the first time. This journey can be unpredictable.
If you’re concerned about yourself, a family member, or a friend, don’t hesitate. Reach out for help immediately.
Recovery has to start somewhere, whether you’re informing folks for the first time or dealing with someone who has a problem. It will be unpleasant, but that discomfort is nothing compared to the grave hazards of long-term addiction. Be supportive, open, and honest for yourself and the people around you. The rehab process has no time limit; it will go at its own pace.