Addiction is plagued by many myths and misinformation, further aggravating the problem and even hindering an addict’s road to recovery. These myths have made it even harder for addicts to seek help and go back to a normal life in their sober state. As recovering addicts, some even feel the stigma brought about by a misinformed society like ours in the Philippines, especially in the more rural areas, where addiction and its symptoms are muddled with superstition.
In this article, we will break the myths surrounding addiction.
- Addiction is a choice. A person can start using drugs or drinking alcohol voluntarily or by choice. Over time, however, something happens and the casual drug use can become a compulsion, which is beyond their control.
- Addiction is a character flaw. It is important for people to understand that addiction is a brain disease. This does not make them bad or immoral people, although addicts to tend to do reprehensible things brought about by changes to their brains. They need treatment, not punishment.
- If one or both your parents are addicts, they you will become an addict too. Alcoholism and drug addiction are not genetic or hereditary. There are no sets of genes that will make a person grow up to be a surefire addict because even if there are genes that predispose them to addiction tendencies, the environment and the person’s experiences, still have more to do with it.
- Drugs are only harmful if you use them for a long time. Different substances cause different effects to the brain and body. Drugs or alcohol, even taken for a short while or for a short time, can alter a person’s mental and physical functions, causing the person to get into accidents, commit crimes, get into trouble, or even cause heart attack, coma or death.
- As soon as you feel normal, the drug is out of the body. Even if the explicit effects of drugs are not felt, traces of the substances are still left in the body and still affect how it functions. For example, cocaine can still be found in the body for up to one week, while a single use of marijuana stays in the body for up to three months.
- Using drugs or drinking alcohol to relieve stress is alright. Doing drugs or drinking alcohol for any reason can lead to dependence and eventually, addiction. It is best to deal with stress and problems head on than to resort to these addictive substances.
- You can only be addicted to one substance. Many addicts today use three or more classes of substances to either create a more intense high or counteract the effects of another drug. This polysubstance, or multiple substance, abuse, entails more risks.
- Addicts don’t need treatment because they can stop if they really want to. Since addiction is a compulsion, addicts find it hard to control themselves and even bring themselves to quit. The false belief that drugs can help you, the withdrawal symptoms, and many other factors make things even more difficult for them to stop.
- Addicts can only change once they hit rock bottom. This is a dangerous myth. If we wait for a person to hit his bottom, it may be too late. Every person has a different bottom and it is always a better idea to seek help early on in the addiction that to wait for that perfect desperate and tragic moment.
- Treatment is a one-shot deal. Addiction is a chronic disorder involving a strong, uncontrollable urge to do drugs or drink alcohol. Going into rehab is not the magic answer and some recovering addicts require long-term and even repeated treatments.
To find out more about addiction and how to seek help for yourself or a loved one, talk to a Rehabilitation Specialist now: 0917 509 8826.