Stereotypes and myths about addiction and recovery are dangerous. They never get addicts the help they need. Often, they can even make situations worse. Such myths about addiction and treatment can cause those who are struggling with addiction to sink deeper into this deadly cycle and succumb to denial.
Here, we are debunking some of the 5 most common myths about addiction and recovery so we can educate and inform.
5 Myths About Addiction and Recovery
1. Addicts can simply stop. Many people who are in active addiction may try to cut down or even completely stop their addiction. They may realize that they have a problem and want to stop, but addiction is a disease. It overtakes the reward system of your brain, affecting your compulsion and motivation, making it hard or even impossible to stop without intervention and treatment.
2. A responsible person can’t be addicted. If a person shows up, gets things done, and is a respectable and productive member of society, how can they be addicted? The thing is, there are highly functional addicts who have their lives in order and appear to have it all, but are leading double lives. Behind closed doors, they have a problem with substance use.
3. Young people can’t be addicted. After all, they’re young and have so much ahead of them. How can they develop addiction, right? Well, age doesn’t matter when it comes to addiction. Neither does gender, economic status, or any other characteristic. Addiction doesn’t discriminate, so when you see a real substance abuse problem, it needs to be taken seriously.
4. Recovery is the cure. Recovery is not an overnight solution. In fact, recovery is really a lifelong journey. Myths about addiction and recovery are detrimental to a person’s sobriety, and thinking that recovery can solve all the person’s problems can even be a reason for relapse. This is because myths can spawn unrealistic expectations that can shatter a person’s belief about addiction and recovery, and therefore hinder their own success in sobriety.
5. Recovery can make a person boring. Many people fear that once they undergo treatment, life as a recovering addict will start to be boring. After all, they’re sober. The thing is, being drunk or wasted or high isn’t the only way to have fun. By being sober, you will find that you can enjoy your life more, free of problems and fears that your years in active addiction can bring.
These are just 5 of the most common misconceptions and myths about addiction and recovery. Unfortunately, there are more that discourage people from getting help or even keep them stuck in denial.