Substance abuse is a process that is complex enough without all of the misunderstandings that seem to be naturally part of how we perceive addiction as an actual disease.
Here are some of the top myths about substance abuse and recovering.
MYTH 1: All you need is will power to overcome the addiction.
The plain truth is that the addict is usually chemically addicted to the substance and has no way of stopping. Prolonged exposure to drugs or alcohol alters the brain in ways that result in cravings too powerful to resist. The user is compulsive, helpless and should be viewed as mentally ill.
MYTH 2: Addiction is a fatal disease that cannot be cured.
It substance abuse experts do agree that it is a disease but that does not mean that you are with your addiction until it kills you. Many people have escaped being a victim of this addiction through the use of therapy and other treatments.
MYTH 3: Addicts must hit rock bottom before getting better.
You do not have to wait to hit a rock bottom before you see results. You can recover from addiction at any point in the process. In fact, the longer you wait to treat the addiction, the more powerful it becomes and the harder it is to treat.
MYTH 4: You can’t force an addict into treatment.
The truth is that an addict will benefit from substance abuse treatment whether they are court-ordered into it or not. Many of them sober up and as their thinking clears grow to adopting the program that is making them healthy. It does help if you have an addict that is willing to change but the outcome is usually successful anyway.
MYTH 5: Once you have relapsed there is no point trying to recover again.
Recovery from substance abuse is a process and one that you need to be patient with. Almost every addict suffers a relapse and must go back to a substance abuse center for further treatment.
The main thing to realize is that each case of substance abuse is individual and that the main thing is to not stick to delusions about what is possible. No case of substance abuse is too bad to be managed with discipline, emotional support and medical treatment.