7 Myths About Drug Abuse and Addiction
When you learn that a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may be furious, distraught, disbelieving – it’s normal to experience a whole spectrum of emotions, especially if it came as a shock. Negative feelings can arise due to the vast amount of myths and stigma surrounding addiction.
In order to support your loved one’s recovery, these myths need to be replaced with fact. Understanding this terrible disease will allow you to relate and support the addicted person in their rehabilitation.
At SOBA College Recovery, one of the leading drug rehab centers in NJ, we want to inform people about the truth surrounding drugs, addiction and recovery. We know it’s the key to banishing addiction and helping friends and family deal with the reality of drug abuse.
Without further ado, here are the most commonly held myths about addiction, and what you should know instead.
1. Good People Don’t Take Drugs
According to Promises Treatment Center, 27.1 million people over the age of 12 used illicit drugs in 2015 – about 1 in 10 Americans. A Pew Research Center survey in 2017 found that 46% of Americans say they have a close friend or relative who has been addicted to drugs. Are they all bad people? Of course not.
The stigma that drug users are ‘bad’ is neither true nor helpful. Ordinary, everyday, good people are sometimes driven to drugs as a coping mechanism for life, for thousands of reasons. Sometimes life just gets too much and taking a drug to remedy it seems a good idea at the time. The problem is, this can quickly turn into an addiction out of the person’s control.
2. People Can Stop Using Drugs If They Want To
If quitting drugs was easy, addiction wouldn’t exist. Entering rehab is not something anyone wants to do, but it is often a last resort when someone has tried their best to quit on their own. Withdrawing from drugs entails a lot of physical and mental pain. It’s the job of rehab centers to support a person through this time with the medical aid they need.
3. The 12-Step Program Is Outdated and Doesn’t Work Today
The 12-step program’s longevity is owed to its success rate. Sure, it doesn’t work for everyone, but rehab centers still employ it today because it is an option that does help people finally quit drugs. It’s there if people want it, and many addiction therapists and psychologists swear by it.
4. Addiction Should Be Kept Quiet
This dangerous myth perpetuates the stigma and shame surrounding addiction, and it is a prime reason why many people do not seek help sooner. Discussing drugs within families – yes, even with mature children – creates an open environment where knowledge is gained, and problems can be shared.
If you aren’t ready to tell your family about your drug use, you could tell a trusted friend, a pastor, or a support group. Telling someone is the first step of acceptance. Addictions can worsen when people are too scared to speak up.
5. I Would Know if My Loved One Used Drugs
The same shame that stops people asking for help also means they are great at hiding their addiction. Many people think they know their friends and family well enough to know if something was wrong – this sadly isn’t always true. Sometimes a person doesn’t find out their spouse or child is using until they are addicted, and that’s why talking about drugs is so important.
6. Getting Sober Means You’re No Longer Addicted
Detoxing from drugs or alcohol is hard – but is just the first step to recovery. Addiction doesn’t end when a person no longer has drugs in their system: it’s a mental condition whereby the brain believes the body needs drugs to function. Staying clean is the person’s next challenge and may be even harder than successfully detoxing.
7. Rehab Doesn’t Work
Some people attempt to get clean on their own because they believe rehab is a waste of time and money. However, medical assistance is highly recommended during withdrawal, and counseling drastically helps reduce the risk of relapse after detox.
If you or someone you know is struggling with drugs or addiction, reach out. SOBA College Recovery is always contactable as the first step of recovering from addiction. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you.