All too often, people struggle unnecessarily with drug addiction because of the dangerous myths perpetuated by our society. Knowing what drug addiction really means can help you or someone you care about take the first step towards recovery.
Here we break down some of the myths surrounding drug addiction:
Myth #1: substance abuse is a choice
This is a very harmful myth concerning drug addiction, but it is also one of the most widely believed. Despite studies having proven that addiction is a complex disease of the brain and body, some people still believe that substance abuse is a choice. Undoubtedly, the first time an individual takes a drug, that is a choice. However, once the brain is changed by addiction, it can be seen that that person loses control of their choices – their willpower becomes quickly impaired. The most telling sign of addiction is when a person can no longer exercise this control.
Myth #2: addiction is something to be ashamed of
This myth is linked to the misconception that addiction is a choice. By implying that someone dealing with substance abuse has a lack of willpower or self-control, this adds a level of shame to the addict’s actions. Often addicts are unwilling to admit their problem because they are ashamed of it and this can seriously impair recovery. However, it can be seen that this trend is shifting within the millennial generation. Whereas former generations attended anonymous AA programmes, fearful about ever admitting their addiction, millennials are more focused on building a community of support and sharing their experiences.
Myth #3: addiction is bred out of certain circumstantial factors
Many people still associate substance abuse and addiction with circumstantial factors. These factors are usually tied to other social stigmas which are looked upon negatively, such as low socioeconomic status/background, an unstable family life, or a history of mental illness. Addiction does not discriminate. A lot of people raised in stable, happy, and privileged homes are still susceptible to substance abuse problems. There is no cause and effect link.
Myth #4: dependence is the same as addiction
As much as the lines may be blurred, there still exists a definite difference between being dependent on a substance and being addicted to it. Essentially, it depends on the emotional and social symptoms which are triggered when someone is craving a substance or experiencing withdrawal. To distinguish between addiction and dependency, consider the lengths to which a person is willing to go to get the substance and the way they react without it.
Myth #5: recovery is a lonely process
Whilst it is true that you cannot enable an addict’s behaviour or try and make the changes for them, it is also true that a strong support system is highly beneficial to the recovery process. This may take the form of an addiction rehab facility. If you’re looking for drug and alcohol rehab in Surrey, try a drug and alcohol rehab in Surrey for a supportive and comprehensive recovery programme.