Author: Alex Thompson

9 Common Myths About Substance Addiction All You Need to Know

myths about addiction and recovery

However, there are specific genetic, social, and psychological risk factors that place someone at a higher risk for addiction. Going “cold turkey” or abruptly stopping drug or alcohol use isn’t always the best way to quit. Going cold turkey can be extremely dangerous with certain drugs or alcohol types. Recovery from addiction is an ongoing process because drug addiction is a chronic disorder.

myths about addiction and recovery

In modern rehab centers, medication-assisted treatment is a common practice. To some, using prescription medication during addiction treatment might seem counterintuitive. But there are marked differences between the prescription medicine in rehab and the drugs a person may be addicted to. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, help is available.

However, these drugs can be dangerous when abused, especially by teens and young adults. According to a report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, among young adults aged 18–25, 14% used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons within the past year. If you are living with an addiction, it doesn’t mean you’re weak. Finding a medical treatment plan or recovery support community can help you heal. While we’re firm believers in the power that comes with education and setting boundaries, we never want loved ones to feel shame or as if it’s their sole responsibility to get someone well. Not everyone will choose to get help – despite our best efforts.

The Long-Term Physical and Mental Effects of Drug Addiction

At Gateway Foundation, we prefer to use the term “medically supervised withdrawal.” “Detox” implies that once the substance you are addicted to leaves your body, all will be well. But the truth is, withdrawing from an addictive substance is only the first step in the process. The myths about addiction are damaging not only to addicts and their families but to all of us. What if the many influential business leaders, inspirational artists, best-selling authors, and history-making politicians who join the ranks of recovering addicts were shamed into silence? By understanding addiction as a brain disease and allowing people to recover in the way that works best for them, we can make significant strides in addressing the nation’s leading public health problem. Brain imaging studies show that differences in the brain are both a cause and effect of addiction.

I am board certified in psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, and addiction medicine. Despite the fact that prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the past decade, the use of “legal” drugs to get high carries less stigma than the use of illicit drugs. These myths hurt families and individuals living with substance use disorders and make it more difficult for people to seek treatment. Some people are skeptical about using a prescription drug to treat a physical dependence caused by a drug. However, these medications are considered an essential tool in reducing the chances of a patient causing harm to themselves or someone else during the withdrawal process.

Debunking Myths About Addiction & Recovery

People are often hesitant to enter recovery because of some of the myths they’ve heard about recovery programs or myths about substance misuse itself. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably heard a lot about drug addiction, but you haven’t heard much about recovery programs or what happens to someone when they decide to fight their addiction. Polysubstance abuse appears to be particularly common among males, those who begin using drugs at an early age, and adolescents and young adults. The cost of rehab with insurance can be much more affordable than paying on your own.

  1. She has written extensively for print and online publications specializing in education and health issues.
  2. She considers drug use itself – as universal as it is – to be the result of despair (Myth I).
  3. Finding a medical treatment plan or recovery support community can help you heal.
  4. Misconceptions about addiction are prevalent in today’s society and contribute to stigma.

Based on this data, it is clear that substance use disorders are far more common than many people realize. Providing compassionate care is key to countering the ongoing public health crisis. Yet these so-called harm reduction approaches have failed to stem the tide of drug deaths.

These FDA-approved drugs are not built to give you a high and are safe to use with a doctor’s oversight. Your doctor will monitor your dosage and help wean you off of the medication when you’re ready. Keep in mind that most people with addiction who experience a recurrence will return to recovery. These myths hurt families and friends – and they make it harder for people to get well.

Common myths about addiction

Some of these substances can create life-threatening withdrawal effects and need to be tapered off. Abruptly stopping a substance also isn’t feasible for most people living with addiction. While some can quit after receiving treatment once at a rehabilitation facility, most of the individuals living with substance abuse require long-term treatment and, in certain cases, repeated treatment. Addiction doesn’t just occur as a result of illicit substances.

Long before drugs enter the picture, there are neurobiological differences in people who become addicted compared to those who do not become addicted. If you tried treatment before but were not able to maintain sobriety, that doesn’t mean that treatment doesn’t work. It simply means you are experiencing what is typical of someone along the journey of addiction recovery. As the National Institute on Drug Abuse explains, 40 to 60% of people in recovery from addiction experience setbacks or relapse. The medications used in rehab are FDA-approved for specific uses. They might be used to calm cravings while your body goes through detox, or help a person with recovery maintenance.

Myths About Addiction That Undermine Recovery

If you are looking to learn more about addiction treatment available in Massachusetts, we can help. Contact our team at Bedrock Recovery Center to learn more about our treatment methods. However, addiction is caused by chemical changes in the brain and, therefore, isn’t about morals. Despite someone going against their morals, those living with addiction feel that they can’t stop using. Changes in brain chemistry caused by addictive substances use the reward pathway of the brain to elicit a feeling of pleasure.

Effective treatment methods for addiction need to consider someone’s personal circumstances and psychological needs. Addiction treatment needs vary from person to person, and not all treatments are effective for every individual. If someone looks at the behavior of someone living with addiction, they may believe that the person lacks morality, but addiction causes compulsion.

There is a misconception that there is only one way to treat addiction, and what works for one person will work for everyone. This can be harmful as it may discourage individuals from seeking treatment if they don’t believe in the prescribed approach. Another common myth is the idea that once someone becomes addicted, they will always have an addiction and can never fully recover. This thinking can discourage individuals from seeking treatment or make them feel hopeless about their future. Learn the truth about common myths surrounding addiction and recovery and find out how seeking help can lead to successful long-term recovery.