Misconceptions regarding substance abuse abound, making the already challenging lives of those suffering from it even more troublesome.
The high prevalence of these myths further isolates addicts. It hinders their path to recovery, breaking away any sort of emotional support that they could have got from friends and family. Therefore, here we debunk five popular myths, hoping to shed some light and clear the stigma around addiction.
It is arguably the most widespread and disheartening misconception. People simply assume that a person battling addiction is broken beyond redemption, and dangerous to society. However, this is far from true. In most cases, addicts are victims of physical, mental, or emotional abuse who have bottled up their frustrations and disillusionment and don’t know any better way of release. They need help and support, not punishment. If nurtured properly, addicts can recover and lead fulfilling lives.
No, it isn’t. It is not as simple as deciding to stop one day and never looking back. Even though willpower plays a vital role in recovery, the journey is more complicated than that. Several factors, such as genetics, underlying diseases, social background, finances, and family support, play a crucial role.
Your recovery also depends on how long you’ve been into addiction and how it has affected your brain and nervous system. In extreme cases, it is beyond the person to control their impulses, no matter how hard they try.
It is a common belief that addiction to prescription drugs such as Vicodin or Xanax is safer than using illegal substances such as cocaine or meth. People using illicit substances often face more stigma too.
However, the truth is this—prescription drugs are as dangerous and addictive as their illegal counterparts. Several studies claim that prescription drugs administered to children thinking that they are safe can create problems later in life.
Not everyone has a drug of choice and sticks to it. Unlike prevalent belief, polysubstance abuse or use of three or more drugs is common among addicts. This condition is more common in men and people suffering from mental disorders, claim studies. It is also more difficult to treat someone suffering from polysubstance abuse.
The belief that an addict will never be free of his or her dependency does more harm than good to those aiming for sobriety. Given proper treatment, care, and support, anyone can overcome addiction and lead a fulfilling life. All they need is a chance and constant help from family and friends.
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