5 Addiction Myths Debunked
Addiction is pure hell to go through whether you’re the afflicted or the family of the person struggling. It’s hard to find useful information on the ins and outs of addiction, and this can be incredibly frustrating. The good news is, help is available. Here are some common myths about addiction.
Myth One: An addict will not stop using until they reach their “rock bottom.”
This is said over and over by many different people. The problem with this statement is that it implies there is only one opportunity for someone to decide to stop. This isn’t true. Any time an individual decides they want to stop is an excellent time to go to treatment. They don’t have to continue digging until they reach “rock bottom;” rock bottom is whenever they decide to quit digging.
Myth Two: Alcohol isn’t a “real” addiction like drugs are.
Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances to withdrawal from and can be fatal. Treatment centers that don’t have a medical detox won’t even accept someone that struggles with alcohol before they go to a detox center that can safely bring them down off of alcohol. Any substance that controls a person’s life is hell. There is no better drug.
Myth Three: Addicts are weak. They would quit if they wanted to.
Nothing could be more inaccurate. The nature of addiction implies a loss of control. Substances alter the brain chemistry of the abuser over time. The part of the brain that controls rational thought is turned off while in active addiction. This is why it often takes an outside force (jail, institutions, or court) to initially stop the person struggling with substances. Once it becomes an addiction, it is no longer a matter of willpower.
Myth Four: The only for an addict to stop using is to go to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings for the rest of their life.
Many people have found long-term sobriety this way. NA and AA are excellent programs and have withstood the test of time. However, recovery is individualized, and many paths lead to recovery. Some individuals find sobriety through a church, medically assisted treatment (MAT), prison treatment programs, residential treatment, counseling, and many other pathways. The most effective programs apply a holistic approach that treats the person as a whole. Recovery is about doing what works, striving to reach full potential, improving health and wellness, and beginning to live a self-directed life.
Myth Five: Recovery is not possible. Once an addict, always an addict.
This is the biggest myth of all. Recovery is possible, and there is a solution. No matter what stage of using the person might be in, treatment is available. Don’t wait. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, contact an addiction specialist at 606.638.0938 or use our confidential chat function at www.arccenters.com. We are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Hope and help are just a phone call away.
Jonathan Hughes, MA, CNP
Kentucky Peer Support Specialist
Addiction Recovery Care
Business Communications and Program Development