When it comes to drugs and addiction, misconceptions often arise. Those who have not had first-hand experience with addiction are likely to have preconceived notions about what it means to suffer from an addiction and how to overcome it. Correcting these myths about drug abuse is important, especially for those who have just become involved in a drug addiction or have a loved one suffering with it. Only by breaking down these myths will a person be able to successfully deal with such a situation or help someone else who is. So what are these drug addiction myths?
Myth: Drug abuse is a choice. Therefore, quitting is simply a matter of choosing to stop.
Fact: The fact is that drugs alter one’s brain, making an individual dependent on certain substances in order to feel “normal” and functionable. Because drugs literally change the make- up and functionality of the brain, the person has given up much of the control he or she has on the situation. As a result, it is no longer simply a matter of will-power to quit the dangerous substance. Those who tell an addict that they must just choose to stop are setting them up for great disappointment and failure. Understanding that drug addictions are “the real deal” can help loved ones fight the battle with the addict, leading them to greater success than simply telling them to choose to get over it.
Myth: All Hope is Lost
Fact: On the other end of the spectrum, some believe that once someone becomes lost in an addiction, that individual is lost forever. The belief that a drug addiction is an incurable disease does nothing for the addict and will likely decrease his or her motivation to fight against it. Yes, an addiction is one of the most difficult things a person can deal with in life, but it does not have to be a permanent trial. Those with a loved one suffering from an addiction can inspire motivation in the individual to fight against it, but they should all have the realistic expectation that professional help will most likely need to be a part of the recovery process, such as rehabilitation services. It is a fight many have fought and won.
Myth: Rehab Must Be Voluntary
Fact: While a voluntary rehab patient is certainly desirable, it is not necessarily essential to success. Sometimes loved ones need to be a bit forceful to get the person the help that is so desperately needed. The fact that a life is at stake will help loved ones do what is necessary, even if the addict is resentful and reluctant in the beginning. Because one’s brain is impaired when on drugs, he or she may not think clearly enough to seek help. By putting an addict in a rehabilitation facility, a loved one can help that person begin the recover process, which will help that individual think more clearly and most likely see that it is a good, even essential, decision.
In any situation, it is better to have the facts than the myths. By understanding drug addiction just a bit more clearly, those close to drug addicts will be able to get them the help they need and get them on the road to recovery.
About the Author: Hyrum Taffer is a freelance writer for DrugRehab.org and has a great deal of experience in drug addiction/recovery. Through much personal experience and a lot of research, Hyrum hopes others can benefit from his writing.