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Debunking 8 Myths: The Truth About Addiction and Recovery

 

There are a number of myths prevalent regarding drug and alcohol abuse. They confuse people, create stigma, and spread wrong info.

So, it’s essential that you clear up such myths to know better handle drug and and alcohol use disorder treatment

Let’s talk about some common myths about alcohol use disorder.

Myth # 1: Addiction to Alcohol is due to a lack of willpower. 

It is believed that people who struggle with alcoholism can’t control themselves. They think that alcoholism is about making bad choices or having no moral strength.

They firmly believe that if someone wants to, he or she can quit drinking by willpower.

Fact

Alcoholism is a complex issue and alters the chemicals in the brain. It involves changes in how our brain works and affects its reward system. 

The following things play a role in this process:

  • Genetic factors
  • The setting we grow up in
  • Traumatic experiences
  • Mental health problems
  • Social surroundings 

Due to such factors, it becomes difficult to quit alcoholism. Simply put, it is more than just willpower.

Myth 2: You can’t get addicted to prescribed medicine.

It is generally believed that if a doctor prescribes a med, it is 100% safe. It can’t be addictive.

It is indeed true. Most meds are safe when they are used properly and as prescribed. However, some meds have the potential to cause addiction if used excessively.

Fact

The truth is that some prescribed meds are addictive and are abused, too. 

If you take meds for either too long or in excessive quantity, you’re at a high risk of getting addicted. Such meds include:

  • Opioids
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Stimulants 

For instance, fentanyl can make you feel good. However, it can tempt you to pop it for fun instead of only relieving pain.

If you go on using it, it will lead to addiction and ultimately harm.

Myth 3: Only regular use of drugs or alcohol leads to addiction.

People believe that using drugs and alcohol from time to time isn’t a big deal. Well, it’s a risky idea.

Fact

Casual use can also lead to addiction. So, using drugs and alcohol occasionally isn’t free of risk. 

These things trigger dopamine in your brain, which makes you feel good. As a result, you are more than willing to do it once more. 

And this doing once more makes you end up in addiction.

Myth 4: Mixing various alcohols makes you an alcoholic.

People think if you mix various drinks, it’ll become highly intoxicating. Also, it will raise your blood alcohol level quickly.

Fact

Well, let me clarify here that what really matters is the quantity of alcohol you drink. Mixing various types of drinks has nothing to do with addiction. 

Alcohol is measured by alcohol by volume (ABV). And ABV shows how much alcohol is in your drink. 

For example, a beer bottle has 5% ABV, and a shot of liquor has 40% ABV.

So, it boils down to the fact that how much alcohol you drink. It doesn’t matter if it comes from beer or wine.

Myth 5: You get addicted to opioids if you abused drugs before.

People have this idea that your past abuse of drugs gets you hooked on addiction.

Fact

Well… opioid addiction can hit anyone, whether one has a history of drug abuse or not. Yes, it’s true that one with a history is at a higher risk. 

In reality, there are a few factors involved, such as:

  • Genes
  • Mental health
  • Environment
  • Social life 

Myth 6: Help is not essentially needed to quit addiction.

In order to get rid of an addiction, one only needs willpower. Getting professional help is not essential.

Fact

Yes, willpower is one of the major factors when it comes to quitting an addiction. However, the whole process is lengthy and tricky. So, getting professional help is quite a necessary step in this journey.

Myth 7: Once an addict, always an addict.

This one is a classic belief. People think that an addict will always find a way to use drugs or drinks again.

Potentially, this belief discourages addicts from even making an effort. 

Fact

I’d like to say here that this belief is nothing more than an excuse not to quit addiction.

To be honest, one needs to realize that addiction is a medical issue. Thus, specialists in drug and alcohol use disorder treatment can help even chronic addicts.

Myth 8: Rehabilitation centers treat addiction for good.

This one is also an unrealistic idea. 

Fact

There is a 100% chance that your addiction can reoccur sooner or later. You need to understand that it’s a long process and needs to be integrated into your life. 

To sustain your recovery, join support groups and have therapy sessions. Also, avoid people and situations that can be potential triggers for you.

 

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