5 Myths About Addiction

2 min read · 6 sections

If you’re battling an addiction to heroin, prescription painkillers, alcohol, or some other substance, it’s crucial to seek treatment right away. Neglecting care can lead to more significant problems, such as using harder drugs or having an overdose. Some people don’t seek treatment because they don’t feel they can do it or aren’t ready to give up the substance. However, other people are blinded by myths concerning addiction that keep them from getting off drugs or alcohol. Let’s take a look at 5 addiction myths that may be holding you back.

1. Addiction Affects Only Weak People

If you’ve ever heard that addiction affects only weak people, you’ve heard a common myth that makes people think they can avoid getting addicted to drugs or alcohol if they are strong enough. It also implies that people can quit any substance through sheer willpower. However, the National Institutes of Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that quitting a substance requires more than just “good intentions or a strong will.” The NIDA explains that drug use affects the brain’s reward center, causing a flood of euphoria that motivates the person to repeat the behavior. Over time, the brain changes and adapts to the substance, making it difficult to quit without help.man in black clothes sitting on stairs thinking of myths about addiction

2. Quitting “Cold Turkey” is the Best Way

Some people have heard that the best and only way to really “kick the habit” is to quit cold turkey, meaning to quit suddenly. Quitting abruptly usually implies doing it alone. People who believe this thinking don’t take action because the thought of stopping all of a sudden seems so drastic. Also, doing it by yourself can be dangerous due to all the withdrawal symptoms you’ll likely experience. At a qualified rehab facility, you’ll have professional clinicians assisting you through the process, making sure you are safe during detox.

3. Wait Until You’re at the Bottom to Seek Treatment

You may have heard people say, “once they hit rock bottom, they’ll get help.” This saying is dangerous because it encourages a person to keep going until they are near death or an overdose. It implies that doing more drugs will somehow help you get treatment. However, the contrary is true—a person should seek treatment early on in the addiction. Many people who hit bottom aren’t able to get back up. Also, being at the bottom implies you are at the lowest point in your addiction, making it exceptionally difficult to move forward.

4. Relapsing is a Sign You Should Give Up

Some people may think that relapsing is a sign of failure. They may feel there’s no hope after a relapse and that they should give up. However, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports the commonality of relapsing in addiction patients—in fact, substance use disorder is something you will have to manage throughout your life, just as you would any other disease. With the proper support and treatment, you might not relapse. But if you do, it just means you may need to readjust your treatment. For example, if you were attending a group addiction meeting only once a month after detox and experienced a relapse, then you should begin more intense outpatient therapy.

5. There is No Cure for Addiction, So Why Bother?

People in addiction treatment in group therapy session
Scientists and researchers have categorized addiction as a “complex disease.” But that doesn’t mean there is no help or hope for addiction issues. In fact, rehab facilities have made great strides in developing treatments for people who struggle with drug or alcohol abuse. Just like any other disease, you can find relief for this disorder.

Next Steps

Now that you know the myths surrounding substance addiction, don’t let them get in your way. Reach out to American Addiction Centers for help today.

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