You probably have prior conceptions about what it is like to be “addicted”. Between TV, the media, and music, the truth about addiction can be construed or misrepresented. Addiction is not a black or white phenomenon, but instead many shades of grey. People turn to drugs for varying reasons, and cannot escape from them all the same. While addiction can be a slippery slope, seeking help and utilizing helpful resources can guide you back to a path of sober living. This blog post will discuss different myths you might have heard about addiction, and inform you of the correct information so you do not perpetuate mistaken stereotypes.
The first myth of addiction is that addicts have a character flaw that makes them enabled. Addiction is the occurrence of a compulsion derived from a chemical imbalance. This is where tolerance and withdrawal come into play. While someone can have a family history of addiction, no one is inherently a bad person because of it.
The second myth is that addicts have no willpower because they struggle. Willpower has nothing to do with being an addict, because addiction is far more complex than the mental capacity to say no. The body physically craves the drug and literally cannot function properly without it. Even those with the strongest of wills, pale in comparison to the beast of addiction
The third myth is that addicts come from poor socioeconomic backgrounds. While environment can play a role in a person’s tendency to try a drug, the environment in itself cannot dictate addiction. There are many people who come from desirable upbringings and fall victim to addiction.
The fourth myth is that addicts are not intelligent people, and that only someone stupid would pick up a drug. This is a complete fallacy, and many very intelligent people turn towards drugs because of their highly functioning cognition. In fact, Sigmund Freud is believed to have been an addict himself.
The fifth myth is that addiction happens immediately after you use a drug. This is actually far from the truth. In a study by NIDA, only 15% of people who tried cocaine ended up addicted to it. And only 12% of people who try alcohol become addicted. However, sustained exposure increases the chances of becoming addicted.
And the sixth is once an addict, always an addict. While this is a catchy phrase, it is inherently problematic because it implies that once someone is addicted they have no ability to regain control over their lives. This is a toxic statement and is untrue because everyone is able to return to sobriety with enough dedication and resources. With the right support from friends and family, you can achieve a normal and healthy life again. If you believe you may be an addict, or someone you love has turned towards drug use, call Asana Recovery at (949) 438-4504 to learn about our many treatment options. We help patients every day learn how to cope with addiction and teach them new ways to avoid temptation.