Common Myths About Addiction That Could Sabotage Your Recovery Process

myths about addiction

About one in five Americans aged 12 or older used illicit drugs in 2017. More than 67,000 died from a drug overdose in 2018. But why is it so difficult to quit drugs in the first place?

Almost everything people think they know about addiction is wrong.

For example, willpower alone isn’t enough to quit drugs or alcohol. Many addicts who believe they can stop anytime end up being caught in a vicious cycle.

The myths about addiction abound on the Internet and in magazines. These misconceptions can hurt your chances of recovery and even make things worse.

If you or a loved one is planning to enter rehab, it’s important to know fact from fiction. Below you’ll find some common misconceptions about addiction and how they can affect your life.

Let’s dive in!

Addiction Only Affects Weak People

Anyone, regardless of age, social status, or mental health, can become addicted to drugs and alcohol. This condition does not discriminate.

Young people, for example, may take drugs to fit in, feel better, or cope with strong emotions, such as stress and anger. In fact, stressful early life experiences are a major contributing factor to addiction.

A business professional, on the other hand, may reach for drugs or alcohol to cope with heavy workloads. Stressful life events can be a trigger too.

You Can Quit Anytime

It’s not uncommon for those who do drugs to quit for months at a time. The same goes for heavy drinkers.

Unfortunately, anyone can relapse after months or even years of abstinence.

You can manage addiction with counseling and medication, but you cannot cure it. That means there is always a chance of relapse.

The risk is even higher for those who don’t seek treatment.

Prescription Drugs Are Safe

Opioid painkillers and other prescription meds are just as addictive as illicit drugs. Although these medications are highly controlled, they carry serious side effects and have potential for abuse. 

About one-third of those who take opioid drugs for pain relief will end up misusing them. Some transition to heroin later on.

You Have to Hit Rock Bottom to Seek Treatment

Many addicts are not unaware of the problem they’re facing and seek treatment when it’s already too late.

High-functioning alcoholics, for example, may continue to perform well in their careers and have normal lives.

Although they have a higher alcohol tolerance than most people, they can still develop health problems related to their addiction.

These individuals experience the same effects of alcoholism as anyone else. They just don’t show it.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to wait until your life is a mess to get help. The sooner you seek treatment, the greater your chances of recovery.

Dispelling the Myths about Addiction

Addiction is a sneaky disease that affects everyone differently. Some drugs affect the brain in subtle ways, and it can take years to realize the harm they caused.

The best thing you can do is to reach for help as soon as possible.

At Pathways Florida, we offer both residential and outpatient care. Our approach is tailored to each patient and may involve the use of medications, counseling, or medical detox.

Remember — it’s never too late to overcome your addiction. Get in touch with us to discuss your needs and see how we can help!