Because of the negative stigma surrounding addiction, many people are reluctant to seek help or medical advice on how to deal with their substance use. This negative stigma also makes it easier for harmful misinformation about addiction to perpetuate among those who use and their loved ones.
Using reliable and valid resources can be a good way to begin to combat the dangerous myths about addiction that continue to linger.
Take a look at a few of the most common myths surrounding addiction, and consider how many of them you or someone you know may believe.
You can detox on your own.
Detoxing from drugs or alcohol is a process that should always be supervised and managed by a medical professional. Going through detox can be very dangerous, painful, and even deadly, so it’s best to have experts on hand to monitor your status.
Medical professionals can also offer tools to make detoxing more manageable. For example, in some cases, an individual may be a good candidate for medication assisted treatment. In this type of treatment, the individual will receive a medication that makes their detox symptoms easier to manage and more bearable.
You can’t succeed in treatment until you hit rock bottom.
When it comes to addiction, in many cases “rock bottom” means death. Additionally, “rock bottom” can vary from person to person. Encouraging a loved one to seek treatment may give them the motivation they need to go. If they aren’t ready to begin treatment, at least they are aware that the option is available. While it is true that the individual going to treatment needs to be engaged and willing to change to be successful, hitting rock bottom isn’t a prerequisite of maintaining sobriety.
If someone close to you were addicted, you would know about it.
People who are ashamed of their substance use may develop behaviors that allow them to effectively hide their addiction, at least for a period of time. Signs or behaviors that can indicate an addiction include skipping family gatherings, ignoring calls or texts, and disappearing frequently to the bathroom or other secluded areas.
Relapse proves that addiction treatment doesn’t work.
Unfortunately, relapse is not entirely avoidable. In fact, more often than not, people who have successfully completed addiction treatment relapse at some point. It can be tough to go from the safe, structured environment of a treatment program back to the real world with its unpredictable stressors. What matters more than the relapse itself is your reaction to it.
Consider returning to inpatient treatment, trying an intensive outpatient program, or attending meetings more frequently. Recovery doesn’t stop once you leave a treatment program. You’ll need resources for continued support.
Misinformation can hinder you or a loved one from getting the help they need to overcome substance abuse. Additionally, many of these myths perpetuate the negative stigma associated with drug addiction in our society. Educating yourself on the disease of addiction is one way to address this national health crisis.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, don’t let misconceptions prevent you from seeking help. Contact Pyramid Healthcare to get answers to your questions and learn about treatment options.
Written by Rebecca Jones, Marketing Specialist
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