Everybody has some opinion about substance abuse, no matter whether it is alcoholism or drug addiction. Unless a person has suffered through the substance abuse issue, it is difficult to understand the scope and harmful effects that can be caused by addiction.
But a lot of misinformed people have a habit of filling that knowledge with untruth, guesswork, and rumors. Here are some of the standard drug addiction myths and their truth.
Myth – Drug addiction is an intended behavior.
Truth: A person often starts as an occasional user of drugs, and that is an intended decision. But when time passes, that person begins becoming a compulsive user of drugs. It is so because, with time, consistent use of drugs brings changes in their brain, sometimes in dramatic and toxic ways and sometimes in subtle ways. But virtually always in ways that cause compulsion and uncontrolled use of drugs.
Myth 2: Drug addiction is a flaw in a person’s character
Truth: Drug addiction is a disease of the brain. Each kind of drug abuse has its mechanism for altering the functioning of the brain. But no matter which drug a person is addicted to, many of the effects are the same, ranging from change in cells and molecules that makes up the brain to changes in mood to changes in memory processes and motor skills like talking and walking. All these changes have a significant influence on every aspect of the behavior of a person. The drug becomes the only motivator in the existence of the drug abuser. The person will do anything for the drug. This comes because drug use changes the brain of the individual and its functioning in various ways.
Myth 3: A person should want drug addiction treatment to make the treatment effective
Truth: Nobody wants drug treatment in rehabs like California rehabs. The main reason why people look for drug treatment is because either the court has ordered them to do so or their loved ones want them to go for treatment. A lot of scientific studies have shown that persons entering drug treatment programs where they have to face high pressure and attempt to overcome their drug addiction do much better in their treatment no matter what the reason they look for treatment.
Myth 4: Drug addiction treatment must be a one-shot deal
Truth: Like all other illnesses, drug addiction is a chronic disorder. To ensure some people can quit the use of the drug, or they can leave post-treatment. But most people who have drug addiction need treatment on a long-term basis and, in several instances, repeat treatments.
Myth 5: One must strive to get a magic bullet for the treatment of drug abuse
Truth: No one size fits all for the treatment of drug addiction or anything that will cure drug addiction suddenly. Different people will have various problems. They will also respond differently to the same kind of treatment, even if they are abusing a similar drug. Because of this, drug addicts require different treatment arrays customized to address their unique requirements.
Myth 6: People do not require treatment, and they can stop using drugs if they want to
Truth: It is challenging for people who are addicted to drugs to maintain long-term abstinence. Several studies show that using drugs in the long term alters the brain functioning of a person, thereby causing them to crave the drug even more, making it very difficult to quit. Especially for adolescents, stopping drug use early is very important as it is faster for children to get addicted to drugs than adults. Not only that, but also the harm is more.
Myth 7: Prescription drugs are safe
Truth: When prescription drugs are used under the supervision of a doctor, they can be effective for the treatment of pain or any such conditions. But these drugs are dangerous when they are abused, especially by teens as well as young adults. Some of the commonly used drugs that are abused are ADHD medications, pain medications, and drugs used for treatment of anxiety. Prescription medicines have the ability to become addictive as well as deadly as illicit drugs.
Myth 8: Detox is adequate
Detox is the time period when you will focus on obtaining all toxic substances in your system. This procedure results in some withdrawal symptoms. This is the reason it is best to detox at any recovery center or at least in any outpatient setting so that doctors can easily keep an eye on the symptoms and do interventions whenever required. But it does not end there; being sober is just the first step on your road to recovery. Staying sober is the next challenge.
Myth 9: Rehabilitation is only for wealthy people
Rehabilitation costs usually vary based on varied factors. Several insurance plans cover at least some part of the drug treatment. If you are below the income threshold, you might be eligible for public healthcare through Medicaid for some treatment centers.
The cost of a rehabilitation center is much more affordable than what you are paying on your own. Even if your insurance does not cover drug rehabilitation, some of the recovery centers provide financial help or payment programs. Your employer might be willing to assist with costs, or any family member can help. The cost of addiction on a long-term basis is far more than the short-term cost.
The lead of addiction and recovery is filled with some myths and false information. This is the reason there is a lot of shame and embarrassment that has been tied to the addiction, which makes it even more challenging. All these myths also impair the capability of a loved one to support a person, as they can’t understand what the person is going through and what they can do to help. It is vital to discuss addiction openly so that not only the person suffering receives the required support but also those who are around them can know how to become a positive support system for them.
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