Substance abuse, drugs, and alcohol. Some Common Myths About Addiction
GenPsych March 2018
As you consider your relationship with drugs and alcohol or for a loved one, it is important to understand addiction as a whole. There are plenty of myths you may have heard, and our addiction experts at GenPsych have responded to them below:
Myth 1 – Overcoming addiction simply requires willpower. When I decide I am ready to stop using drugs or alcohol, I will. Truth: Over time, exposing your brain to drugs and alcohol can alter the brain, which results in powerful cravings and a compulsion to use. These brain changes, along with the physical symptoms of withdrawal, make it extremely difficult to quit anytime just with willpower.
Myth 2 – Addiction is a disease and nothing that can be done about it. Truth: Most experts now agree that addiction is indeed a disease that affects the brain, but that doesn’t mean everyone is helpless against it. The brain changes associated with addiction can actually be treated and reversed through therapy, medication, exercise and other treatments.
Myth 3 – Addicts must hit rock bottom before they can get better. Truth: Recovery from drug and alcohol abuse can begin at any time in the addiction process, and the sooner you start, the better. The longer the drug abuse continues, the stronger the addiction will be and the harder it is to treat. Don’t wait until the addict has lost everything and hit rock bottom. That will just make it that much more difficult to turn things around.
Myth 4 – You can’t force someone into treatment, they have to want help. Truth: Addiction treatment does not have to be voluntary to work. People who are pressured into treatment by family, employers or our legal system are just as likely to have a successful recovery as people who choose to enter addiction treatment on their own. Once the addict sobers up and their thinking gets clear, many formerly resistant addicts decide they want to change their life for the better and remain clean and sober.
Myth 5 – Treatment didn’t work last time, so there’s no point trying again. Truth: Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is a long process that often involves setbacks along the way. Relapsing doesn’t mean that your treatment has failed or becoming sober is a lost cause. Rather, it is a reminder to get your focus back, by going back into treatment or making adjustments the treatment approach.
GenPsych has five treatment centers throughout New Jersey. We offer an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) to help our clients recover from Anxiety, Depression, Eating Disorders, Alcohol and Drug Addiction. If you or a loved one need help, don’t wait, start today.