Although the experience of struggling with drug or alcohol addiction and abuse is far from uncommon, those on the outside of a recovery center often have a few misunderstandings about treatment. It can be difficult to recognize fact from fiction unless you or a loved one has experienced it, but the myths surrounding addiction can be harmful to those recovering from it. Below are three of the most common misconceptions about drug addiction and abuse to avoid continuing.
3 Misconceptions About Drug Addiction and Abuse
1. Addicts Should Just Stop Using
As an outsider, it’s easy to wonder why addicts don’t just stop using. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as making a conscious decision. Rehabilitation is necessary because addiction is an ongoing condition, just like depression or anxiety, and it requires appropriate treatment to overcome. Addiction also has a physical component, and many users experience terrible physical withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to stop on their own.
2. All Drug Users Are Addicts
People can use and even abuse drugs and alcohol without being addicted to them. Addiction is a complex problem with many warning signs, including legal problems associated with drugs, multiple failed attempts to stop using or stop drinking, and withdrawal symptoms. Recovery centers and other rehabilitation is not necessary for every drug user, but if you suspect you or a loved one is on the brink of addiction, seek help.
3. You’re Not An Addict If You’re “Functional”
Many people believe that drug addicts and alcoholics are easy to identify: they follow the stereotype of someone who loses their job and family and is unable to function in society. But many addicts very successfully pretend that nothing is wrong. In many cases, their ability to function will deteriorate over time, but an addict may be able to keep up pretenses for months or even years.
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