When you were growing up, you may have come across the slogans ‘Just say no’, ‘Dare to stay away from alcohol and drugs’, or ‘Not even once’, or something similar to that.
These statements may sound harmless, but they do not really address the root of addiction, instead perpetuating myths about it that are not there. The truth is this – addiction is a very complicated subject to deal with, as it is more than lack of willpower in abusing a drug. It is actually a combination of biology and human tendencies, making it complicated to identify,treat or even prevent.
Even though no correct answer to the problem exists, there should remain a correct motivation – assisting an individual to overcome the use of alcohol or drugs. If you have a loved one or a friend struggling with the condition, then it becomes even more important to know the truth of addiction, and the lies that surround it.
What you should keep in mind
First of all, if addiction was something that was easy to deal with, we would not be having addicts in our society – but we still do. In fact, getting someone out of the state of drug addiction is a very difficult task; no matter how much willpower they have.
If we were to keep saying that people should not do drugs, or if we show them the consequences of taking drugs, then maybe all parents and people in authority would have foolproof plans for preventing the epidemic. We would not be seeing children in middle school or teens in high school buying drugs illegally, and people would not be dying from overdoses. Yet, these problems are still there.
In addition,, if it was easy to say no to drug addiction, the death rates because of addiction would not be so high – for instance, one in every four deaths in the United States being attributed to alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs.
Misconceptions about addiction
Addiction is curable
Unfortunately, there is no cure for addiction, but there are ways to control it and manage it. This is accomplished through continual treatment, which sustains sobriety for longer and minimizes the chances of relapses. As long as you commit yourself to being free of alcohol and drugs, you can live a life of sobriety.
In fact, when an addict begins to claim they have been cured of the addiction, they are at risk of relapsing – simply because they have stopped attending therapy sessions and meetings, which are very important in keeping accountability and sustaining the recovery process.
What you need to remember is that addiction does not work like a disease diagnosis. It is more of a disease that affects the balance of your body permanently, and it will change slightly from time to time, although these changes are not as evident when you go through tests like blood tests. It never appears as ‘in remission’ or ‘present’. You can only identify it in a person through their words and actions, making it difficult to identify, treat or even prevent.
When you want to initiate the recovery process, you must first identify that you have a problem.If it is the case of a loved one, you cannot expect them to admit it easily – no matter how good your intentions are. You can only hope for them to achieve sobriety and live a better life after recovery.
Only corrupt individuals use drugs
We are all human, and we all make mistakes sometimes. However, just because you made a mistake, it does not make you a bad person.
The same applies to drug addicts. Not everyone who is addicted to drugs is bad or corrupt. In fact, many of them struggle with internalized issues that have led them to the drug as a possible solution, and most of these cases relate to mental health or if they have suffered abuse before.
In addition, the people who struggle with addiction lack the proper resources to deal with them, ranging from good life examples to financial resources, knowledge on their addiction and even emotional support from others. That does not make them weak-willed or bad – chances are high they do not know how to live a life that is free of alcohol and drugs.
Another thing to remember is that drugs for most people is more of a way to self-medicate, as a human reaction to going through suffering. The person who is struggling with the addiction fails to get pleasure from their everyday activities, and that increases their constant suffering.
Legal drugs are safer than illicit drugs
This is in fact, among the more dangerous myths in circulation.
It is very easy to know why people who gets prescription for a drug feels a sense of security, because you cannot get legal drugs without the prescription of a doctor. However, these are still drugs, and that makes them very dangerous once you start to abuse them.
What many do not realize is that legal drugs can lead to overdoses and addictions, and they can be gateways of harder drugs, especially heroin. When you take a drug that has a potential for addiction, you must take it as strictly as the prescription says, and it is very essential to maintain high levels of discipline and educate yourself on its risks.
These also include legal drugs that are artificial in nature, such as bath salts. Manmade drugs are more powerful, since they are alterations of natural recipes or ingredients, while also being loopholes in drug trafficking and trade. In addition, never forget that alcohol and tobacco are still legal, and various states are now legalizing marijuana – yet these remain lethal when you become addicted to them.
It is important to know the truths and the myths behind addiction, as this will help in creating better strategies for prevention and addiction recovery. While it is good to preach abstinence, it is equally important to realize that addiction is not as easy to solve as you may think, and preaching abstinence alone may not be the way of dealing with the problem effectively.