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Did you know that more people use prescription opioids than tobacco products? It’s true. In fact, there are more people with substance abuse disorders than people with cancer. And yet, despite these startling statistics, drug and alcohol addiction remains one of the most chronically misunderstood healthcare-related problems facing the Unites States today.
In part one of this on-going blog series, we’ll explore some of the more common myths people still believe about addiction and recovery. Our hope is that you will come away with a better understanding of what addiction really is, and why it’s so difficult to treat.
Addiction Myth 1: Drug or Alcohol Addiction is a Character Flaw
Alcohol and drugs like cocaine, heroin or any other substance of abuse affect brain function. When people become addicted, the brain physically changes on a molecular or cellular level, and continuing to use drugs is no longer a choice. Addiction has nothing to do with a lack of willpower or discipline. It’s all about brain chemistry. Plain and simple.
FACT: More people use prescription opioids than use tobacco.
Addiction Myth 2: Addicts Must Hit “Rock Bottom” Before Recovery
Abusing drugs and alcohol often causes negative consequences in life. There’s no debate about that. However, there is little evidence to suggest that success in addiction recovery is in any way dependent upon the occurrence of a stereotypical “rock bottom” moment. In fact, it’s often better for addicts to seek help early on, before things spiral completely out of control.
FACT: There are more people with substance abuse disorders than people with cancer.
Addiction Myth 3: Addicts Must Want to Enter Rehab
People usually decide to enter drug rehab for two reasons: Either because their loved ones convinced them to get help or because of a court-ordered mandate. People rarely enroll in an addiction treatment program because they want to. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, many scientific studies show that when people are under high pressure to confront their addictions, they experience comparatively better outcomes.
Addiction Recovery is Not a Myth
With the right treatment, people who struggle with addiction can – and do – get better. At The Raleigh House, we give all of our clients an individualized rehab plan that considers the person as a whole – not just as an addiction. To learn more about why our program is different or to get help for a loved one, call us today.