21 Jul 6 Popular Myths About Drug Addiction
Drug addiction has been around since humankind discovered that ingesting fermented fruit altered your state of mind. This crude form of alcohol was likely the first drug people depended on to the point of addiction, but opium and cocaine were not far behind. As more drugs were discovered and manufactured and dependence started to run rampant throughout the world, myths and fables were spun about drugs and addicts, many of which still exist today. Such a grave problem needs serious attention and the more myths that are dispelled, the faster society will find solutions.
Anyone Who Does Drugs Is An Addict
Millions of people take drugs on a daily basis and never become addicted. You can ingest drugs on a regular basis and never develop a dependency, so users are vastly different from addicts. Studies by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that roughly 12 percent of alcohol drinkers eventually become addicted, and around 15 percent of cocaine users ultimately end up as addicts. If you see a number of symptoms like escalated conflicts with people, needed income squandered on drugs, decreased interest in work or school, altered sleep patterns, and/or intense anxiety when the desired substance is unavailable, addiction is indicated.
Addicted People Fit A Specific Stereotype
A common misconception about addicts is that they all fit into a stereotype perpetuated by ignorance and media portrayals. Many people believe most addicts are jobless minority males with lower than standard socioeconomic histories who regularly engage in illegal activities. In reality, female addiction is increasing faster than male dependency, upper and upper middle class addiction is more common than in lower and lower middle classes, and white people have a higher addiction rate than most minorities. Addiction recognizes no class or economic distinctions and impacts people of all ages and races.
Rehab Is A Waste Of Time
Drug rehab is an ongoing treatment program, similar to programs that help people control diabetes or manage debilitating chronic illness. A broken arm can be repaired, and flus and colds typically end on their own, but drug rehab is often a way of life. Patients can appear to be cured but days, weeks or even years later, have a setback and end up back in rehab. Whether you seek help at detox centers in Orange County or check into an Orange County sober living home, all you can do is follow the prescribed program to a tee, hope for the best, stay strong, relish your recovery, and refuse to beat yourself up if you relapse.
Addicts Could Quit Using If They Tried
Addiction is one of the most misunderstood states of mind in the world. Many people believe that addicts are just too selfish and weak to stop using but it’s much more complex than that. The NIDA defines addiction as “an enduring condition that triggers the user to compulsively search out and use substances.” Addictions such as OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) generally get a pass but a good many people believe that addiction to drugs is just a bad choice made by people who choose a life of dependence.
If Addicts Can Hold Down A Steady Job, They’re Not Actually Addicted
Of all the myths surrounding addiction, this is the one most often embraced and kept alive by addicts themselves. While some types of addiction such as alcoholism are more difficult to hide than others, heroin addicts frequently not only hold down jobs for decades without detection, they often work in high profile business positions. Also known as “high functioning addicts,” these working people usually reach a breaking point after years of deception, often shocking friends and family who were totally unaware of the dependency.
Addicts Have No Moral Values
The point that initially ingesting illegal substances by choice is immoral cannot be denied. However, when the habit becomes an addiction, it has nothing to do with morality. Certain people can use drugs regularly and never become addicted and others may become dependent after using only a few times. The likelihood of becoming an addict can be influenced by many factors including living environment, genetics, family trauma, and personality and psychological tendencies. The bottom line is addiction is triggered by perceptible and foreseeable changes in brain functions and is in no way related to religious or moral convictions.
If you believe you or someone you know has an addiction problem, face the facts of the situation instead of listening to myths that only serve to muddle the facts. Consider positive options such as seeking help at detox centers in Orange County. If professionals advise more intense or long-term treatment, explore options at an Orange County sober living home. And remember that substance abuse alters the brain and makes behavior modification more difficult, so have patience with addicts and their probable relapses.