Many of us have a stereotype of what an addict or alcoholic is. Some people assume that drug and alcohol addiction is a problem that only certain kinds of people face; this could not be further from the truth. There are many misconceptions about drug and alcohol addiction that can affect not only the addict but, their families, friends, and society at large. These myths and misconceptions can scare those with substance abuse problems from seeking help because of the stigma. Others may not seek help because they do not see themselves as an addict because they do not fit the mold of what they think an addict looks like.
Here are three myths about addiction and substance abuse treatment.
- Addicts lack willpower and that is why they do not recover.
We have learned from studying the addicted brain that abusing mood-altering substances alters the brain especially, the brain’s reward system. A person who has become addicted to a mood-altering substance will experience physiological and psychological changes so, addiction is no longer a problem of willpower.
2. One rehab stay alone will cure an addict.
Recovery from drugs and alcohol is an ongoing process and there are no guarantees. There are people that maintain long-term sobriety after one rehab stay and others attend multiple programs before they stay clean. There is also a small group of people who have never completed any kind of substance abuse treatment and were able to maintain a recovery lifestyle without a traditional program.
3. There is only one approach for a successful recovery.
Recovery is not an exact science and it has to be individualized. Recovery is more than abstaining from mood-altering substances. Recovery from drugs and alcohol is a complete lifestyle change that requires the individual to think and behave in ways that promote healthy and rational choices.
For more information about the Early Recovery group or individual counseling for those with substance abuse issues please call STA at 201-488-6678.