Five Common Myths About Addiction
Posted on 18 February, 2022 in Info
- Addiction is a choice
You may often hear others say that the behaviour of someone with addiction issues is a matter of choice, that they could choose not to use. This could not be further from the truth; most people with addiction issues who come into treatment have extremely low self-esteem and are often ashamed of their behaviour and have experienced negative judgment from everyone, including themselves. Understanding that addiction is a disease that can be treated and conquered is the essential first step to recovery.
- Entering rehab means I’ve hit rock bottom
The idea of rock bottom – a point in your life where rehabilitation is the only option left – is entirely relative: one person’s idea of their lowest point is different to someone else’s. Waiting for that moment to begin recovery is not only unnecessary but can also be dangerous. Recovery begins when an individual feels they are ready for rehabilitation and – crucially – wants to take control of their life.
- Relapse means my treatment didn’t work
Relapse is of course a possibility, particularly in first stages of recovery, but it doesn’t mean that the treatment wasn’t effective. Recovery depends on several factors ranging from initial treatment to an aftercare plan, outpatient programs, and of course your living situations. Returning to the routine you had before rehabilitation can often lead to easily slipping back into the old habits. Change is required on every level. Relapse does not necessarily mean failure; it’s a new opportunity for the individual to continue an active role in regaining their lives and making positive changes.
- No one will understand how I feel
Low self-esteem and loneliness are all part of addictive behaviour. Feeling like you don’t fit in can motivate people to numb that pain with addictive substances. It can also convince people seeking treatment that their problems are wholly unique, and that no one in rehab – fellow patients and health care providers alike – will fully understand their feelings. However, if you are willing to confront vulnerability and open up to others about the problems, you may find that everyone seeking treatment is, in a sense, on the same journey to recovery as you.
- I’m beyond help
The idea that someone simply cannot break the chain of addiction under any circumstances is a myth. Sobriety takes determination and a willingness to make changes, but it can be done. It may not work first time, it may not work second time, but it will work with the right treatment and with the patience and understanding that it will take time. A relapse may set us back, but it doesn’t mean that the path is impossible.