Addiction is a complex disease that has a lot of stigma attached to it. These misconceptions are more damaging than people realize because they can prevent addicts from getting addiction treatment in Agoura. Social judgement should never stand in the way of someone accepting help.
Let’s clear up six of the most common things that people get wrong about addiction.
1. Myth: Addiction is a choice, and with enough willpower, a person can stop.
Fact: Substance use changes the brain, making drug use compulsive.
A teen might start experimenting with drugs and alcohol because of social pressures or curiousity, and this is a choice. However, the continued use of drugs and alcohol rewires the brain and causes the individual to compulsively seek out substances. Once this starts happening, the person is no longer using drugs by choice. The addiction is in control.
2. Myth: Quitting cold turkey is the best way to stop using drugs.
Fact: Recovering from addiction is a lifelong process.
It’s unrealistic to think that someone can just stop using drugs and alcohol. Because changes are made in the brain, the brain needs time to heal. Recovering from substance abuse is a process that involves admitting the problem, going to drug rehab in Agoura Hills, learning life skills and developing healthy coping mechanisms. In reality, recovery is a lifelong process.
3. Myth: It’s best to wait until a person hits rock bottom before offering help.
Fact: Intervening early is best and leads to improved outcomes.
It’s not necessary to wait for a person to reach their lowest point. By this time, the addiction and its repercussions could be much more severe and harder to come back from. Intervening early allows for faster and more effective treatment, especially if the person is still engaged in work/school and has strong social relationships.
4. Myth: Relapse happens to everyone.
Fact: Relapse is common but not necessary.
While it’s true that relapse happens to a lot of recovering addicts, it’s not something that has to happen. So, stay positive! However, if relapse occurs, it is not failure. It’s a learning opportunity to discover what the trigger was and how to handle it in the future.
5. Myth: Inpatient treatment is enough to break the cycle of abuse.
Fact: One time in treatment is usually not enough.
Because addiction recovery requires behavioral changes, many people need more than one stay in rehab. Some people may relapse and need more inpatient treatment, while others may opt for outpatient drug rehab in Agoura as they transition to their new lives. The good news is that many forms of treatment are available, and it always builds on itself.
6. Myth: Addicts need harsher punishments.
Fact: Punishment is not effective. Communication and empathy work best. Addiction is a brain disease that does not respond to shaming, blaming or yelling. The best way to deal with an addict is to reinforce positive behaviors, find healthy activities to pass the time and show empathy and compassion. For support on dealing with an addicted loved one, it’s helpful to attend a support group like Al-Anon or Nar-Anon.
Do not let misconceptions of addiction stop you or a loved one from getting help. Treatment is available for people in all stages of addiction at Awakenings Treatment Center. Call us today to learn more.