About Drug Addiction Myths
There are many drug addiction myths that are often paraded as truths. These drug addiction myths can be dangerous and confusing for addicts and for their families as they are struggling to sort through all the information available on substance abuse and addiction treatment options. When considering drug rehabilitation, it is important to separate facts from drug addiction myths. Without correct information, making an informed decision regarding drug addiction treatment can be impossible. The following are some of the most misunderstood aspects of addiction and addiction treatment.
Myth #1: All People Who Use Are Addicted
This is not a true statement as the distinction between drug and alcohol addiction and recreational use are important to recognize. Simply using a drug does not mean an individual has a drug addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that about 15% of individuals choosing to use cocaine and 12% of individuals using alcohol developed full-blown addictions. Addiction is a disease, and as with any other disease, there are signs and symptoms.
Some of the signs and symptoms that recreational use has progressed to addiction would be the following:
- Marked changes in energy
- Increase in relationship issues
- Loss of interest in hobbies and favorite activities
- Performance issues at work or school
- Sudden Financial difficulties
- Withdrawal symptoms
Myth #2: Only Illicit Street Drugs Are Dangerous
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Many mistakenly believe the drug addiction myths that only drugs sold on the street are dangerous and addictive. While it is true that drugs like heroin and methamphetamine are highly addictive and dangerous even when used recreationally, there are other dangerous substances that contribute to abuse and addiction across the country. Any substance taken outside the supervision of a doctor can become dangerous. Substances that impair an individual’s ability to make sound decisions can be dangerous.
One example of this is alcohol. Alcohol is not considered an illicit drug, but the reality is that there are more Americans with alcohol addictions than any other illicit substance. Alcohol addiction, or alcoholism, is responsible for nearly 100,000 deaths each year and there are more inpatient alcohol treatment centers than any other type of rehab facilities.
Myth #3: Drug Addicts Are Easily Identified
Perhaps because Hollywood has portrayed drug abuse and addiction as a disease that affects the homeless, downtrodden and unemployed, society has misconceptions about what addicts look like. Addicts have been typically stereotyped to be minorities, male, and mentally challenged. This is a dangerous and incorrect assumption based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The following has been found to be a more accurate assessment of the current drug epidemic in America:
- Addiction rates in women are currently higher those of men
- Addictions in higher income brackets have increased dramatically
- Addiction rates in non-Hispanic whites are almost twice those in all other racial groups
Addiction is not discriminant and substance abuse is a growing concern for households in every demographic. Regardless of race, age, income, or sex, addiction is a disease that crosses all preconceived boundaries.
Myth #4: Addicts Lack the Willpower to Quit
Many individuals falsely believe that drug and alcohol addicts simply lack the willpower needed to stop using. Sometimes family members cannot understand why their loved one doesn’t seem willing to stop drinking or using heroin when they’re confronted. Often, individuals believe that addicts refuse to stop using because their love for drugs is stronger than their love for each other. This is a misguided view of addiction. Individuals caught in the grip of addiction are unable to control the impulse to seek and use substances.
Depending on the specific drug of choice, the level of chemical interruptions in the brain can completely rewire an individual’s ability to perceive and act on impulses. As a result, their priorities shift drastically as their dependence on substances takes over every area of their lives. For those struggling with addiction of a loved one, there is hope. Contact Coastline Rehab Centers today to find out more about inpatient drug rehab in Orange County, CA.
Myth #5: Prescription Medication is Safe
Believing that prescription medications are safer and less of an addiction risk than illicit drugs is a dangerous drug addiction myth believed by many. While there is some truth that prescription medications such as opiates and benzodiazepines can be taken safely under the direction of a physician, there are some individuals for whom opiates seem to trigger unsafe use. These unsafe uses can be an increase in dosing or frequency taken with the consultation of a doctor, or they can be taking prescription pain medications for conditions that are not applicable.
Sleep aids and barbiturates are often prescribed for long-term use, and might not cause any issues for some, but can be habit forming and cause drug dependency in others. Prescription opiates such as Oxycodone, Fentanyl, and Vicodin can all cause drug dependency, even in moderate doses over a short period of time. In fact, the growing drug epidemic is directly linked to pain prescriptions containing opiates. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has reported that approximately 16 million individuals have admitted to some sort of Oxycodone abuse. Prescription drug addiction and dependency is one of the fastest growing concerns in America.
Myth #6 Rehab is Not Effective
The opposite is true, in fact. For many thousands of individuals entering inpatient drug rehab programs across the country each month, the vast majority are able to attain sobriety and move onto outpatient drug rehab programs in Southern California. Most inpatient rehab programs require a minimum of 28 days during which clients receive mental and physical support designed to help develop skills aimed at rebuilding a sober future. It is true that rehab itself is not a cure. Addiction is a disease and will require ongoing care and treatment for client’s to experience long-term success.