There are many misconceptions about addiction. Some of these myths are harmful and contribute to the stigma surrounding the condition. If someone you care about is struggling with the disease, it’s important to become as educated as possible about addiction to remove negative stereotypes and emphasize the importance of seeking addiction treatment. Here are six facts you might not know about addiction.
- There is no “standard” type of substance abuser. There are several stereotypes about who will develop addictions. However, these stereotypes are untrue and often causes people suffering from addiction to hide their struggles instead of seeking help. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 20 million Americans have a substance use disorder. Factors for developing this disease range from genetics, inappropriate medical prescribing, trauma, stress and more, and cover numerous demographics. It’s impossible to narrow addiction down to one type of person.
- Addiction changes the brain. Over time addiction rewires the brain, leading individuals to constantly seek the reward of the substance. With continued use, individuals need the substance to feel “normal” and experience physical withdrawals symptoms once they quit.
- Addiction is a chronic disease. There is a harmful misconception that addiction is a choice. While addiction is treatable through various forms of addiction treatment, it is a disease that inhibits an individual’s ability to stop. The addiction could be harming them socially, professionally and financially, but the craving is more important the consequences. Addiction is not an indicator of weakness or moral defect.
- Increased tolerance can indicate a problem. People often think their substance use is under control if they can handle the amount they are using. However, drinking or abusing substances without feeling the effects could be a sign of growing dependency.
- Alcoholism is just as dangerous as other addictions. Excessive alcohol use is the nation’s leading cause of preventable death. According to the CDC, it is responsible for more than 95,000 deaths annually. Many do not realize excessive drinking is as dangerous as drug use and often don’t realize they are heavy drinkers.
- Recovery is not linear. As with any disease, there is no set path to recovery. It’s unrealistic to expect every individual to recover at the same speed. Relapse is often associated with shame or weakness but is a natural part of recovery and addiction treatment.
Addiction is a complex condition with many factors. If you or a loved one is interested in seeking recovery (see Drug Rehab Arlington for more), we’re here to support you. Contact us at 833-505-HOPE or use our live chat on our website to get help.