Common Misunderstandings About Drug Addiction : To most people, addiction is a set-in-stone concept; drinking and gambling, going overboard. We often judge at face value, never digging deeper. Resultantly, we see many misconceptions revolving around addiction. People treat it as any other condition that is just a therapist’s session away from being cured.
Those afflicted by it often lie to themselves with the “I can quit whenever I want” theorem. What’s lacking is a general understanding of addiction and the direness of leaving it untreated. It could be you, or it could be a loved one. In either case, it is our responsibility to learn about addiction and tackle any misunderstandings or stigma attached to it.
Educating ourselves about drug addiction can significantly impact addicts’ lives. Multiple facets and aspects of addiction are misconstrued more often than not. In this article, we will debunk five common misunderstandings.
We Choose to Become Addicts
Addiction is not a choice, and this misconception is the first one we would like to debunk. Most people are unaware of the perils of being an addict. It is believed that addicts have a choice in the matter and can abandon their addiction whenever they wish. However, that is not the case.
Addiction is a complex mental health condition. You are rarely in control of your brain, following a single-file command. The decisions you make are in no way rational, and the consequences produced are not suitable for you. The body of an addict undergoes changes that upset the chemical balances of the brain. Scientifically, you cannot control yourself should you be undergoing such changes. This is as serious a mental condition as bipolar, depression, and others. You should consult a professional addiction guide to better understand what addicts go through and how you can help them. Choice is irrelevant for addicts; no one can possibly choose to harm their body to such an extent willingly.
All Addicts Are Homeless and Jobless
Upon being asked to picture an addict and their addiction, most people think of a poor person, jobless, without a home, and on the streets. They do not know that this ailment can strike anybody, rich or poor. It could be someone at home, a neighbor, a friend, or it could even be you.
Here’s something interesting. Studies suggest that the wealthy are more likely to develop an addiction than the poor. While we are not justifying television series and the content they show, they hold some truth. Rich kids are known to hit the hardest with addiction. When they find a source to quell their depression, something that can distract them, it is too convenient to pay to acquire it.
What is worse is that you have access to designer drugs with the money. Opioids are much better to hide from family and friends and easier to access than Heroin and other black-market drugs. Know that anybody is susceptible to addiction.
There Are More Male Addicts Than Female
Another common misconception people believe is that there are more male addicts than females. Addiction is not discriminatory; it can affect anybody, no matter their gender. While men are more likely to abuse drugs as they have better access, the gap between there being more male addicts than females is narrowing. Nowadays, women drink and are involved in drug abuse just as men. With the current stats as they are and where they are headed, it is predicted that women may even surpass men in alcohol and drug abuse.
Men and women are two different entities; addiction hits them both differently. However, both are equally liable to develop substance use disorder (SUD), fall prey to cravings, and relapse. But some symptoms are gender-specific only. Rehabilitation centers and caretakers always provide personalized treatment to men and women not just based on gender but down to individualistic needs. Male or female, every person is a unique entity, and while the process may be similar for people of the same sex, everybody has a unique experience.
Addicts Are Criminals
While it is undoubtedly true that drugs and alcohol are important factors in the life of crime, it does not necessarily mean all addicts are criminals or have a criminal record. Most addicts are high-functioning people, meaning they can easily go about their addiction without any issue. Their work and lives remain intact; on the surface, that is.
Most addicts are professionals like teachers, lawyers, and even doctors. It is not hard to imagine why they spiral into addiction. Most of these professions are associated with a high level of stress. Be it hard days at work or the fear of losing jobs, there is always a catch to being highly paid. Moreover, these professionals try too hard to control their addiction, afraid that it would end their careers and their social lives. Criminal or not, we all need to be wary of addiction and get help should we succumb.
Prescription Drug Addiction is the Lesser of Two Evils
Due to one reason or the other, people view addiction with an ever-existing dichotomy. Addicts with opioid or opiate addiction are considered lesser addicts than those addicted to Heroin and other black-market drugs. This is not at all true. An addict is an addict, no matter the form of their addiction. People addicted to socially acceptable forms of drugs need just as much help as those addicted otherwise. People with either addiction have fallen prey to the same disease. Both need help and will make progress should they be given either inpatient or outpatient care at a recovery center.
There are so many misconceptions out there about addiction. While some don’t understand it, others don’t know how to handle it. Non-addicts who want to help have no idea how to approach an addict. It is necessary and all the more important for everyone, whether addicted or not, to understand the disease and work on helping those afflicted to the best of their capacity. We all contribute to society as a whole and must not let such an ailment impair anybody’s progress.
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