The world, sadly, is becoming more accustomed to seeing and dealing with the ever-increasing drug problems around the world. Still, there are some misconceptions and some myths that linger about substance abuse and addiction. A lot has been learned about addiction over the past 40 years, which changes what is now known, the truth about addiction. Some people are still clinging to old beliefs, some just aren’t aware of the advances that have been made in the study of drug addictions. Drug counselors and drug rehabilitation staff are well aware of the myths out there because they hear them on a daily basis. Because changes are good and some type of addiction will affect at least 3 out of 4 families, it is important to be able to separate the truth from the myths.
Drug addiction and drug abuse are the same thing.
This is incorrect. Drug abuse is when someone continues to use a drug even though they are aware that it could be harmful. There may be some slight dependence on the drug but it has not taken full affect. They take it, they know it is wrong, but they could walk away just as easily. Drug addiction, however, is a strong physical, emotional and psychological dependence on a drug. It has gone way past abuse and the person who is addicted can no longer just walk away from the drug.
People can stop using drugs any time they want to.
While on the surface, this may be true, addiction affects the whole person so strongly that it takes more than just an “I want to quit” attitude to stop. The mind, body and spirit must be healed for someone to be completely free of.
Drug abusers and addicts are weak.
There are military officers who are drug abusers and addicts. There are nurses and doctors who have studied years to get to where they are. They are not weak, they are simply vulnerable to the effects of a drug once they try it.
Drug addicts are from the scum of society.
No one, NO ONE is immune from drug addiction. High profile businessmen and women, respected members of the community, middle class working people and the homeless are all just as vulnerable. Drugs do not discriminate.
Drug abusers are victims of a disease and must be treated with other drugs.
Holistic and drug free treatment is the only way to ensure that the abuser is not trading one drug in for another. There are still facilities that incorporate drugs into their treatment plan but by doing that, they are just substituting drugs and not solving the problem.