Addiction is a complicated puzzle to try and solve, and it often comes with many misunderstandings. These common myths about addiction are dangerous because they encourage the spread of misinformation. In order to conquer drug addiction, we must first understand it. Let's look at some of the most common myths about addiction — and get to the bottom of them.
4 Myths About Addiction, Debunked
1. Addiction Isn't a Disease
One of the first, and biggest, myths is that addiction is not a disease. Betty Tai, an executive at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, says, “Addiction is a disease. It is a brain disease, and you’ve got to treat it with a disease model. You give the patient what they are short on in his body or brain so that the patient can keep a normal life...keep a quality of life.”
Furthermore, both the American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine define addiction as a disease, says the Center on Addiction. Addiction is not unlike diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. It's caused by a mixture of behavioral, environmental, and biological factors, and it changes how your brain and body work. Also, genetic factors are responsible for around half the likelihood that a person will develop an addiction.
2. If You Want to Beat An Addiction, Just Detox
Another myth of addiction is that if someone suffering from addiction wants to quit, they should “just detox.” This makes beating addiction so much simpler than it really is. The truth is when it comes to going through detox without going through any addiction treatment in a rehab center, Cincinnati.com reports a relapse could be “almost instantaneous.” In fact, this report states that only 5% to 10% of people who detox can stay clean just doing detox alone.
In reality, it typically takes a lot more to beat a drug or alcohol addiction, including help from trained professionals.
3. There's Always Someone to Blame for an Individual's Addiction
One of the biggest myths about addiction is that it’s the fault of whoever is suffering from addiction, or it’s the fault of that person’s family. However, we know now that addiction can be the result of genetics and that it has nothing to do with intelligence or willpower. Because society has slowly started to understand addiction as a disease, thankfully, there’s more compassion and understanding today toward treating the disease, as opposed to assigning blame.
4. Addiction is a Choice
This goes along with feeling the need to assign blame. Particularly in the case of overdoses, people are quick to point out that the individual chose to take drugs, to abuse drugs. This is a dangerous assumption, and overdose cannot be simplified in this manner.
Understanding addiction for what it really is and focusing on prevention, treatment, and compassion are the first steps toward reducing drug and alcohol addiction in our country. Drug and alcohol testing can also help keep people clean. Drug testing is especially important in the workplace. To learn more, contact US Drug Test Centers today.