Substance Abuse Myths

Misconceptions abound when it comes to substance abuse. With how prevalent substance abuse is in our society, it is important to differentiate fact from fiction. Here are a few of the more prominent substance abuse myths.

Substance Abuse Myth #1: If I relapse, I am a failure

Relapse is a very common outcome during recovery. Many times, more than one relapse occurs. Relapse does not mean you are a failure, it just means it is time to pick yourself up and learn from your mistake, learn better-coping strategies.

Substance Abuse Myth #2: Addiction is a choice

People do not choose to be addicted to substances. As a recovering addict and prominent advocate for addiction education put it, “I chose to drink, but I didn’t choose addiction. When you choose to eat a cheese pizza, are you choosing to have a heart attack?” Worse, addiction is a disease that takes control of the user, often making that choice to avoid use impossible.

Substance Abuse Myth #3: I can go cold turkey

Successfully quitting without properly detoxing, or “going cold turkey” is a rarity, if not an impossibility. Further, many substance use disorders change body chemistry such that quitting without professional help is dangerous, sometimes deadly. When you have spent so long pumping a substance into your system, your body acclimates to it and starts requiring it to function. Depriving your system of this drug completely without a compensatory treatment causes your body to go haywire and malfunction.

Substance Abuse Myth #4: I do not need to help until I reach rock bottom

We have all heard stories of people talking about how they knew it was time for a change when they hit rock bottom. The reality is that rock bottom is not necessary before treatment. Studies have shown that the earlier you get treatment, the better the outcome. Addiction is a terrible disease and the deeper it gets its hooks in you, the hard it will be to change.

Substance Abuse Myth #5: Once I recover, I am healed

You do not simply achieve recovery and all is better; recovery is a lifelong process. The sad fact about addiction is it is a chronic disease. However, with proper treatment and coping skills, it does not have to control you.

Recovery is always possible. If you feel you are ready to take the first steps in your journey to recovery, Get Real Recovery is here to help you find your way.

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