There are many myths surrounding addiction and rehabilitation. Some of these myths can stop someone who needs help from getting it. If you don’t believe that going to treatment can help you, why would you go? The truth is going to a rehab facility can help fight the addictions that so many suffer from. Addressing and rebutting these myths is the first step to helping people understand what addiction and rehabilitation really is.
1. Addicts can choose to stop if they really want to:
This myth is particularly damaging to idea of getting treatment. Will power alone is simply not enough to stop an addiction. Research shows that substance abuse rewires the brains pathways, making the brain think that it needs the substance to sustain life. This is where the strong cravings and lack of impulse control comes from.
An addicts brain can go back to normal in a lot of cases, however this process takes time. Being in a controlled environment like a rehab, will give them the time away from the substance they are addicted to for the brain to start to function normally. It is extremely difficult for an addict to do this on his or her own.
2. Addicts are bad people
Addiction is a disease; an addict is not a bad person he or she is a sick person. Someone who is addicted to a substance may do somethings that are considered bad, or questionable to most people, but that doesn’t make him or her a bad person. Once the brain has rewired obtaining the substance becomes the most important thing to the addict, leading him or her to make some bad choices.
Part of the recovery process accepting that they were powerless, is owning the mistakes and bad choices they have made, forgiving themselves and make amends to those that have been harmed by them.
Many times the friends and family members have issues due to their loved one’s actions that will need to be worked though as well. However, holding a grudge or trying to make an addict feel guilty for things he or she did when using will not help the situation. There are many facilities that offer family therapy to help mend the bridges that the addiction has weakened.
3. An addict has to want treatment for it to work:
It is true that treatment works faster for those that want it, but people who are made to go into treatment can still be successful in getting clean or sober. Going through treatment can open the addict’s eyes to the fact that they have a problem and from that point the recovery process starts.
4. If an addict relapses, it means the he or she has failed:
Relapse does not equal failure, just like with many other diseases one treatment might not be enough to get control of it. No one calls a cancer patient a failure because their cancer came back and no one should refuse to an addict who has relapsed in that way either.
Recovery is hard and there are many things that can happen in life to trigger someone to use. Sometimes it takes going into treatment multiple times before consistent sobriety can be obtained. Relapse doesn’t always mean having to start all over from the beginning.
5. Rehabilitation is a cure for addiction:
There is no cure for addiction, it is something you will have the rest of your life. However, treatment can help you to control it and relearn how to live your life without using. It is something that you will have to work on daily, then after time it will become more like second nature but addiction will always be there.