Sometimes it’s difficult to participate in a conversation about addiction without stirring up a heated debate. It seems that everyone has a different opinion on the topic. But, the important thing is that they are talking about the issue and trying to reach some level of understanding the facts. People are often resistant to changing their beliefs about addiction, but hopefully, they will at least acknowledge that it is a public health crisis that needs solutions.
Misleading beliefs about addiction can cause harm when it comes to deciding whether an addict deserves the misery they are experiencing. If a family member or a friend believes an addict could get sober if he or she really wanted to, they won’t encourage the individual to seek treatment. This decision can result in devastating consequences such as overdose or death.
Many addicts are living sober lives today because their families took part in helping the person get professional treatment. It’s fortunate that these family members held to the belief that it’s not okay to wait until the addict hits rock bottom before getting them into rehab.
More Misleading Beliefs About Addiction
No one is immune from addiction. It affects people from all walks of life. No matter where you live, your occupation, your financial status, your race, age, or religion, you can become an addict. In other words, addiction isn’t restricted to low-income or homeless people.
Here are a few more of the misleading beliefs about addiction:
Is addiction a choice or a disease?
This is the most controversial of the misleading beliefs some people still cling to about addiction. On one side of the debate, we have groups such as AMA, WHO, and APA who state that addiction is a brain disorder. They have studies showing that drugs interfere with the brain’s circuitry and cause long-term side effects and self-destructive behaviors. On the other side of the debate are people who insist that an addict chooses to use the substances because no one forced them to pick up the bottle of liquor, or the joint, or the needle. This debate may never be completely resolved.
Is treatment or punishment best for addicts?
There is no debate that drugs are bad. They cause a person to do things they wouldn’t normally have done. Our justice system tends to treat addicts like criminals, but studies show that recidivism rates are extremely high. So, maybe another approach is needed. In the U.S., 46.4% of the federal prison population was incarcerated for drug offenses. Also, the costs of treatment are much lower than the costs related to incarceration. As a society, we need to reach an agreement on this topic and try to save lives.
Are sober living homes good or bad?
Sober living homes offer recovering addicts a place to experience structure, rules, and a sense of community. They serve as a bridge between rehab and mainstream society. Without this type of transitional living, many addicts relapse. But, there are individuals who think the homes disrupt the neighborhood and they don’t want those people living nearby. They fail to realize that without these homes, many recovering addicts have no other place to go and would end up living on the streets or relapsing. This topic is another one that may never be resolved.
Getting Help for Addiction
The important thing to note about the misleading beliefs about addiction is whether we would think differently if it was one of our loved ones who became an addict. Until the issue hits home, many people simply ignore it and go on about their day.
While we continue debating the issue, more addicts will die because they failed to get proper treatment.
If you would like more information about the misleading beliefs about addiction, contact us at our toll-free number today. Also, we can help if you or a loved one needs treatment for drugs or alcohol.