Myths, falsehoods, and half-truths often develop around important issues. And in the case of addiction recovery, myths have developed that people hear many times. Particularly for people who are undergoing addiction recovery they should be aware of myths surrounding recovery.
By believing these myths they can hurt their chances of a fully recovery. They should be educated about the realities of addiction recovery, so they don’t believe self-defeating myths. Moreover, even those who don’t suffer from addiction should understand that there are myths that everyone hears about addiction recovery that aren’t necessarily true. Here are five examples.
1. Addicts Have No Self-Control
One myth that surrounds addiction is the belief that people are addicts because they have no self-control. Developing a dependency on a substance is much more complex than having self-control. And to view addiction in such a simplistic manner will only harm people’s attempts at recovery.
There are many different factors that trigger addiction, and people who are in recovery need to focus on acquiring the tools to cope with addiction, and not think of it simply in terms of being weak and having no self-control. By doing so, they already start the journey thinking that there’s something innately wrong with them.
2. Only People Who’ve Been Abused Become Addicts
Addiction doesn’t discriminate, and people from all different backgrounds and economic levels can be affected. While some people do turn to drugs or alcohol, because of abuse that has happened in their past, many people also develop addictions who weren’t abused.
Abuse and addiction shouldn’t be automatically associated with each other, and people should realize that that are a variety of reasons why people develop dangerous addictions. People can come from financially stable, loving homes and still develop addictions when they reach adulthood.
3. Myths about Addicts Are Bad People
When someone is driven by addiction, unfortunately they may do things that they wouldn’t normally do. Their actions may be driven by a need to fuel their drug habit, or under the influence lose sense of right and wrong.
But it should be remembered that people who are addicts aren’t necessarily bad people. While the demons of addictions can distort an addict’s perspective and actions, addicts can turn around their lives and put their lives back together.
4. Some Addicts Are Lost Causes
Sometimes people will relapse on the journey of recovery, and they will relapse more than once and the journey will be an ongoing struggle. When someone relapses more than once it can be easy to dismiss them and think that some people will remain hopeless addicts their entire lives. However, this isn’t true, and recovery is a lifelong journey.
The actor Robert Downey Jr. is a famous example of an actor who many had written off as a talented actor, but a lost cause. He seemed like he was eventually going to end up a tragic Hollywood story, but he eventually became sober and resumed a successful Hollywood career.
Whether it’s a specific intervention or the support of loved ones, addicts who relapse are not lost causes. The journey of recover never ends, and addiction can always be overcome with the right support and motivation.
5. Genetics Cause Addiction (Myths)
While genetics may play a factor in addiction, genetics by themselves are not what cause addiction. If addiction seems to run in one family, one family member may develop a problem with addiction, but another family member may not. While genetics may play some role, what role it exactly does play is still mysterious.
Other factors like environment, traumatic events, and individual decisions also play a role. It should be remembered that someone who comes from a “normal” family can still develop an addiction, and everyone’s story is different.