It’s important to understand the myths surrounding substance use disorders so you can receive the treatment that you need. It’s difficult to quit drinking or using drugs on your own and it can even result in dangerous risks to your health and well-being. Live Free Recovery Services offers programs that provide the support you need to make it in long-term recovery.
We also like to provide educational material to help clients grow. This article separates fact from fiction by debunking myths that can derail your recovery and unnecessarily shake your confidence.
Table of Contents
- 1. Marijuana is safer and less addictive than other drugs.
- 2. Addicts have a character flaw and no self-control.
- 3. Using stimulants keeps you focused at work or school.
- 4. Prescription drug addiction isn’t as bad as other forms of substance abuse.
- 5. Substance abuse treatment is a waste of time.
- 6. Addiction only affects young people.
- 7. Drug addiction is more dangerous than alcoholism.
- 8. Once an addict, always an addict.
1. Marijuana is safer and less addictive than other drugs.
Most states have legalized medical or recreational use of marijuana, or at least decriminalized it. However, marijuana has a damaging effect on social and cognitive development for children and young adults and there’s a fairly high risk of becoming addicted once you start using it regularly. Plus, it often directly leads to emphysema, asthma and bronchitis, the same health problems that plague cigarette smokers.
2. Addicts have a character flaw and no self-control.
It’s incorrect to assume that those who develop substance use disorders can quit whenever they want. Addiction impacts your mind and body in ways that you quickly lose control of. It does take a conscious effort to seek help at a reputable recovery center such as Live Free Recovery Services. However, there are other factors such as mental health, genetic disposition and circumstances that often lead to a downward spiral of addiction. It doesn’t mean that you have no morals or that you can’t learn self-control.
Live Free has two treatment approaches for addiction treatment, partial hospitalization programs (PHP) and outpatient treatment.
- In the PHP, which is often called day treatment, you receive intensive rehab during the day while returning home at night. This is a good option for clients who cannot commit to full-time in-patient services due to family or work obligations. It gives you 24-hour access to medical support.
- The outpatient treatment service is ideal if your addiction hasn’t yet significantly interrupted your family life, job or schoolwork. You can continue living your life while learning skills to avoid a relapse and receiving support in an outpatient treatment program that you attend several times a week.
3. Using stimulants keeps you focused at work or school.
Some clients become addicted to prescription drugs such as Dexedrine or Adderall, while others get hooked on methamphetamines cooked up for recreational purposes. Although these drugs provide an initial rush of energy, they often cause panic, paranoia and hostility, which hardly contribute to your academic or professional performance.
4. Prescription drug addiction isn’t as bad as other forms of substance abuse.
Because doctors prescribe opioids and other painkillers, it’s easy to feel superior if you become dependent on these drugs versus drugs you obtain on the street. Here’s the truth about prescription drug addiction. After the prescription runs out, you may find yourself seeking prescriptions from doctors around town or stealing pills from friends and family members. For example, many people who become dependent on opioids end up trying heroin, because it’s cheaper and easier to get.
5. Substance abuse treatment is a waste of time.
Substance abuse treatment takes a firm commitment and the help of reliable medical professionals and therapists. Some people revert to old habits once they complete their recovery program. However, that doesn’t mean substance abuse treatment doesn’t work. Withdrawal symptoms pose a real danger to your physical and mental health. Therefore, it’s always better to undertake your recovery in a structured recovery program. Sobriety is a journey, and you have to start somewhere. Remember that it’s never too late to take back control of your life.
6. Addiction only affects young people.
While the statistics show that teenagers and young people have higher rates of addiction, it certainly not just a problem for young people. Whereas 5% of adolescents develop a substance abuse disorder, approximately 14% of seniors who end up in the emergency room do so due to drug and alcohol-related issues. Additionally, 13% of adult women surveyed admitted to using illicit substances in the past year.
7. Drug addiction is more dangerous than alcoholism.
Approximately 14 million adults develop alcohol use disorders. Alcohol causes a number of health issues such as liver cirrhosis and problems with your kidneys. Alcohol has very detrimental impacts on the brain and your entire body. Additionally, the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol addiction include painful side effects, some of which are life-threatening.
Live Free Structured Sober Living provides a healthy environment for clients who want to continue their recovery in a structured living environment. You will live in a sober living home with rules based on 12 step programs. Medical assistance is close at hand and there are several in-house meetings per week.
8. Once an addict, always an addict.
There is absolutely no truth to this statement. We have seen many, many clients recover from drug and alcohol addictions and go on to lead productive lives. Nobody’s perfect, but nobody’s hopeless either. It’s important to surround yourself with positive people who believe in you and want the best for you. Eventually, you’ll realize that you’re mainly accountable to yourself.
Live Free is based in Manchester, NH, and we serve clients throughout the state. Our sober living home is one hour north of Boston and an hour’s drive from the ocean. Contact us today to begin your journey back to sober, drug-free living.