30 Mar 3 Major Myths About Opioid Addiction > News > Yale Medicine
In many cases, the strain of managing addiction while maintaining the appearance of normalcy can exacerbate the problem and delay the decision to seek help. There is a prevailing stereotype that persons with an addiction are unable to function in society, hold down jobs, or maintain healthy relationships. This misconception paints a picture of persons with an addiction as dysfunctional and unproductive individuals, further perpetuating stigma and misunderstanding. In some cases, people are genetically predisposed to become addicted to something — if they begin to use alcohol or drugs, they are more likely to become addicted to them.
- The cost of rehab with insurance can be much more affordable than paying on your own.
- You may remember the face-eating bath salt incident of 2012.
- It can also be designed to include your family and support system so they can learn more about what you’ve been dealing with and how to encourage you in your recovery.
- While we’re firm believers in the power that comes with education and setting boundaries, we never want loved ones to feel shame or as if it’s their sole responsibility to get someone well.
- Gaining short-term relief, at a long-term cost, you may start to wonder if it’s even worth it anymore.
Misconceptions about addiction are prevalent in today’s society and contribute to stigma. This is a list of 15 common misconceptions about addiction. Journalist David Sheff’s son Nic began using marijuana and alcohol at the age of 12, then heroine and crystal meth.
While these numbers may seem discouraging, it is important to note that relapse rates for addiction are similar to those for other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. These statistics highlight that addiction expressive arts therapy is a chronic disease, and relapse is a common part of the recovery process. The belief that individuals can quit their addiction “cold turkey” without any professional help or treatment is both unrealistic and potentially dangerous.
Those living with addiction may behave in a way that is in violation of their own personal morals or the laws of society. Changes in brain chemistry caused by addictive substances use the reward pathway of the brain to elicit a feeling of pleasure. Addiction occurs due to physical changes in the brain’s chemistry, and some people may be predisposed to develop a substance use disorder due to genetics, trauma, and other factors.
Myth #5: Suboxone should only be taken for a short period of time.
It’s easy to understand why someone taking a prescription drug feels a sense of security. Non-violent crimes, such as drug use, are crimes against the self — not society. In general, users turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate, trying to treat pain. While using is not justified, it can be viewed as a human reaction to suffering — a survival mechanism. The addict can lose the ability to derive pleasure from everyday activities, which makes suffering constant and incessant. Addiction isn’t like a cancer diagnosis — it’s a disease that’s an off-balance of the body, teetering slightly from time to time, not readable through scans and blood tests as “present” or “in remission”.
Even if your insurance won’t cover drug rehab, some recovery centers offer financial aid or payment programs. Your employer may be willing to help with costs, or a family member may be able to help. The long-term costs of addiction are far greater than the short-term costs of medical treatment. Detox refers to the initial withdrawal period in which the chemical changes that your body has undergone as an addict begin to reverse.
Common Myths About Substance Addiction
You may be scared to leave your loved ones behind or worried you won’t have a place to return when your treatment concludes. It’s natural to feel this way, but pausing from your current daily life can positively benefit your treatment and overall recovery. While it’s true that treatment programs have guidelines and rules you’re expected to adhere to, there is also a lot of freedom in our programs.
Understanding The Myths And Stigma Around Addiction
The words we use to describe addiction and people with addiction are important. Negative terms such as “addict”, “user”, “junkie”, and phrases such as “needs to get clean” contribute to stigma against people with opioid use disorder and create barriers to accessing effective treatment. When we talk about people with diabetes, we don’t talk about them being “dirty,” we talk about their sugars.
Those struggling with addiction also do not have the resources they need to not use. From money and emotional support to knowledge and good life examples, most who use drugs or alcohol do not have what they need to stop. They are not bad or weak — they are just without what they need to live a life free from drugs and alcohol.
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Developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help you heal from the effects of addiction, physically and emotionally. At Gateway Foundation, we prefer to use the term “medically supervised withdrawal.” “Detox” implies that once the substance you are addicted to leaves your body, all will be well. But the truth is, withdrawing from an addictive substance is only the first step in the process. Deciding to enter an addiction recovery program is courageous because it’s about more than just sharing your feelings or finding the willpower to quit using.
The myths about addiction are damaging not only to addicts and their families but to all of us. What if the many influential business leaders, inspirational artists, best-selling authors, and history-making politicians who join the ranks of recovering addicts were shamed into silence? By understanding addiction as a brain disease and allowing people to recover in the way that works best for them, we can make significant strides in addressing the nation’s leading public health problem. Despite the fact that prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the past decade, the use of “legal” drugs to get high carries less stigma than the use of illicit drugs. The cost of rehab with insurance can be much more affordable than paying on your own.
A recognized leader in addiction medicine, Gateway Foundation’s programs are based on medical and psychological research but tailored to meet each patient’s unique needs and challenges. Offering residential, outpatient and day treatment options, Gateway is committed to helping you find a way forward. When you enter into addiction treatment, you may encounter friends or family members who don’t understand what you’re doing or why you’re doing it.
She considers drug use itself – as universal as it is – to be the result of despair (Myth I). This is no truer than saying drinking alcohol, shopping, playing video games or using mobile phones, sex, or how to cure boredom love are signs of despair. When addiction takes hold, these changes in the brain erode a person’s self-control and ability to make good decisions, while sending highly intense impulses to take drugs.
Myths About Substance Use Disorders
The sooner a person receives help for their addiction, the more likely they are to achieve long-term recovery. The truth is that addiction can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, or socioeconomic status. Addiction does not discriminate and can impact people from all walks of life. For example, the opioid epidemic in the United States has affected individuals across a wide range of demographics, demonstrating that no one is immune to the risk of addiction. As an addiction counselor, I’ve heard many 29 best group therapy activities for supporting adults.