Addiction Is a Self-Control Issue
While this is partly true, it is not accurate to say. Yes, someone who struggles with a substance abuse addiction likely made a conscious decision to begin abusing drugs, alcohol, or other substances, but they likely did not choose the addiction that followed. The chemicals in abused substances can alter a person’s brain and “rewire” it to become dependent upon the substance. This means that addiction is not a choice and is not an issue of self-control.
Some people can use substances often without becoming addicted. Others can become addicted after even one use. A person’s individual tendency toward addiction is determined, in part, by factors such as:
- Their environment
- Their past experiences with substance abuse, trauma, or other events
- Psychological factors, such as impulsivity, emotional regulation, and stress tolerance
There Is Nothing Others Can Do to Help
Although the addict’s recovery journey is dependent upon them, their friends and family can play a critical role in their healing process. The belief that nobody can help the addict on their journey to recovery is completely false. In fact, support from close friends and family members is something that almost every treatment center values very highly when it comes to addiction recovery.
It Is Easy to Spot an Addict
While some addicts show obvious signs of addictions, others do not. Addicts can live seemingly normal lives and appear to most people to be completely healthy and normal people. They can hold steady jobs, have good relationships with their friends and family, and function normally in almost every aspect of their lives. Every addict is different, and they cope with their addiction in different ways, but the main message is that it is not always easy to spot an addict.
Addicts Must Want to Go to Rehab
A willingness to go to rehab, though beneficial, is not entirely necessary for the treatment to be effective. Of course, it is always easier if the addict willingly goes, but there are some cases when the addict does not want to go to rehab, is eventually forced to go, and experiences great benefits because of it.
Addicts Are Bad People Who Should Be Punished
There is a widespread belief that all addicts are bad people. While there certainly are addicts who harm others while under the influence or steal money in order to pay for their addiction, most addicts are still good people who have simply made a bad decision. They need not be punished simply for the fact that they are an addict. In fact, punishing or judging addicts can inspire them to use more frequently and can make their addiction worse. It is important to remember that addiction is a disease and people who suffer from disease need treatment, not punishment, to recover.