Myths & Truths About Addiction Recovery: Breaking the Stigma of Addiction

In a treatment program, patients learn valuable skills that make it easier for them to cope with their feelings of stress and emotional issues that contribute to their addiction. Being more self-aware and understanding how to deal with negative experiences can be key in addiction recovery. Patients will learn to identify how they usual coping methods may be ineffective and learn to develop new ones. An estimated 2.5 million people aged 18 years or older in the U.S. had opioid use disorder (OUD) in 2021. Yet, only one in five (22%) received medications to treat it, according to an August 2023 study in JAMA Network Open. For Black individuals, women, the unemployed, and those living in rural areas, the medication use rate was lower still.

  • Remember, addiction to drugs or alcohol happens when your brain becomes dependent on those chemicals to function.
  • During withdrawal, you will likely experience some intense physical symptoms that may cause you pain or discomfort.
  • Getting sober is just the first step on the road to recovery.
  • To break the stigma, we must challenge incorrect ideas by being compassionate and creating a safe space to talk without judgment.
  • If you cannot sleep or function normally without drugs or alcohol in your system, you are addicted to a substance.

The harm of prescription drug misuse is far-reaching and devastating. It’s important to raise awareness about the risks and importance of responsible usage. Stereotypes about physical looks and addiction must be challenged. Treatment should start right away, not wait for a “rock bottom”. This shame could come from society’s beliefs about addiction.

More Questions about Treatment?

Connecting with support  during and after treatment is essential to maintaining sobriety long-term. Whether through organized group therapy or informal get-togethers, joining others who are also recovering from addiction can help you combat isolation. Many patients also draw strength from realizing they are not alone.

Peer support is also designed for you to meet people who are further along in their recovery journey. Listening to them share their stories and seeing how far they have come can provide encouragement and motivation on the tough days. It also gives you someone to turn to who understands what you’re dealing with and won’t judge you for it.

Myth 4: Medication-Assisted Treatment isn’t Really Recovery.

Addiction isn’t a choice, but a result of genetics, environment, and mental health. Willpower isn’t enough to beat addiction, as it needs extensive treatment that addresses the causes and provides help for lasting recovery. People of all types can suffer from addiction; it doesn’t recognize age, income, ethnicity, religion, family background, or profession. The common myths surrounding addiction are ripe for debunking.

Seeking treatment is vital for individuals struggling with addiction, as it provides them the tools and support needed to embark on their path to recovery. For many people, the action stage begins with a process known as detoxification, also known as detox. During detox, all addictive substances are carefully removed from the patient’s body. In this myths about addiction and recovery stage, medical professionals navigate a patient through the steps of recovery. First, the patient engages in treatment that addresses the underlying causes of addiction. In addition, individual and group therapy help a person better understand addiction and themselves, and alternative therapies promote holistic wellness, bolstering recovery.

Addicts are not bad people, they are sick people who deserve treatment.

The role of a treatment team is to help the patient imagine new options for life and potential steps to break the chain of addiction. It’s complicated to admit to yourself that you need help, especially when dealing with addiction. Identifying the warning signals and knowing when to move toward recovery is not easy. However, understanding the recovery stages can help you figure out how to get in the right mindset. There are five stages of recovery, which clearly describe recognizing and admitting the problem, preparing for treatment, and dealing with life after treatment. Simply put, codependency is an unscientific theory that gained attention in the 1980s and unfortunately still dominates our society’s beliefs about families impacted by addiction.

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. It’s important to remember how hard it was to take a step toward recovery, and it’s something to be proud of. Besides the others in your program, many addiction programs rely on help and support from former patients who have turned their lives around and are now committed to giving back to their communities. Remember, addiction to drugs or alcohol happens when your brain becomes dependent on those chemicals to function. When those chemicals suddenly disappear, you can experience serious side effects that can also be life-threatening. Once your body is no longer chemically dependent on alcohol or drugs, more work begins.

If addiction were as simple as putting down the drug of choice and not picking it up again, there would probably be far fewer people in the world struggling with active addiction. In reality, addiction can be the result of a person’s attempt to cope with difficult life experiences. For those who don’t have the skills or resources to cope in a healthy way, substances may feel like the only option. People wrongly think they are safe because they come from healthcare professionals. We need to educate people about responsible medication use and the risks of certain drugs, so misuse can be prevented. By focusing on teaching people about addiction through both online and face-to-face interactions, we can address stigmas efficiently.

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