When it comes to understanding addiction and how to overcome it, many people have trouble separating myth from fact. The more you learn about the subject of addiction, the better understanding you will have of this horrific disease. If you or a loved one has a problem with alcohol or drug abuse, understanding the facts is a good first step in getting the help that is needed.
Myth: A person chooses to become an addict
Fact: Addiction is a disease
In the early stages of an addiction, it is the personal choice of the user to go down that road. However, it does not take long before their brain chemistry is altered, and then the personal choice becomes an addiction. It becomes more difficult to stop using and the person will develop more tolerance to the drugs and alcohol...which will lead to more use...and the never ending cycle continues. The brain will become foggy over time and the person will have difficulty making good decisions.
Myth: If you have an addiction you are a bad person
Fact: Because addiction is a disease, it affects good people
While it is true that people suffering from an alcohol or drug addiction will make poor choices and exhibit bad behavior, that alone does not make them a bad person. Many good people fall into the abyss of addiction and although society sometimes will label them as “bad,” because addiction is a disease that changes the chemistry in the brain, that doesn’t make it so. Becoming sober and clean needs to be a top priority for anyone suffering from an addiction.
Myth: If I have a job and a family, I cannot have an addiction
Fact: If you hide your addiction, that does not mean it does not exist
Some people with a drug or alcohol abuse problem will be able to hold down a job and even hide their addiction from their friends and family members. Before long, however, the addiction will get out of control and there will be no more “hiding it.” Many addicts are creative when it comes to hiding their problem, but sooner or later their poor choices will reveal their true condition.
Myth: Once you are an addict, you can never escape from the addiction
Fact: Recovery is possible for everyone
Society judges people with addictions to the point where many believe they will never overcome their problem of drug or alcohol abuse. But there is no truth to that belief, because millions of people have successfully overcome their addictions and have gone on to lead happy lives in recovery. Once an addict begins to get professional help, they are on a journey to become a new person. They can leave their old life in the past where it belongs, and look forward to building a new one.
Becoming sober and making a successful journey through addictions recovery is no easy task. But once you have made the decision to find a new life and kick the old one to the curb, you must do your part to make your recovery last. Statistics show that relapse rates for recovering addicts are high, but you do not have to succumb to the temptations of your addiction. You can begin and new life that is filled with hope, opportunities and meaning. The key is to remain positive at all times, which is not as easy as it sounds.
Here are some tips to help you stay positive on your recovery journey: