Substance abuse has become a scourge that Americans face these days. According to statistics, 60 million Americans abuse alcohol while 22 million Americans are using illegal drugs. If that’s not shocking enough, get this: There are 70 million Americans that are addicted to legal prescription drugs. A study done by Mayo Clinic showed that close to 70 percent of Americans are on at least a single prescription medication while 20 percent were on a minimum of five prescription drugs.
Obviously, drug and alcohol addiction have become problems that the United States has to face. If you or a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you know how dangerous the situation can get. Not only is it a very expensive habit to maintain, it is also detrimental to your work and your relationships. This is the reason why seeking treatment is important.
However, there are a lot of myths that prevent many addicts and their families from seeking help for these addictions. It’s important to start correcting these myths and reveal the truth about it:
Myth: You can get over drug addiction by drawing on your willpower to change.
Truth: Although the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary, continued drug use alters the brain which prevents the addict from making sound and rational decisions. Drug addiction is now looked upon as a disease which requires treatment. Drug rehabilitation programs provide step-by-step interventions which help the addict cope with withdrawal symptoms, adapt new ways of behaving and thinking and learn to live a productive life that is free from drugs.
Myth: You have to be severely addicted and be at your lowest point before you can get treatment.
Truth: Getting treatment can start at any point in the addiction. In fact, it’s better to intervene earlier than later when the addiction has become so severe that it becomes more difficult for treatment to get the desired effect. If you or a loved one has started to become dependent on drugs, nip it off in the bud right away by getting treatment before it gets worse.
Myth: Once addiction gets hold, nothing can be done about it.
Truth: Drug addiction is a brain disease and just like other diseases, it can be treated. It’s wrong to believe that an addict will not anymore get well. While the process may be long and even costly, it is possible to undo the damage brought about by substance abuse. A combination of counseling, detoxification, meditation, medication (in some cases) and exercise help the addict make a full recovery.
Myth: Success in treatment can only be achieved if the addict voluntarily commits himself to a rehab program.
Truth: Studies have shown that addicts who chose to get treatment voluntarily and those who were forced to do so by their families and loved ones got the same benefit. As treatment progresses, they realize how important it is to stay clean and sober.
Myth: If the treatment did not work the first time, the addict is a lost cause.
Truth: Recovery from drug addiction is a long and on-going process. Relapse is recognized as part of it. When a person goes back to his old behavior, it doesn’t mean that he is already a hopeless case. It simply means that the treatment he underwent needs to be re-evaluated and readjusted. For some drug addicts, it can take more than one relapse and continued readjustment of the drug rehab program undertaken to finally achieve long-term success.