For people with close relationships with substance abusers, addiction can be devastating and difficult to overcome. In addition to feeling scared and worried, the friends, families, and coworkers of abusers may also face a great deal of confusion when it comes to an understanding the exact nature of addiction. This confusion often stems from long-held myths about addiction and exactly how it functions.
Myth: If Treatment Failed Once, It Will Never Work
This is one of the biggest myths about addiction, and it is one that causes many people to give up on seeking out new methods of addiction treatment. Often family members and friends will devote time, money, and dedicated efforts toward getting a loved one to enter rehab, only to have that person drop out or relapse later down the road.
If this happens, it’s easy to understand why people might get discouraged. However, there are many individuals who fail at their first attempts at treatment, only to find lasting success a second or third time. The reason this sometimes happens is that people may initially enter a treatment program that isn’t quite the right fit.
Often, substance abusers and loved ones don’t understand that not all treatment facilities and options are created equal. Each rehabilitation center offers a different atmosphere and overall approach, with unique combinations of services, including faith-based recovery programs, group counseling, 12-step programs, one-on-one counseling, holistic rehabilitation, long-term care, and other options.
This variety of treatment options simply means that, even if a person has had trouble with rehabilitation attempts in the past, finding a treatment solution that’s a good fit can provide a better chance of recovery in the future.
Myth: Addiction is a Moral Issue
Along the same lines as people believing that addiction has to do with willpower, there are also many individuals who think of addiction as an issue that relates to low morals. Even among people who don’t believe addiction is related to morality, there may still be a general stigma associated with addiction.
This belief has actually been around for a while, with the University of Utah’s Genetic Science Learning Center noting that imprisonment used to be one of the treatment methods for those suffering from addiction. Fortunately, more people now understand that individuals from all moral backgrounds and belief systems can develop addictions to various substances. Addiction is actually a medical condition that has nothing to do with a person’s sense of right or wrong.
It’s essential that friends, family members, and acquaintances keep this in mind so they can avoid making an abuser feel guilty or sense that they are somehow inferior to those around them. People with substance abuse problems will find it much easier to seek out help if they can lean on others who are open-minded, loving, non-judgmental, and who recognize that addition is, in fact, a medical condition.
Moving on and Getting Help
While it can be difficult for people to move past these common myths about addiction, it’s ultimately necessary to create an environment that is conducive to treatment and recovery. With all of the resources available today, addiction doesn’t have to carry a stigma, and recovery doesn’t have to feel like a gamble. Supportive family members and friends, along with well-suited treatment options, can give a recovering substance abuser the best chance at a brighter, healthier future.