There are many myths that people have created over the years about substance abuse and drug addiction that are based on false stereotypes. As we move into the future, it is imperative that we bring attention to these falsehoods so that we can optimize how we treat those who suffer from dependency and addiction.
Drug Users are not all Physically Addicted
Many people wrongly assume that substance abuse and addiction are interchangeable terms. However, this is not the case, and they are two different things. A person that abuses drugs is not necessarily addicted to drugs. A person who has substance abuse disorder has developed a dependency on substances to cope with life. This dependence is mental and psychological in nature and does not necessarily mean that a person is physically addicted to a drug. In fact, a person that still experiences pleasure from using has likely not developed a physical tolerance or true addiction to a drug.
Once a person becomes truly addicted to a drug their body begins to depend on it to function properly. When a person has reached this stage, their tolerance has typically increased by quite a bit. Most of the time people who have become physically addicted to a drug are no longer able to get high and simply continue to use to feel normal and to avoid going into withdrawal.
Substance Abuse Affects People from All Backgrounds
It is commonly believed that substance abuse and drug addiction happen more often to people that are poor and living in “rough” neighborhoods. This is not the case. Substance abuse and drug addiction affect people from all walks of life regardless of income or socio-economic status. Some drugs are more popular than other drugs in certain areas and neighborhoods, but the number of people that are abusing drugs in neighborhoods that have more money is just as high in most cases as the number of people abusing substances in poorer neighborhoods.
People Cannot Just Stop Using at Will
Often people who use substances are psychologically dependent and or physically addicted. Due to these psychological dependencies and physical addictions that people in recovery are facing it often takes more than just will-power alone to make a full recovery and give up use. Many people are not able to stop using substances without receiving professional help due to the way that addiction can rewire the brain and create mental and physical dependence. Addiction isn’t a choice it is a disease that is debilitating, and it often leads people down horrible paths that lead to death and or prison…. Paths that no healthy individual would choose for themselves.
These are Just a Few of the Many Myths
Many other Myths have continued to be perpetuated by people who do not understand drug addiction and substance abuse. It is important that society works as a whole to end the stigma around drug addiction so that people can more easily get the help that they need.