There is no question about it, drug addiction has a huge effect on users and the people in their lives. Despite the fact that there is so much help and information available these days, there are still many people that fail to seek help and that is often because of the myths that surround the topic.
Below are some of the most common myths about drug addiction and the actual truth about them.
You can’t get addicted to something your doctor prescribes. Although most medications are perfectly safe providing they are taken in the prescribed dosage for a short period of time, prolonged use can be dangerous and incredibly addictive. Addiction to prescription painkillers is on the increase and just because it’s not illegal it doesn’t mean you can’t become hooked.
Natural drugs are safer. People assume that ‘natural’ drugs such as marijuana and magic mushrooms are safer than the likes of heroin and cocaine. Despite the fact that these drugs grow in the ground it doesn’t mean that they don’t alter your brain chemistry or produce dangerous side effects.
If you don’t get drunk you don’t have an alcohol problem. People naturally assume that you can only be an alcoholic if you’re getting drunk all the time. Those who can work their way through countless cans of beer or a huge amount of wine or spirits and not feel a thing often kid themselves that they don’t have a problem because they’re not drunk. If you feel nothing after several drinks this is actually a sign that you do have a problem because you’re doing it so often that your body has built up an incredibly high tolerance.
Addicts can’t hold down a job or have a family. If you ask anyone in recovery, the majority of them will reveal that they managed to work for years without anyone recognising their addiction. Addicts learn to hide their problems very well and frequently those closest to them are the last to find out.
Drug addiction is a choice. Drug use is a choice. Addiction is not. The problem with drug use is that over time it changes our body and brain chemistry and this is when misuse becomes addiction. Nobody would ever choose to become a drug addict, it is something that takes over and we no longer have control over.
If you would like more information about drug addiction and the treatments available then please feel free to visit our Drug Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation page. You can also learn more about drug addiction at the Life Works Knowledge Centre.