Think you know all there is to know about substance addiction? Around here, we are firm believers that education is one of the major keys to understanding and healing addiction. So, we’ve put together a list of 5 truths about substance addiction and treatment that may shock you and possibly change your life. You’re welcome.
Substance Addiction is Not a Choice
Up until recent years, addiction has always been portrayed in society as a moral failing or a choice. Even in some cases to this day, people still have the idea that addicts choose to become addicted to drugs like heroin, cocaine, or marijuana. However, studies have shown that drug abuse and addiction are both learned behaviors based on changes in the brain, with specific neuroadaptations influencing behavioral responses. Specialized addiction treatment services, like the ones that we work with here at recoveryas.com, adhere to the disease model of addiction which mean that they treat addiction the same way they would treat any other chronic illness.
You Can’t “Just Say No”
You might remember the “Just Say No” campaign from the late eighties. Headed by First Lady Nancy Reagan, it was a campaign geared toward discouraging children from experimenting with recreational drugs by demonstrating different ways to say no to drugs. Though it came from a good place and a strong motive, this approach was never confirmed to have had any bearing on reducing drug use among teens. The reason for this is that the fear instilled approach doesn’t always work. The reason that people of any age try drugs or continue to abuse them is so much more complicated than that.
You Don’t Need to Wait to Hit Rock Bottom
You probably have heard of the term rock bottom. If, like many people, your knowledge of addiction comes from what you see in the media, you might think that a certain level of desperation is needed before an addict will reach out for help. But this is not always the case. Inpatient substance abuse treatment, as well as outpatient addiction treatment, can be useful at any and all stages of addiction. Obviously, sooner is always better than later.
You Don’t Always Have to Want Treatment for it to Work
It is a common misconception that only those who want to get better will do so. While most of the time it is true, as you may have guessed, the truth is a little more complicated than that. Resistance to treatment is very common, especially during the early stages of recovery but drugs and alcohol counselors are trained to break down the walls of denial that addicts put up. It is also worth noting that recovery rates are similar between court ordered, intervention, as well as those who choose to start their recovery on their own accord.
Addiction Treatment is Not a Quick Process
We’ve all been guilty of sneaking a peek at the tabloids while waiting in line at the supermarket, and it seems that every week there is a celebrity who has done another stint in rehab. The go in for 30 days and simply return back to their old way of life. In reality, recovery is a long-term commitment as opposed to a one-shot deal. In order to prevent relapse and have a sustainable recovery, behavioral therapy and aftercare are essential.