Taking the initial steps towards sobriety involves separating the myths and truths.
The most detrimental thing for a recovering addict is misinformation. In a situation where every moment counts, the first step to recovery is getting informed about what an addict can realistically expect during the recovery process.
Here are 5 busted addiction myths:
Myth #1 It’s a quick fix for my problem
Depending on your drug of choice, the effects drastically differ. From extreme relaxation to increased energy to euphoria, these short-term effects help disguise painful emotions and blur difficult realities. Drug abuse gives the illusion that one’s problems don’t exist.
Truth: Commonly, drug use begins for two reasons: for recreation or as an escape. More often than not, people turn to drugs as a form of self medication. While drugs produce these short-term effects of euphoria, invincibility and calm, one’s reality remains unchanged. This is a devastating realization as one start to come down from their high. The once “quick fix” evolves into the all-consuming chase of maintaining that illusion. Ultimately, leading to more and more drug use.
Myth #2 I have to hit “rock bottom” before I can go to rehab
Losing everything is what is referred to as “rock bottom.” The addict must be confronted with a stark and lonely reality: having no one to turn to, nowhere to go, and no means of purchasing drugs before they are willing to go to rehab. As long as the addict has a way to procure drugs and an environment that fosters the behaviors, people will find ways to continue using drugs. In truth, you don’t need to lose everything before reaching out for support or seeking help.
Truth: The term rock bottom refers to the lowest level in an addict’s life. However, that lowest level differs from person to person. The longer you continue abusing drugs or alcohol, the more emotional, personal and physical damage will be suffered. Hitting rock bottom won’t make recovery easier. Furthermore, waiting too long may result in permanent, even fatal consequences.
Myth #3 I’ll have religion forced down my throat
The most popular and widely utilized form of rehab is the 12-step program. The practice is grounded in religion, particularly Christianity. Going to rehab means that the addict will have to agree and abide by a set a of rules and follow a method that may make one uncomfortable or that one may not agree with fully.
Truth: While the 12-step program has worked for some, it will not work for everyone. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to addiction. Historically, the 12-step program was founded on religious principles; however, there are a number of modern programs that are programs that do not focus or have anything to do with religion. Groups like SMART Recovery and SOS Sobriety are secular, 12-step alternatives with support and meeting groups located all over the world.
Myth #4 It’ll go on my record
Since being in possession of drugs is a crime, admitting to an addiction or seeking help for an addiction will be a stain one’s permanent record.
Truth: Having a bout with a bout with addiction is a personal issue and is not a crime. Drugs and the law collide only when a person is in possession of drugs for either personal consumption or the attempt to sell, driving under the influence, or if the drug or alcohol consumption leads to separate crime being committed, such as assault or theft.
Myth #5 I can’t afford it
Rehab centers and programs are expensive. Most centers will require addicts to be secluded for familiar settings and people. Meaning, not only will an addict have trouble financing a 70-day stay in a rehab facility, but the addict, if employed, has to take a sabbatical from work, losing out on an income that would help pay for treatment.
Truth: Rehab is expensive. However, there are state-funded centers that provided addiction recovery services at a reduced cost. Also, a number of recovery centers accept a variety of health insurances. Even if one’s co-pay or deductible is high, rehab centers offer payment plans that work with your monthly budget.
Additional Reading: Compassion: An Essential Ingredient of Recovery
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