We all know someone who has been affected by addiction. We all know the pain of addiction and how it can hurt every aspect of someone’s life as well as the lives of their loved ones. Amidst all the of things that we know, we need to make sure that what we know is an accurate representation of addiction as a disease experienced by those we love. When it comes to interfacing with those who are experiencing addiction, it’s important be aware of the impact we can have on that person’s recovery and the detriment misinformation and misconceptions can have on that person’s healing journey.
Here are some common myths about addiction to be aware of:
- Addicts are bad people who deserve to be punished.
- Addiction is a choice.
- People usually get addicted to one kind of substance.
- People who get addicted to prescription drugs are different from people who get addicted to illegal drugs
- Treatment should put addicts in their place.
The converse of these myths would be:
- People with addiction are good people who deserve understanding and patience.
- Addiction is not a choice, it’s a disease, similar to lung and heart disease.
- People can get addicted to anything, not just substances or alcohol. For example, sex and food can be addictive too.
- Any type of addiction is harmful as it impacts a person’s ability to function day to day.
- Treatment should meet the person where they are at in their recovery.
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