There are so many myths about addiction and what or who an addict/alcoholic is, that we felt it was important to not only address them, but smash those myths right now.
Common Myths About Addiction
“Addicts and alcoholics lack willpower.”
This may be the most common myth about addiction. Society avidly believes addicted individuals lack willpower for not being able to stop abusing substances. People tend to not believe addiction is a disease, when it truly is. It’s a disease where individuals cannot stop because they are compelled to continue in spite of negative consequences.
“Addicts can drink and smoke weed or drink alcohol as long as they stay away from the hard stuff.”
Another typically misunderstood concept is this one. Many people believe it’s just the one substance that’s the problem, and that they don’t have a disease, so it would be fair to think that you could drink alcohol or smoke weed if heroin or coke was your “problem”. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Addiction is a brain disease, and a drug is a drug – no matter what form it comes in. Abstinence has proven to be the best form of recovery from addiction.
“Addicts and alcoholics do drugs because they are mentally unstable.”
Addicts and alcoholics abuse substances for multiple reasons. What makes an individual pick up a drug may not make another individual pick up a drug. Believing that all addicts and alcoholics are addicted to substances because they are mentally unstable doesn’t add up when you look at how many people are struggling with addiction. There are plenty of people that get addicted to drugs who grew up in a safe and structured environment and had wonderful childhoods. Not all addicts or alcoholics suffer from dual diagnosis, in which they suffer from another mental health issue along with their addiction. The thing with drug addiction and alcoholism is that there also is the physical allergy that must be taken in account when looking at addiction as a whole.
“Addiction to drugs and alcohol is a choice.”
One of the most commonly perpetuated myths about addiction is that it’s a choice and not a disease. Alcoholism and addiction are no more diseases of choice than other illnesses, like diabetes. In fact, genetics play a role in the predisposition of the disease of addiction, so to say that individuals choose to have the illness is absurd. Individuals may choose to pick up that first drink and/or drug, but the disease constitutes the fact that they are unable to stop the cycle of continual use despite negative outcomes.
“All addicts and alcoholics come from dysfunctional homes.”
This is stigma at its finest! Society is quick to view alcoholics and addicts as specific people in one stereotype only, but that’s just not the case. There is no standard for what an alcoholic and/or addict looks like. They don’t have to come from a dysfunctional home. An addicted individual can be a celebrity, live in a mansion, the White House, be homeless, come from a foreign country – it doesn’t matter. The person can identify as an addict and/or alcoholic when they simply cannot control their urge to use substances, and the obsession captivates their every notion, causing the utmost unmanageability in their life.
“You can tell all addicts and alcoholics by their income, race, age, and background.”
You can’t tell who an addict and/or alcoholic is by their outer characteristics like their race, age, background, or hair color any more than they can tell by their income, job, or friends. Alcoholism and addiction are diseases that you can’t necessarily see from the outside, but that doesn’t mean they are any less severe than any other debilitating illnesses. It’s still as cunning, baffling, and powerful as any other disease that claims the lives of individuals throughout the nation on a regular basis.
“All addicts and alcoholics are bad people.”
This is simply an upsetting, negative classification of an entire group of human beings. There are bad people who are addicts and alcoholics, and there are bad people who are not addicts and alcoholics. This goes for good people, too. Sometimes the behavior of a good person who is suffering from addiction can come across as being bad, but they are just sick individuals that are in need of getting well.
The more we talk about the stigma and these common myths about addiction, the more we can help eradicate the negative judgments of addicts and alcoholics. This is important because we are facing a national health crisis, and if we keep turning our heads and not addressing the issue, the problem isn’t going to go away – it’s going to get worse.
If you think you are the only one who has an addiction to drugs or alcohol – you’re wrong.
If you think you are the only one trying to stay sober in a drunken world – you’re wrong.
There are millions living the sober life, and they aren’t ashamed or unhappy about it. In fact, there are those that are pretty public about it in hopes to help break the stigma associated with addiction,; if you look, you will find them. Our friends over at Party Sober Clothing have not only set the trend that being sober is cool, they have made it a mission and a movement to help others share their story, so that the world knows we are not just junkies, drunks, losers, or weak willed people; we are your loved ones, friends, and neighbors. We are the ones that party sober and are proud to be free from the grip of addiction. How grateful are we that we have been able to recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body – we are happy to be alcohol and drug-free!
Learn more about the Party Sober movement by clicking the link below and show your support to addicts and alcoholics everywhere. Together we can help spread the word that recovery is a reality and there is nothing to be ashamed about!Tags: Addiction, addicts, alcoholics, Alcoholism, common myths, disease of addiction, misconceptions, myths