The road to recovery from any sort of substance addiction is a long and challenging one that unfortunately very often comes with a whole lot of questionable advice about recovery from friends and family who think they know how best to help the people close to them. There are plenty of myths about recovery that can give recovering addicts the wrong idea about how to squash their demons, but these myths often are counterproductive to the healing process.
1. Addiction Should be Overcome with Willpower
Many people seem to believe that addicts can get over their addictions simply by having the willpower to do so, but addiction recovery is about so much more than just willpower. Modern science has proven definitively that addiction is a disease, not a choice, so getting healthy goes way beyond just wanting it badly enough.
2. Addicts Deserve Punishment
Entirely too many addicts have seen their lives and personal relationships destroyed by their addictions, and some see their failure to be healthy as a punishment or a sort of atonement for their sins. Lives do not get better through more substance abuse, however, and everybody deserves a shot at health and redemption.
3. Detox is an Off-ramp to Recovery
Some detox patients believe that a little time at a recovery center is enough to be cured of their addiction, especially after getting through the worst of the withdrawal symptoms. Getting sober may feel like the hardest part, but it certainly is not the end of the process. Detox is just the beginning. Staying sober is an entirely different series of challenges.
4. Rehab Doesn’t Work
5. Medications are Dangerous for Addicts
Many recovering addicts are concerned that taking medication would just be trading one addiction for another, but certain FDA-approved drugs used in the addiction process are not themselves addictive. More importantly, though, these drugs actually can work to help combat the disease, and avoiding them just because they are pills is counterproductive to recovery.
6. Relapse Means Defeat
Worst of all, entirely too many patients believe that a slip up means the whole process is over and that they have lost their fight against addiction, but there are so many ways to “get back on the horse,” as they say. A relapse does not mean you have lost. The road to recovery has just hit a speed bump.