Debunking Common Myths About Drug Abuse and Addiction

Updated on July 2, 2020

Substance, alcohol, and drug addiction and abuse afflict many Americans, both young and old. More than 19 million Americans battled addiction in 2017, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Drug abuse and addiction are serious problems that adversely affect the mental and physical health of the people involved, as well as their economic and social status. This is why San Antonio drug rehab facilities have dedicated resources, professionals, and time to help those affected by these problems.

People have different opinions when it comes to drug abuse and addiction; this leads to misconceptions and misleading information about these issues. Below is a list of five common myths about drug abuse and addiction that are mostly spread through rumors and conjecture.   

Myth 1: Addiction and Substance Abuse Are the Same Thing

Although the terms “drug abuse” and “drug addiction“ are often used interchangeably, addiction and abuse are not quite the same thing. Abuse refers to the use of drugs, substances, or alcohol in unhealthy ways. Addiction is the psychological, physical, and mental dependence on drugs or other substances. However, drug abuse often leads to a tolerance to the abused drugs, which can cause addiction.

Myth 2: Drug Addiction is a Voluntary Behavior

It’s wrong to think that drug addiction is a voluntary behavior and that drug addicts can quit any time they want. Drug addiction binds both the mind and the body, breaking from the chains of addiction is not as easy as some people imagine. The initial descent into addiction may be caused by a host of reasons including stress, peer pressure, or even voluntary experimentation, but breaking the habit often becomes a problem. In fact, many drug addicts who try to quit give up prematurely. 

Myth 3: Drug Addiction is a Character Defect

Drug addiction is not a character flaw or defect; it’s a problem that can affect anyone despite one’s upbringing, social class, or demographic. The rich and poor, young and old, female and male, can all fall victim to addiction.  Although addiction may change the behavior of the addict, it isn’t a behavioral or mental condition. The drug only changes the priorities of the abusers or addicts and begins to control their actions. There is no reason to conclude that drug addiction and abuse is a character flaw.

Myth 4: Addiction Can Be solved in One Shot

Breaking drug addiction has proven difficult for most addicts, and some of those who see the process through sometimes relapse and have to start all over again. It can be a frustrating process to try and quit. For most addicts, breaking the addiction is a continuous process; one rehabilitation session is often not enough, even after successfully quitting. After rehabilitation, former addicts still need continued support; they need counseling and behavioral change therapy to help prevent the problem from reoccurring.  

Myth 5: An Addict is Always an Addict 

Breaking drug addiction is difficult but not impossible. Many former drug addicts and abusers have genuinely turned their lives around through commitment, sacrifice, and dedication. It’s unfair to judge a person from a drug addiction history. Although it’s impossible to wipe a drug addiction past, society needs to be more appreciative of former addicts and regard their achievements as remarkable. In some respect, it’s also unfair to discriminate against former drug addicts in professional and social settings. But this is probably something that will change gradually over time.

In most cases, drug abuse and addiction are cries for help. Some addictions are a response to traumatic experiences, stress, depression, and neglect. It’s important to get the facts right before judging somebody for his/her behavior or choices. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.