Most Common Misconceptions about Addiction
The opioid crisis in America has made people more aware of the prevalence of addiction. The research put forth to help the people affected by the epidemic has also aided in expanding the science behind substance use disorder. However, many common myths are repeated about the disease that can be harmful and create a barrier to addiction treatment for the people who need help.
Myth: Drug users need to hit rock-bottom before they need help.
The idea of letting someone’s addiction reach such extreme levels before they will want to seek treatment is a dangerous one that can lead to preventable overdose deaths. The longer someone’s opioid use disorder continues, the longer the recovery process will be for them, and often more challenging. Interventions and family substance use counseling are just two ways that many people can be helped effectively before their disease reaches life-threatening heights.
Myth: Prescription painkillers are safer than street opioids.
While illicit street drugs like heroin are dangerous because there is no way to know its purity and potency truly, prescription painkillers are just as potentially lethal. Many opioid medications come in time-release capsules that ensure there is a dose of the drug in the bloodstream over a 12 to 24 hour period. When those pills are crushed and taken intravenously, the full dosage may be taken at once, potentially leading to an overdose.
Myth: Addiction is a choice.
Those who misuse drugs often use the effects of substances to mask deeper turmoil or cope with untreated trauma. While they may have chosen to use the drugs initially, once substance use disorder sets in, it no longer becomes a choice because the body has rewired its needs to require the substance for the person to function. At that point, the chronic disease of addiction has set in, requiring a much more comprehensive approach for treatment.
Myth: Medication-assisted treatment is a substitute for drugs.
People may think that using medications that mimic the effects of a substance to ward off withdrawal is only prolonging the addiction process and exchanging one substance for another. The reality is, these FDA-approved medications are created specifically using partial agonists and reversal components that can work as both deterrents and make it easier for patients to focus on other mental and emotional aspects of recovery. MAT is evidence-based and has proven to be very effective in treating alcohol and opioid use disorders in thousands of people, with added benefits of reducing the risk of relapse, criminal activity, and the spread of infectious diseases.
The myths surrounding addiction may not disappear overnight, but Middlesex Recovery is dedicated to educating potential patients and their loved ones about the treatments used within the facility with the help of knowledgeable and compassionate staff. Everyone deserves the best chance at achieving long-lasting sobriety and health with the help of medications that have proven to be both safe and highly effective. Give us a call today at 781-305-3300 to inquire about our programs, or check out our quick guide.