Myths – Addictions

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We set-up this page to keep track of any popular “Myths” and/or “Facts” that might be of interest to those Battling Addictions, or are just looking for information about addiction. We hope to keep it up to date by adding sites and “myths” found during our blog postings .. and posting myths from other sites that we visit on our way! Each topic heading below, is the location of where we have found the following myths from, and we hope that it’s okay to repost the information below. If you are the owner of the following websites and wish to contact us about this, please do so .. and email our webmaster … hart (at) PetLvr (dot) com

Brookeside Institute – Fact Based Addiction Treatment

Myth: Anyone who uses drugs or alcohol too much or too often will become addicted

Fact: We know this does not occur in everyone, any more than diabetes occurs in everyone who eats too much sugar or food. It now appears that a person must “have what it takes” to become dependent on drugs or alcohol. In many cases, genetics is the main risk factor for determining who develops the disorder.

Myth: Alcoholics or addicts can stop drinking or using .. simply by attending meetings.

Fact: The key word here is “simply”. Going to meetings does not work for everyone, even for the many people who truly want to stop drinking or using drugs. For most people the entire process is a gut-wrenching, lifelong battle working the steps. Scientists theorize that people who get better from this process, are somehow learning to overcome (or compensate for) their brain disorder.

Myth: Addiction is treated behaviorally, so it must be a behavioral problem.

Fact: New brain scan studies are showing that behavioral treatments (i.e. psychotherapy) and medications work similarly in changing brain function. So the correct statement would be: addiction is a brain disorder that can be treated by changing brain function, through several types of treatment.

Myth: Marijuana is not addicting.

Fact: According to the latest (DSM) accepted diagnostic criteria, an unknown percentage of the population can become dependent (“addicted”) to marijuana.

Myth: Treatment doesn’t work.

Fact: People who fear or don’t like the behavior associated with addiction are quick to point out that relapse (falling off the wagon or resuming drug use or drinking), often occurs, so therefore treatment doesn’t work. We need to remember that relapse also occurs with other disorders and diseases, such as, diabetes, cancer and hypertension, so this is no more then a prejudicial view about dependency treatment.

Myth: Club drugs (Ecstacy, GHB, Speed, LSD) are not very dangerous.

Fact: Emergency room reports indicate they are very dangerous, especially when mixed with alcohol.

Myth: Alcohol and drugs CAUSE addiction.

Fact: An interesting scientific question is: If drugs and alcohol cause addiction, then why doesn’t everyone who uses them become dependent (“addicted”)? Enough said…

Myth: Addicts or Alcoholics cannot be medically treated.

Fact: Actually, addicts and alcoholics are medically detoxified in hospitals all the time. But can they be medically treated after detox? New FDA approved medications such as Naltrexone have been developed to reduce the cravings associated with addiction. These medications also reduce the chance for relapse and enhance the effectiveness of techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy.

Myth: Addiction is a will-power problem.

Fact: This is an old belief, probably based upon wanting to blame addicts for using drugs and alcohol. This myth is exploded by scientific proof that addiction occurs in a subconscious area of the brain that is not under conscious control.

Myth: Addicts and Alcoholics are bad, crazy or stupid people.

Fact: That statement is as correct as saying someone with cancer or diabetes is bad, crazy or stupid. Addiction is a brain disorder that has no cure, but can be medically treated. A positive, productive life can be achieved and maintained.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.