We’ve seen it everywhere. From books to movies, to media presentation, to news reports, our culture constantly tries to paint us that generalizing picture that addicts and people who’re addicted to something are weak, feeble-minded people who live on the street mumbling to themselves. That they’re something to avoid and vilify so that our children don’t imitate them. But, the truth of the matter isn’t nearly so black and white. Here are three huge misconceptions about addiction:
1. Addicts are always dysfunctional
This is a big one with anti-drug documentaries and biased news outlets. That an addict has no control over themselves and are constantly doing whatever they can to get their next fix. Whether it’s prostitution or outright begging, they’ll do anything to achieve it. Well, that’s not exactly true. Yes, there are some people who get to the point of becoming dysfunctional, but there are also a good bit of people who’re functioning addicts as well. They lead normal lives, maintain jobs and relationships, and still have their addiction. Some notable ones are Ernest Hemingway who managed to write profound classic literature despite being an alcoholic, Famous jazz musician Billie Holiday was a heroin addict and Hungarian Mathematician, Paul Erdős, struggled with speed and caffeine.
2. Addiction Can Only Happen With Drugs and Alcohol
Thankfully, scare ’em straight tactics have been called into question in recent years, and their effectiveness is up for debate. But many people still have the idea that addiction only really applies to illegal drugs and alcohol. That’s not the case. Addiction is just that. Addiction. There are more coffee and caffeine addicts in this country than there are drug addicts. Let that sink in. Just because a certain substance is legal, that’s no excuse to throw moderation out the window.
3. That YOU Could Never Become an Addict of Anything
This is what many people think to themselves while watching a news report or documentary. That they’re somehow so above the addict that they could never fall from their self-propped pedestal. That they’re way stronger than that. But the truth is, anyone could become an addict. Sure some people are less likely than some due to many factors, but the possibility will always be there for everyone. People form addictions due to a myriad of reasons like depression, divorce, loss of a loved one, or as a general coping mechanism to deal with stress. And believe it or not, those are all very realistic things that happen to just about everyone at some point.
If anyone reading this is struggling with substance addiction and would like to break their habit, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Balance is something we should all strive for in our lives.