There are a lot of misconceptions about addiction and recovery. When you say the word “addict”, you probably have a certain image in your head. There are a ton of myths about addiction and recovery that a lot of people believe:
1. Addiction is a lifestyle choice.
If you have ever known an alcoholic or an addict, you would understand that no one in the world would choose addiction. No one chooses to become an addict. Addiction is a disease that doesn’t present itself until substances are introduced. It is necessary that anyone who is trying to help an addict or alcoholic on her recovery journey understands that addicts and alcoholics are afflicted with a disease.
2. Addicts are from bad backgrounds.
There seems to be a belief that all alcoholics and addicts come from a broken family or an environment of poverty. The truth is that addiction or alcoholism are diseases, not the product of a difficult upbringing. There are addicts and alcoholics in all types of families and economic situations. Understanding that a person’s background has no effect on his or her addiction is a good thing to do when you are assisting anyone on their recovery journey.
3. Addicts have no money and live on the streets.
Many people think that alcoholics or addicts will look a certain way. However, this is not the case at all. One out of ten people are suffering from addiction in some form, and these are people in every gender, race, class, etc.
4. Recovery is only effective if done a certain way.
Many people are convinced that the recovery method that worked for them is the only right way to recover. However, different recovery programs work for different people. The best thing to do if you are suffering from addiction or alcoholism is to find the recovery program that works for you.
5. Friends and family members do not understand and cannot help with an addict’s recovery.
Family members and friends, even if they do not have experience with alcoholism or addiction personally, can be invaluable sources of support and assistance on someone’s recovery journey.
When thinking about addiction and recovery, it is not helpful to believe a lot of harmful stereotypes. It is important that we reframe our attitude towards addiction and bring more compassion to recovery.