You may already be on the road of recovery or hoping to turn around a life mired in substance abuse. Those who care about people tormented by addiction are often misinformed as well. Here are nine of the most common misconceptions that people have about the recovering process.
1- Alcoholism and Drug Addiction are Hopeless Conditions
While this may be the silliest of all misconceptions, even in today’s world it happens. Some people wrongly label alcoholism and drug addiction as hopeless conditions. This belief is far from the truth, and a world full of happy people in sustained recovery, are there to prove it.
It may seem ironic, but the opposite is the reality. Substance abuse is not a hopeless condition, and there is actually a great deal of hope to be found in recovery. This misconception is easily the simplest to disprove. All you have to do is take a look at the millions who are in recovery.
2- You Could Stop if You Wanted to
This may be the single biggest misconception of those who do not suffer from drug addiction or alcoholism. So many misinformed people mistakenly think that all the person needs to do is stop. Many insist that the addict or alcoholic has no self-control, or lacks will-power.
Decades of experience have clearly proven, that will-power alone is of little or no defense against the disease of addiction. It can be mind boggling to watch someone turn their life upside down. However, the simple fact is that they may very well long to stop, but they simply cannot on their own.
3- Alcoholics and Addicts Are Selfish
This is another misconception that is usually the exact opposite of the truth. It is often an erroneous assumption made by family members or friends that have been hurt by the horrible consequences resulting from an addictive lifestyle.
Alcoholics and addicts are often very loving and caring people. They have a sense of compassion mirrored by people who do not suffer. If you’re an alcoholic or an addict, you most likely care deeply about people in your life. You simply suffer from a disease that is selfish
4- Substance Abuse is the Cause of All Your Problems
Sure, you may have lost your job, your family or your freedom because of substance abuse. However, it invariably turns out that deeply rooted issues inside your person motivate the unexplained drive to use and abuse drugs or alcohol.
It is often said that drinking and drug abuse are but a symptom of much bigger problems. Once the drink and the drug are removed, sometimes to your astonishment, these problems still exist. The difference is that now you can see the problems for what they are and address them.
5- You Must Hit Your Bottom
This is one of the most misunderstood aspects of recovery. Some insist that an addict or alcoholic can only become teachable when they have hit some kind of traumatic bottom. The statement has some merit, but only in context. Too often a rock bottom is mistaken for the only thing that is truly necessary; a point of desperation.
There are fabulous stories of people who truly have lost everything and recovered. However, there are an equal number of fortunate people who found their road to recovery before terrible things happened. They both share one common characteristic; each person reached their own point of desperation.
6- Recovery Life is Boring
This one is usually reserved for those who are taking the early steps of recovery. You may proclaim that you can’t imagine how you could have any fun if you erased drugs or alcohol from your life.
The problem is that often the alcoholic or addict quickly forgets the aspects of substance abuse that are not fun. As time passes, every recovering alcoholic and drug addict begins to realize that recovery is anything but boring. It is a fantastic way of life, and you won’t be faced with the harsh consequences that addiction carries.
7- A Relapse Means Failure
While there is nothing written anywhere that says relapse is necessary, it does happen. The truth is that it means nothing about you, but everything about the cunning and baffling nature of addiction.
There is nothing that says you must relapse to help build a successful lifetime journey in recovery, but if you do it does not mean you’re a failure. It only means that like many other people walking the journey of recovery, you need to get back up, dust yourself off and move forward.
8- Treatment Plans are all Alike
This is yet another common misconception. While there may be a single unifying quality among alcoholics and addicts, every treatment plan is not the same. That one similarity is invariably the notion that each one longs to stop, but they simply cannot without help.
After that single bonding point that every person who suffers from substance abuse can agree upon, the stories and circumstances diverge. There are people in recovery from every walk of life. For that reason, two treatment plans are rarely alike. There may be a few aspects that the same, but your treatment plan will be yours.
9- Recovery Fixes Everything
Those who are new to the journey of recovery frequently entertain this final misconception. The simple fact is that just because you get clean and sober doesn’t mean life becomes a constant state of bliss. The truth is that life can be messy, and just because you take out the drugs and alcohol, life can still be full of challenges.
However, you will discover that as you travel along this journey of recovery, life does improve. Recovery doesn’t automatically fix everything, but it hands you a gift of tools to handle anything that life throws your way. It provides you with a way to deal with all things, good and bad, without picking up a drink or a drug.
These are nine of the most common misconceptions about the recovery process. The problem arises when you begin to think some or all are true. There is one truth interwoven in each of these mistaken ideas. If you don’t take that first step towards a life of recovery, you’ll begin your own efforts to prove some of these misconceptions about recovery to be true.