7 Myths About Substance Abuse Addiction - Synergy Concepts behavioral health medical billing and coding

7 Myths About Substance Abuse Addiction

Synergy Concepts is here for your substance abuse billing needs, but more importantly, also to spread awareness that it is substance abuse is a disease. People continue to maintain misconceptions about drug addiction and substances, which makes our hearts hurt. Most people seeking treatment are good people that need help. To help people better understand drug addiction and substance abuse, we put together a few common myths about substance abuse addiction. Hopefully, this will help clear up some confusion.

List of Myths About Substance Abuse & Addiction

  • People Affected Can Stop Whenever They Want
  • Addiction is Only an Issue for the Substance Abuser
  • After Treatment, the Disease is Cured
  • Drug Treatment is the Same for Every Situation
  • People That Relapse During or After are Lacking Will-Power
  • You Have to Hit “Rock Bottom” Before Getting Help
  • Addiction is Lifelong

MYTH: People Affected Can Stop Using Whenever They Want

TRUTH: Drugs can change the brain physiologically to the point where the individual starts to need the drug. In many cases when an individual stops using he or she will experience withdrawal and become ill. There have even been controversial clinics in Europe that aim to give drug abusers a controlled environment, protected against overdose, to get their fix. This is a stark contrast to mainstream treatment but illustrates the seriousness of addiction.

MYTH: Addiction is Only an Issue for the Substance Abuser

TRUTH: On top of all of the problems that substance abuse brings for the drug abuser, there are real problems for the addict’s friends and family. Some substance abuse rehabilitation facilities may have specially designed family programs, equipped with different treatment models for treating individual family circumstances.

MYTH: After Treatment, the Disease is Cured

TRUTH: Addiction is a life-long battle. Individuals with a substance abuse addiction are given tools in treatment to fight the disease for the rest of their life. A recovering addict may use Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to control his or her emotions during treatment in relapse situations, yet continue to use these skills when tempted by social situations years after. Staying in recovery is a life-long battle. If someone is seeking support in their recovery, reach out to him or her.

MYTH: Drug Treatment is the Same for Every Situation

TRUTH: Just like you are unique, so is treating substance abuse addiction. One person may have a more emotional attachment to the substance, like with PTSD. While others may have a physical addiction, like after a doctor stops prescribing medication for pain treatment after surgery. One of the first steps in drug treatment is investigating the cause of the disease. Once the cause is determined, providers can provide the necessary personalized treatment plan to help the abuser be successful in his or her recovery.

MYTH: People That Relapse During or After Substance Abuse Treatment are Lacking Will-Power

Statics show that 70% to 90% of recovering addicts will have a form of relapse over the course of his or her recovery. Relapse occurs after experiencing a trigger that puts the brain in a state of mind leading to using illicit drugs. The most difficult part of addiction treatment is retraining one’s brain chemistry to respond in a different way. Remember, if at first, you don’t succeed, try again.

MYTH: You Have to Hit “Rock Bottom” Before Getting Help

TRUTH: Recovery can begin at any time. Given the impacts on the brain and possible consequences of substance abuse disorder, the earlier one can get treatment, the better. The longer the substance abuse continues, the harder it is to treat. Get help early rather than holding out for a low point.

MYTH: Addiction is Lifelong

TRUTH: Substance abuse disorder is different in every person. Where some struggle for years, while others manage to respond to treatment quickly. The ultimate goal is that long-term recovery will allow people to lead normal and productive lives.

Remember We are All Human

These are just some of the myths about drug abuse and substance abuse. We work as a community to make the world and each other better. If you know of someone in need of help reach out to them. You can also search for a treatment center close to where you live with the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator. It’s a free online tool provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

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