Surprising Answers to 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Addiction

Surprising Answers to 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Addiction

What is the first thought that comes to mind when you hear the word addiction?  It’s likely you envision a dirty, homeless, and unwell person living on the streets or in dark alleys.  This false concept of addiction stems from the stigma associated with people who use drugs or alcohol to excess.  

Many people are not receiving the help they require because of their misconceptions about addiction and treatment.  Experts agree that prevention, education, and treatment are the best ways to bring down the alarming overdose statistics.  

It is our hope that this information will change a person’s misconceptions and give them the confidence to trust an addiction treatment center. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Addiction

We must let go of the centuries-old stigmas in order to assist people in recovering from addictions. So, to alleviate some of the negativity and false impressions surrounding substance use, here are the answers to 5 of the most frequently asked questions about addiction.  Some of the answers may surprise you.

#1. How is addiction defined?

Most people don’t spend much time thinking about addiction unless it directly affects someone they know.  However, when they do think about it, their preconceived beliefs about addiction are seriously flawed.  

To better understand the seriousness of a substance use disorder, let’s examine the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s definition of addiction:

“Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences.   People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.  Prevention efforts and treatment approaches for addiction are generally as successful as those for other chronic diseases.

Within this definition, many of the questions about addiction are answered.  Addiction is more than a lack of willpower and is not merely a matter of choice.  In fact, addiction, like any chronic illness, requires professional treatment.

#2.  Why can’t a person just stop using the substance?

In most cases, a person’s first experience with drugs is based on curiosity.  They want to try it once just to see what it’s like.  It is also possible that some people surrender to peer pressure and try drugs or alcohol despite their misgivings.  

Once the drug has been tried a few times, it takes over and produces cravings and other withdrawal symptoms that are tough to resist.  Over time, the person loses conscious control over their substance use and a desperate cycle begins.

#3.  Aren’t prescription drugs safe and non-addictive?

Surprisingly, prescription drugs are some of the most addictive substances available today.  However, most people believe they are safe because a doctor prescribed them.  Opioids are a prime example.  They caused more than 17,000 fatal overdoses last year, according to NIDA.

Another problem with prescription drugs is that even when taken as prescribed, people can develop an addiction to them. In response to their need for more and more of the drug and rising prescription drug costs, these individuals may switch to cheaper, easier-to-obtain alternatives such as heroin.  

#4.  Isn’t detox the solution to addiction?

This question about addiction is part of the reason many people keep relapsing.  They mistakenly believe detox is the solution to their substance use problem.  In truth, detox is only the first step in overcoming addiction.  

Physical addiction is dealt with during detox by removing addictive chemicals from the body.  However, to successfully overcome addiction it is necessary to address the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of the problem as well.  This stage of recovery is conducted in a professional outpatient or inpatient rehabilitation facility.

#5. Does rehab really work?

Most professional rehab programs provide a range of treatment options and approaches that are proven to help a person overcome addiction.  Not all programs are the same, however, so some people don’t get the level of care they need.  Those who receive evidence-based, holistic treatment benefit most.

Because many individuals relapse after rehab, some people believe that rehab is ineffective.  But, relapse is not a sign that the program failed.  In most cases, people who relapse did not attend an aftercare program, or they simply needed to remain in treatment for a little longer. In addition, they may have been subjected to an unsupportive environment after leaving rehab.  

Get Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment at Design for Change Recovery

Evidence-based treatment (EBT) is an approach to treatment conducted by licensed therapists that is safe and proven to work.  Some of the EBT therapies provided here at Design for Change include cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).  Moreover, we provide a holistic approach to treatment that incorporates music and art therapy, nutrition education, exercise and fitness routines, among other options.

Our answers to your questions about addiction may have convinced you to seek treatment, so please reach out to us at our Lancaster, CA facility today.  You can discuss your specific needs with one of our representatives to determine the best course of treatment for you.

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