It is easy to point out to someone dealing with substance abuse. It is even easier to tell them to join rehab and easiest to blame someone for relapse. But, what is hard is to understand the facts behind these three simple words- substance abuse, recovery & relapse. It is hard to understand what an addict goes through until and unless you have been through that rough patch.

Addiction is a damage-prone disease. It does affect a person’s mental, physical and overall wellbeing. Not only the addict but the family and the friends involved experiencing the harm too. It is high time that the truth about addiction must be heard, discussed and understood.  Here are some facts that help to clear the clouds of myths surrounding addiction:

Addiction affects the Brain; Significantly:

The changes in the brain due to addiction are significant. The brain, after continued addiction, becomes used to creating a euphoric effect for the body. In case there are some conditions promoting negative consequences, the brain works to dismiss it.

Relapse is not the end but a fresh start:

Relapse is a common and the most important phase of addiction recovery. Almost every addict experiences a relapse. Emotional triggers are the primary reason that causes a relapse. Here, it is important to know that even if someone has relapsed, it does not mean that there are no chances of recovery. Relapse must not be considered as the end rather it is a fresh start that helps individuals to understand where they went wrong the first time and how to deal with their emotional weaknesses in over-coming from addiction.

Do not wait for the ‘Rock-bottom’:

This is probably the biggest misconception associated with rehabilitation. People think that before joining any rehab program for drug addiction treatment, one has to hit rock bottom. However, the experts say that the early an addict seeks to help the better are the chances of recovery. If the user is continued, the results can be drastic including the complete withdrawal of support system and health.

Cold turkey is the easy escape:

When people active in substance abuse reach their peak, they decide to quit. Sadly, in most of the cases, individuals choose to quit on their own- without any medication or expert advice/help. This process is known as going cold turkey. Considered to be an easy approach to quit substance abuse, this method actually raises high risk of medical issues and at time fatality. Recovery is a multi-stage process wherein an addict has his own shares of ups & downs.  Quitting the addiction in one shot isn’t helpful.

Try compassion and punishment:

Responding to an addict’s substance abuse with negativity and punishment is not the right approach. Shaming, detachment or punishment is a negative approach towards the cause that kills the victim. Studies have revealed that a compassionate approach towards the addict is way more effective than being harsh and strict.

Take it as a Marathon, not a sprint:

Often addicts and their close ones wonder recovery as a one-night game. It is never like one day you are an addict and next day a sober. It takes time; the process is both long and breaking. The addict and the closed people go through a lot of hardships. However, with willingness & dedication, it is easy to come out of the addiction and lead a clean life.

If you or anyone you love is dealing with addiction, take a slow and deliberate approach towards recovery. Join a recovery center and get the best medical help you can afford. With the myths are already busted, we hope that the way to recovery will be bright and compassionate.

About the author

Sara T. Loving

Leave a Comment