Five Myths about Substance Abuse and Treatment

1. Drug addiction is voluntary.

Initially, a person chooses to use drugs and this is voluntary. However if this person continues to use drugs, their brain will change and they may no longer be able to control their urges to use. Narcotic drugs arevery addicting and before long, a habit becomes an addiction. It is important to remember that addiction is a disease and in many ways the user doesn’t have full control.

2. Addiction is only common in low-income communities.

Drug addiction can affect any type of person at any given time. Availability of narcotic drugs may be higher in areas with less money, but the use of these drugs is widespread. There is not one type of person that struggles with drug addiction- it affects people of all shapes and sizes, no matter where they live or how much money they make.

3. People do not need treatment – they can do it on their own.

People who are addicted to drugs will have a very difficult time trying to stop by themselves. They are likely to experience cravings and have a hard time seeing old friends and hanging out at old places. The best choice is to seek out help in fighting an addiction.

4. Treatment just doesn’t work.

There has been research done that says that treatment reduces drug use by 40%-60% (The Partnership for a Drug Free America, 2009). People are also far less likely to relapse if they follow a treatment plan and attend meetings on a regular basis.

5. People who continue to use drugs after going through treatment will never beat the addiction.

Drug addiction is a disorder that may be ongoing throughout a person’s life. The most important thing to remember is that a relapse is not a failure. For some people, it takes a few tries to entirely give up an addiction.

13 Myths About Drug Abuse & Treatment. (2009). The Partnership for a Drug Free America.
Myths and Facts about Substance Abuse (2009). Michael’s House.

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