There’s a lot of opinions out there about drug addictions without not much research to back them up. Here we’re going to discuss the top three drug addiction myths and misconceptions so you can better understand this condition and how it should be treated.
Misconception 1: Quitting is just a matter of willpower
While the initial choice to start doing drugs is voluntary for most people, the decision to stop by themselves is not just an easy exercise of willpower. This is because the drug-addicted brain is both conditioned to keep seeking out the same pleasure, while having a hard time saying “no”. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), those who abuse drugs for a long period of time have “changes in areas of the brain that are critical to judgment, decision making, learning and memory, and behavior control.“ Combine this with the fact that drugs over-stimulate the brain’s “reward centers”, which “teaches” the person to continue to use the drug, and you have a recipe for addiction. So the lack of willpower is a symptom of drug abuse, not the continued cause. We’re not saying that those addicted to drugs can’t seek out help, but we are saying quitting without any outside assistance is a long, hard road paved with good intent, but fraught with defeat.
Misconception 2: Addicts should quit “cold turkey”
This can be one of the most dangerous drug addiction myths. Giving up drugs “cold turkey” (abruptly rather than gradually) is harder than you think because of the harshness of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Many users only continue to keep abusing drugs to avoid the withdrawal symptoms. That’s why NIDA suggests a two-step process including medication-assisted treatment with behavioral therapy to gradually reduce the harshness of the withdrawal symptoms, rather than trying to fight it with willpower alone. In addition, the withdrawal symptoms may be so bad in some cases that they can become life-threatening.
Misconception 3: You’re just exchanging one addiction for another if you need anti-addiction drugs to control your urges.
It does seem counter intuitive to treat drugs with more drugs, but NIDA states that the FDA approved anti-addiction drugs allow the brain to “function more normally” because they “enable the addicted person to leave behind a life of crime and drug abuse.” Basically, the medications “tricks” the brain into thinking it is still getting the drug, which stops withdrawal. This help the person feel normal and reduce drug cravings. But are they naturally addictive? In short: no. Anti addiction medications like Buprenorphine, which is used to treat opiates and Heroin, act on the same receptors in your brain that opiates and heroin act on, but without producing the same level of dependence or withdrawal symptoms. There are no adverse effects when taken correctly.
Beating the Drug Addiction Myths with Gallus Detox Centers
The key is taking the anti-addiction medication is being consistent with them, which is what you get while being under the professional care in a detox facility. Gallus Detox Centers can help, using our proven-effective programs such as:
If you or a loved one are suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction and need help, please call us at 888-228-9114 or contact us online. Discuss with us whether our customized detox treatment is the best program for you.