Common Misconceptions About Addiction
There are many misconceptions about drug addiction. At Freedom Healthcare, we believe that every patient is unique, and we approach each journey differently. Here are a few common questions about addiction that we hear that are rooted in misunderstanding key concepts, and the reality behind them.
IS DRUG ADDICTION A CHOICE?
IS DRUG ADDICTION A MORAL FAILING?
The reasons that people begin their addiction varies greatly person to person. The abuse of alcohol and drugs can affect brain functionality, specifically dealing with the decision-making systems of the brain. When these systems start to malfunction, we see a clash between desired behavior and actual behavior.
What can look like voluntary behavior to some people may actually be signs of a brain dependent on a substance. Because substance abuse can wear on the brain’s decision-making abilities, a person suffering from addiction cannot choose in a manner that would reflect what they really desire.
This is why even the medical community has now begun to classify addiction as a chronic, “relapsing” disease.
IS COURT-MANDATED TREATMENT SUCCESSFUL?
WHAT ABOUT IN PRISONS?
There is minimal information available to support the idea that mandatory treatment is less successful than voluntary treatment, and a number of studies suggest that the opposite is true. Many people seek treatment in response to pressure from loved ones, employers or the legal system, and in these cases, this pressure may lead to higher program attendance. Individuals in such circumstances often establish a lifestyle free of alcohol and other drugs.
ISN’T SUBOXONE TREATMENT
JUST ANOTHER FORM OF ADDICTION?
Medication-assisted therapy (MAT) is recognized by state and federal officials as a viable treatment option. Patients decide whether to participate in medication-assisted therapy, along with the help of information and recommendations made by professional staff. Suboxone treatment as well as treatment using Vivitrol and Subutex are forms of MAT that have been proven to be highly effective in helping people suffering from addiction to recover effectively.
This is just one of many ways that recovery can be pursued, and one aspect of recovering from addiction. We believe it is more important to affirm an individual’s choice to make a move toward recovery, regardless of the treatment path.
DON’T YOU HAVE TO HIT “ROCK BOTTOM”
BEFORE TREATMENT CAN BE EFFECTIVE?
A person may seek and experience success in treatment for many reasons without first experiencing great consequences or losses as a result of substance use. It is not evident that the choice to pursue or succeed in recovery depends upon having experienced a loss of functioning, possessions, relationships, etc.
AA speaks about the concept of “rock bottom” in chapter one of The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. The text observes that recognition of the possibility of future losses and one’s ability to accept the reality of addiction’s inevitable consequences enabled many to find freedom from alcohol and drugs.
IF YOU RELAPSE,
DOESN’T THAT MEAN YOU FAILED?
Many diseases, like asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more, involve a reoccurrence of symptoms. In the same manner, addiction can be chronic and involve a relapse of symptoms. It is not necessarily a sign that treatment is not working or that the person in recovery has failed in their recovery. Like with many chronic and incurable diseases, successful addiction treatment takes place over the course of a patient’s lifetime.
Misconceptions about addiction and Suboxone treatment can be extremely damaging to a person’s likelihood of getting the best treatment available for their disease.
Questions about addiction? Call Freedom Health Services at
412-453-8554 to learn more!
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