By: ATSI Admin
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The Myths Behind the Disease of Addiction
Did you know? More than 40 million people in the United States suffer from substance addiction—and tragically, only about 10 percent of those people receive treatment. 
Shame, embarrassment, guilt and pride are very powerful. These feelings are the common collective reason why the stigma attached to the word “addiction” prevents many from receiving the help they need. At ATSI, we know that addiction is a disease, we know there’s no shame in struggling with a disease, and we know how to help. Don’t let assumptions and myths keep you or your loved one from taking the steps toward recovery.
Common myths about addiction:
- If you struggle with drugs or alcohol, you’re a bad person with no self-control.
- If you’re addicted to one drug, you’re addicted to all drugs.
- You must hit rock bottom before you can get help.
- Legal substances are not as addictive as illicit drugs.
Yes, addiction is a disease.
Addiction is a complex, destructive disease. The brains of those afflicted by addiction have been hijacked by a chemical substance. Someone who struggles with drugs or alcohol is not a bad person. In fact, addiction often signifies a generational pattern, making some people more susceptible than others. Whether addiction is behavioral, generational or a combination of varying factors, it is still a disease that must be treated as such—with professional care, education, support and therapy.
No, legality doesn’t matter.
Alcohol and prescription drugs may be legal substances, but they account for a huge number of addiction cases in the United States—and when used in combination, alcohol and prescriptions together create an even deadlier force. Though warning signs of prescription abuse are not as obvious as alcohol abuse (for example, there’s no smell of liquor giving it away) odd behaviors can be telltale signs: slurred speech; noticeable changes in mood and/or personal hygiene; trouble sleeping; lack of motivation; social withdrawal.
No, you don’t need to hit rock bottom to seek help.
Many people in the early stages of drug or alcohol abuse fail to recognize a problem. The longer substance use goes without treatment, the more potential there is for addiction to take control. Instead of letting users bottom out, friends and family members can help to identify and encourage their loved one to address substance-related and/or mental health issues before they cause indefinite harm to careers, relationships and lives.
Call ATSI today for a free, confidential assessment. We can help with early detection by:
- Identifying problem drinking or drug use
- Determining the stage/severity of substance abuse
- Stress management
- Identifying and providing guidance through stressors/triggers
Don’t wait. Seek help, today.