Addiction Myths: A Danger to Recovery

Brett Tiberio, Business Manager

Many of us fear what we don’t know. It’s not so much a weakness, but rather human nature. So picture this: you’re son or daughter, your friend, your co-worker…maybe he or she is drinking more often. Maybe you notice signs of drug use – always short on money, personal effects disappearing. Then denial sets in. It couldn’t be: not Johnny or Lisa, not Linda or Tom. He has a good life. She was a straight-A student. Your mind begins dredging up past experiences. D.A.R.E. in 1987. The 1982 Reagan “War on Drugs.” Drug addicts don’t come from good families. Alcoholics are homeless. They have no jobs. No money. They eat out of dumpsters. top addiction mythsWhile these stereotypes are sometimes true, more often they are not. Addicts and alcoholics come in all forms: doctors, lawyers, police officers, sons of professional football coaches, daughters of musicians. Even your favorite celebrity may be in addiction treatment (or should be). Addiction and alcoholism isn’t what it once was. It isn’t the family secret. It isn’t the elephant in the room. According to a 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 23.5 million people aged 12 and older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem.  Is it a disease? Is it an epidemic? That’s a discussion for another time. But addiction and alcoholism is real, and it is here. And the good news is: recovery is possible. In an informal survey of drug and alcohol abusers, there were two most common barriers to treatment. The first: “I haven’t hit rock-bottom.” There’s a common saying among 12-step rooms: “Rock-bottom is where ever you choose to stop digging.” Being homeless, jobless, or family-less are not perquisites to getting help. Help is available at all stages and at all levels of bottoms. And the second: “It’s just a phase.” Could this be true? Maybe. But maybe it’s not. If the people around you are recommending help, the probability is high that there is reason why. Take an honest self-appraisal. Is it just a phase? Or has it gone too far? If there is still uncertainty, read some literature, go to a 12-step meeting, or talk to someone who has struggled with drug and alcohol abuse. Can you relate? Most of all, don’t let a stereotype, a judgment, or a perception be an inhibitor to getting the help you need. If you think you need or want help, please contact a drug treatment professional. ..................... Brett Tiberio, Business Manager 203-937-2309