As a leader in residential treatment in Sacramento, we know that there are many misconceptions about addiction and its treatment. Unfortunately, when those ideas get perpetuated, they can make the recovery process harder on those fighting addiction and their families.
Share the Facts
In order to counter the many addiction myths that get passed from person to person, here are some cold, hard facts about chemical dependency that everyone should share:
- Addiction changes the brain. In theory, everyone has a choice about whether or not to consume drugs or alcohol. However, for someone who has developed an addiction, the decision to stop is much harder to make. That’s because addiction makes changes to areas of the brain that result in an often overpowering need to consume more of the substance.
- Quitting “cold turkey” is dangerous. There are many reasons a person might decide to end their chemical dependency abruptly and without help, including feelings of shame and guilt that they think will be amplified if they seek assistance. But, quitting cold turkey can not only cause medical issues, it is also less effective than using a slower, supervised approach.
- It is NOT necessary to reach rock bottom. It doesn’t matter whether you are three decades or three days into an addiction — you can begin the recovery process whenever you feel you are ready. And, the sooner the better. The idea that you have to reach “rock bottom” is one that is used for dramatic effect in movies, but has little to do with real life. Besides, that particular state is impossible to clearly define. So, rather than looking down to see if you’ve bottomed out, try looking forward instead!
- Compassion always beats punishment. Many of the actions associated with addiction may be both morally wrong and illegal. Consequently, many people feel that the first step in recovery should be punishment. However, studies show that compassion is much more effective in helping someone get healthy and start leading a more productive life, which benefits them, their family, and their community.
- Different recovery strategies work for different people. There is no “one approach fits all” when it comes to recovery. It’s important that a person gets help from an individual or organization that they feel comfortable with and have confidence in.
- Recovery takes time. Looking back at the first bullet in this list helps explain why recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to get the brain’s “wiring” back to where it was before the addiction developed. Patience is key.
Talking Truth About Addiction
At our residential treatment in Sacramento, we’re all about speaking and living the truth. Honest dialogue and commitment to healing are critical to your success. Contact us today to learn more about our programs.