7 Hard Truths About Addiction

7 Hard Truths About AddictionWhen it comes to addiction, everybody seems to know exactly what it is, while somehow not really understanding it at all. There are so many truths, half-truths, myths, and misconceptions floating around, that it’s difficult to get any straight answers on the nature of addiction in general. With that in mind, here are a few of the lesser known facts regarding addiction.

  1. It’s not genetic. There are many ways that addicts and those who care about them attempt to redirect responsibility. It’s completely understandable; for one thing, addiction can be so powerful that it feels as though your body is operating on some basic, unconscious level. However, the fact is that—as far as researchers are concerned—there is no such thing to a genetic predisposition to addiction.

  2. Addicts will always be addicted. Some people see addiction as a condition that, with enough effort, can be turned off. This simply is not true. Addiction changes the way that the brain works, and there is no way to turn back the clock and undo the effects. Even if an addict is able to overcome the chemical addiction, the psychological addiction is not as easily conquered, and it will stay with him forever. Sobriety depends upon being able to avoid triggers and recognize weaknesses, and may require long term drug rehab.

  3. Addicts have a choice. Again, many addicts will claim that they can’t help themselves, and that addiction is not their fault. However, while it may sound harsh, the truth is that there is always a choice involved. It’s a choice that may be very difficult to make. It may require more will than the addict has ever expended on anything in his entire life, but it is possible. Rehab clinics exist to help addicts chose a sober life, but the choice itself depends wholly on the person with the addiction. If an addict believes that he has no choice in the matter, and that the addiction isn’t his responsibility,  then he will be content to never seek help.

  4. Not all addicts are easy to identify. Most of us picture addicts as disheveled, unclean, withered husks that have given up on life. The reality is that most addicts are able to hold down jobs, pay bills, and generally look like any other member of society. Many addicts will actually keep their addiction secret from those around them, and may even be able to hide it from loved ones. However, the addiction is still doing damage, and will, in all likelihood, eventually become apparent.

  5. Prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as illegal substances. Certain drugs are legal only with a doctor’s prescription. This is to prevent patients from having continued access to chemicals that could be dangerous and habit forming. However, many addicts are able to circumvent these safety measures by taking more than the prescribed amount, faking ailments, visiting multiple physicians, or by mixing medications. Approximately 7 million Americans are currently addicted to prescription pain medication, with 100,000 deaths attributed to its misuse every year..

  6. Alcohol is the most dangerous drug on the planet. The danger associated with a drug doesn’t always have any bearing on its legality. Alcohol has been a part of the human diet since before recorded history, but it causes more harm to society in general— and individuals in particular—than any other drug, including heroin and cocaine. This problem is compounded by the general acceptance that alcohol receives.

  7. It is possible to get help. As dark as addiction may seem, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Various rehabilitation programs exist to help addicts overcome their addiction and find happiness free of chemical dependency. Not all methods are successful for all addicts, and often it takes multiple attempt before any real progress is made. However, if the addict is able to overcome discouragement, take responsibility, and make the choice to seek help, they may find that addiction doesn’t have to be a way of life.

Hyrum Taffer

Hyrum Taffer

Hyrum is an experienced researcher, counselor. He hopes his experiences will help others find their way to recovery.
Hyrum Taffer

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