There are various misconceptions about drug use among addicts as well as among those who are not taking drugs. These misconceptions can hinder treatment in various ways. Addicts don’t try to quit, even if they try they fail, they rarely seek treatment, and sometimes it gets too late when they are brought into treatment. Even their loved ones are surrounded by a lot of fallacies. Myths rotate everyone in a vicious cycle and they seldom reach to the right place for the right treatment. Here we discuss some of those misunderstandings the addicts and their loved ones carry along.
Mehwish Mursaleen is MPhil in Clinical Psychology and pursuing her PhD in similar field from Institute of Clinical Psychology, University of Karachi. She has provided mental health services to people having different psychological problems coming from different age groups and backgrounds. Her research work is based on IQ, Emotional Intelligence, Academic achievement and Aggression in adolescents. She also has published case studies on CBT for depression and panic disorder. Her interests are in the areas of counselling, psychotherapy, and psychological assessment.
Editor: Mr. Wakeel Murad
1. Alcoholics only need help when they get worse.
This is a wrong concept. Addicts believe that they don’t need help until they reach to the death bed due to poor physical health until very obvious changes alcohol brings into their physique. Whereas, the truth of the matter is, alcohol starts deteriorating your internal organs from the very first time you take it. Even the social users are not safe from the detrimental effects of alcohol. Research shows that moderate amount of alcohol can cause diseases like prostate cancer, liver damage, and breast cancer. Now you can imagine how lethal it can get up to an addictive amount. It is suggested that the sooner an alcoholic seeks treatment, there are more chances of recovery. Social users and addicts can prevent further damage to their mind and body if at any point they realize the need for treatment and get sober.
2. Addicts lack willpower and motivation that’s why can’t quit.
This is another misconception people hold about addicts. They are often criticized and stigmatized that they lack motivation and they lose their willpower that’s why they relapse and fail to maintain their sobriety. In actual, an addict, when takes the drug very first time, he never thinks that he will be addicted. He wants and tends to remain a social user. When the dose increases, the addict still doesn’t think that he has become an addict. He requires more amount of drug to maintain the previous level of buzz. Infect those who use drugs, get into a trap because their brain chemistry is changed. This is the reason why an addict requires more intensive detoxification and prolonged treatment depending upon the duration and amount of drug use. Moreover, when a recovering person relapses, it gets harder for his brain and body to get clean and maintain total abstinence. Therefore, it is not only the story of willpower once the substance enters into brain and body of an addict. Since all of his physiology, neurology, and psychology gets affected therefore all these domains need to be modified during treatment of a recovering person.