I could go on and on for hours about the misconceptions of addicts and addiction. I won’t, but don’t doubt that I could. You may be one of the people I’m referring to and you don’t even realize it because a lot of these things are so widely thought about. Addicts face a lot of criticism and judgement every day, not just active users but us in recovery as well. Let’s delve into the world of addiction and debunk, in my opinion, the most common myths.
“Addiction isn’t a disease.”
This assumption makes me absolutely bonkers. Addiction is chronic, meaning that it will never go away. Once an addict, always an addict. Like a disease such as cancer, an addict can go into remission after a substantial amount of clean time but relapse will always be possible without recovery and medication. What would happen if someone suffers from a heart disease but they refuse to take the necessary steps to treat their disease? They die, right? Well same goes for addicts.
“Addicts lack willpower.”
Getting clean and sober is not a matter of willpower. I cannot stress that enough. Nobody wakes up one morning as a child and says, “When I grow up I wanna shoot dope and ruin my life.” That shit just doesn’t happen and if you think that you are, in my opinion, the lowest kind of person. If it were lack of willpower, the world wouldn’t have addicts. We would all just use regularly like normal people that don’t have an addictive gene.
“If your parent is an addict, you must be too.”
FAAAALSE. Yes, it is genetic. No, you’re not automatically an addict just because one or both of your parents have an addictive gene. Although if one of your parents is an addict you’re eight times more likely to also be an addict. And if that person happens to be your mother, it’s DOUBLE that. Sometimes, addiction skips generations and it’s totally random. I have three sisters and a brother. I share a mother with two of my sisters and their father is an addict, so is our mother. I share a father with my brother and other sister, their mother and our father are both addicts. Only three of us are addicts. You never truly know who it could be. If your parents are addicts, simply be careful until you see characteristics of an addict.
I hope I’ve done a good job at clearing up a few of the most common myths about addicts/addiction. But more than that, I hope it opened your eyes to how much judgment addicts get. We’re not all lazy, homeless and begging for your money on street corners, and we’re not all waiting for you to walk away so we can raid your purse. Sure, there are definitely addicts out there like that but it’s unfair to generalize an entire group of people like that. Addicts still have morals and feelings. Keep that in mind when and if you have to deal with an addict.