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There are many misconceptions about addiction, and it’s important to understand what’s true and what isn’t. For example, many people think that struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) is a moral failing. However, this is not the case. The misconceptions about addiction can significantly impact whether or not an individual struggling will seek out the help that they need. 

Drug addiction is a complex disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Here at West Coast Recovery Centers, we understand the difficulties you or your loved ones are facing. We are here to help in any way we can. This article is going to explore the eight misconceptions of addiction and the best ways to receive help. 

#1. Addiction Is a Moral Failing

You may be feeling some sort of shame or stigma surrounding your addiction. This can come from people believing that struggling with an addiction is a moral failing. Some people can believe that if you are struggling with an addiction, you are weak or lack self-control. 

However, this is not the case. It’s important to remember that addiction is a disease that requires both medical and psychological treatment. 

#2. Addiction Is a Choice

Individuals may choose to use drugs. However, they do not choose to become addicted to the drugs. Some people hold the misconception about addiction that if you are struggling, you lack willpower. This is false, and it’s important to remember that addiction changes the chemistry of your brain. 

These different misconceptions can all be harmful for a few reasons, and it’s important to understand and dismantle them. 

#3. SUD Only Affects the Individual

One of the most common misconceptions about addiction is that struggling with addiction only affects the individual. However, this is not the case because addiction can also significantly impact the individual’s family and friends. It is very difficult to have to see your loved one go through something as complex as addiction. Family members may experience feelings of guilt, anger, shame, and more.

It’s important to remember that SUD is a complex disease that greatly impacts both the mental and physical state of someone struggling. 

#4. Relapse Means You Failed

Many people associate relapse with failure and believe that individuals who relapse are incapable of long-term recovery. However, relapse is an extremely common part of the recovery process, and it doesn’t mean that you have failed. If you do relapse, there is a lot of learning that can take place during this time, such as developing new coping techniques and learning some of your triggers. 

#5. Addiction Can Only Effect Certain Types of People

One of the other common misconceptions about addiction is that it only affects certain types of people. This may include people from low-income backgrounds or someone with a history of trauma or mental illness. In reality, this is not the case. Addiction can affect anyone regardless of socioeconomic status, background, gender, or race. 

It’s important to remember that if you are struggling with SUD, you are not alone. It can be an extremely isolating experience, and you may feel that no one else understands your struggles. Here at West Coast Recovery Centers, we understand the importance of community both during treatment and after to ensure that you feel less alone. 

#6. Treatment Is a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

There is a common misconception about addiction that treatment is a one-size-fits-all experience. However, addiction treatment should be tailored to fit the unique needs of every individual. This includes providing different types of treatment, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). 

#7. You Can’t Receive Help Until You Hit Rock Bottom

Many people believe that you can’t enter treatment until you have hit rock bottom. However, it’s never too early to seek out treatment for addiction. It’s better to receive help sooner rather than later to ensure a successful recovery. You can start by reaching out to a trusted loved one or an addiction professional

#8. You Can Quit an Addiction at Any Point

Many people think that want and willpower alone can help you quit the addiction you are struggling with. However, in many cases, there is both physical and mental damage that has been caused by drug use. The best approach is to attend treatment surrounded by professionals and peers who understand what you’re going through. 

West Coast Recovery Centers prioritizes community through our alumni and aftercare program, which ensures support for long-term recovery. This program specifically allows you to stay in touch with peers who are going through the same thing as you. This way, you always have support and someone to lean on during both the good and difficult times. The alumni and aftercare program takes place in a safe environment where you can share your life experiences and particular struggles during recovery. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it’s important to seek professional help and support. Don’t let these common misconceptions about addiction prevent you from seeking the help you need. Remember that addiction is a complex disease that requires both medical and psychological treatment to ensure lifelong success. Recovery is possible, and no one has to face this journey alone. West Coast Recovery Centers is here to help. We can work together to challenge harmful misconceptions about addiction and create a more compassionate and effective approach to treatment. Take the first step today and reach out to West Coast Recovery Centers at (760) 492-6509 for more information.