Myths about Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

So Many Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Myths

Although an estimated 40 million Americans suffer from alcoholism or addiction it is still an often misunderstood disease. We have come a long way from the days when treatment for the alcoholic or addict consisted of strapping them to a table and waiting for withdrawals to stop, but even with our advancements, there is still a shroud of mystery surrounding the illness of addiction. Part of this may stem from the societal stigmas attached to being addicted and so we attempt to keep the disease under wraps, relegating it the fringes of society where it seemingly won’t affect us. It also has a lot to do with the perception of what the alcoholic or addict should look like. There are definite signs that indicate alcoholism and addiction when looking to decide if someone has reached that level. The homeless hobo is no longer the typical alcoholic or addict.

Regardless of the why alcoholism and addiction have become a major cause for public concern and with the rise of prescription and synthetic drug abuse in this country it is important to be educated about the facts. The myths centered around this disease do nothing but serve to keep people sick and prohibit their ability to seek the treatment that they desperately need. So if you believe that you may suffer from addiction or think that someone you love may be afflicted with this disease hopefully reading about the common myths associated with alcoholism and drug addiction with help to answer any lingering questions you may have.

What is Addiction
I love Rose’s line about people not being bad, just being sick.

Common Myths About Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

Drugs Addicts and Alcoholics All Fit a Certain Mold

There is a common misconception that the drug addict or alcoholic has not ventured into the suburban landscape. When most people think of these two peoples they imagine a man lurking in the shadows down some alleyway ready to pounce and steal your purse. This, however, is not the case and people who suffer from the disease of addiction come from all walks of life. There are no one-sized fits all description of the addict, and they can be your neighbor, your boss, or even your child. The proliferation of prescription drugs over the past 15 years has led in part to this change in demographics among people with addiction, but for the most part, the wide spectrum of those afflicted has always been present.

Drug Addicts and Alcoholics Can Stop Whenever They Want

This is a commonly held belief not only by the general public but also by most addicts and alcoholics. The truth is that for many the choice to drink or drug has been lost. This means that on a day-to-day basis they may want to stop but they are driven by an obsession and compulsion that they cannot combat themselves. This myth can be particularly devastating for the family when it is believed because the family will often think that if they only tried harder or did something different then the addict or alcoholic would cease their behaviors.

Being Addicted Means You Are a Bad Person

The previous myth feeds into this myth. Many people, including the alcoholic or addict, think that because they are incapable of stopping that means they are a bad person. They look at the things that they have done in order to appease their addiction and they see this as proof that they are morally defunct, but the truth is that they are sick people and not bad people. Drug addiction and alcoholism is a disease and this disease results in all sorts of behaviors that would never have occurred if the illness were present. So while the alcoholic or addict may engage in less than savory behaviors, some blatantly illegal and dangerous, they are not bad people.

Alcoholism Is Not As Dangerous As Drug Addiction

Since alcohol is legal and within our country, there is a culture of drinking, it is often times believed that suffering from alcoholism is not as bad as being addicted to drugs. However, from a scientific standpoint, they are essentially the same thing. Besides this, roughly 2.5 million people worldwide die annually from alcohol-related problems. On a more local scale alcoholism effects familial relations in the exact same manner that drug addiction does. Alcoholism can cause the loss of jobs, the loss of marriages, and any other number of problems you can imagine. Just because it is legal doesn’t mean that it won’t and can’t cause the same problems that illicit drugs cause.twitter_40589801f6

Prescription Drugs Aren’t Dangerous

This myth sounds something like this- because a doctor prescribed it for me it must be safe. While this myth is starting to lose some steam, some people still believe that just because their doctor prescribes them something, it must mean that they can’t become addicted. Many scheduled prescription drugs are extremely addictive and as time goes on and more research has be done the dangers of these drugs is becoming more apparent. Now just because you are addicted to a prescription drug does not mean that you are an addict, but prescription drugs are often a gateway for people’s addictions to express themselves.

Getting Sober Means Living a Life of Quiet Desperation

Contrary to the portrayal of alcoholics and addicts in popular media getting sober does not mean struggling with your addiction every day. Many people see the sober alcoholic on television and he tells his co-worker how it is a daily struggle not to drink and how he thinks about drinking all of the time. This is nothing like what being sober is. Once a person gets sober and works the Steps the obsession to drink or drug is then removed and they are placed in a position of neutrality. This does not mean that thoughts of drinking or drugging don’t return, but what it does mean is that it isn’t a struggle to not drink or drug.
While many of these myths do not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, it is important for us as a society to educate ourselves on the true nature of these diseases. We must know what we are up against if we hope to stem the rising of tide of addiction that is currently affecting this country. In doing so we can begin to help ourselves and those we love and maybe in time start to remove some of the stigma that still permeates the public’s perception of drug addiction and alcoholism.

Rose Lockinger
Stodzy Internet Marketing.

Rose Lockinger is passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram

25 thoughts on “Myths about Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

  1. I think that last point is really important. Some people I know believe that the end of their drinking means the end of all of their “fun” , of course that couldn’t be further from the truth. Great post

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Speaking as a recovering alcoholic (4 years clean & sober on Sept 26th this year) I found this article absolutely spot on…and for many (myself included) the fact that the stereotypical assumptions & ill informed opinions of far too many people are actually still held as fact today is very perplexing…I’ve had some tell me I’m obviously not an alcoholic because I haven’t ”wanted” a drink in 4 years…others tell they’re not because they only get wasted over a weekend & alcoholics only drink thhe ”hard stuff”…vodka etc….much more work is still to be done in order to both dispel the myths & save more lives….I was lucky & literally brought back from the brink of death far too many aren’t…articles like this go a long way toward redressing the balance so thanks for putting it out there

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We just spent a weekend at my son’s treatment facility for their family counseling. We learned all of these myths as well as that we needed to work out own 12 step program.

    One of the best things about being around him and his fellow recovery residence buddies was hearing that he is rediscovering fun without drugs. They call him the six foot two 5 year old because of his exuberance for simple things: i.e. the tri color foam at the old fashioned coin hand car wash. We were in tears from laughing so hard and with joy. Getting clean and sober isn’t the end of life.

    However, we did learn he will have to go through the grieving process for the loss of the drug.

    Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is a great piece… thank you so much. Addiction is more complicated than most people realise and stigma and stereotyping do nothing to help. Adjusting to life without our ‘fix’ takes a while but is worth the effort. I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about sobriety but not too much actually craving a drink. For the most part, life is good and when it isn’t, being in recovery means I’m better equipped to deal with it. Thanks again, this was such a good read.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think Rose captured so many of the common misconceptions about addiction and alcoholism. I really thought my life was over when I could not drink or drug anymore. Even though I wasn’t having any “fun”. I still believed that a sober life was for losers. I love the phase I hear “we absolutely insist on enjoying life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on sameermuley and commented:
    Alcoholism is a tricky disease. stay away is the first option, and for second option refer the first option.
    Read this blog where victoria B narrates acout addiction and take that first step by thinking about it if you remotely can connect to her words.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great piece and totally relevant being I just watched the Elizabeth Vargas special on 20/20. Awareness and education is all that stands a change at beating this hideous disease.


      1. I was especially happy to see the focus on the correlation between alcoholism and anxiety in women. I hope this research continues and reaches the 60% of women sufferring with both crippling anxiety and deadly anxiety. Someone who used to be very close to be once said the best anti-anxiety med he ever took was a tall, stiff drink. This research is so important!


  8. There is a new trend in the addiction treatment business. They are not using the term dual-diagnosis as much. That is because it is so common for alcoholics to be depressed and anxious. Add angry …. and that pretty much describes my behavior.


  9. I really appreciate the hard work you obviously put into this post. It helped me in regards to believing, as a recovering alcoholic currently in a residential program, that the rest of my life doesn’t have to be defined by labels. Really good stuff…

    Liked by 1 person

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