Breaking down the myths | Substance abuse

Breaking down the myths

ThinkstockPhotos-166674118.jpg

Don’t be misled by the myths you hear about substance abuse. By knowing the facts you can help yourself and others better.

MYTH 1:

Overcoming harmful use or dependency is simply a matter of willpower. "You can stop using drugs if you really want to"

FACT:

Prolonged exposure to drugs and alcohol alters the brain. These brain changes make it extremely difficult for an individual to quit by sheer force of will.

MYTH 2:

Substance use disorder is a disease; there’s nothing you can do about it.

FACT:

Substance use disorder is a disease, but that doesn't mean you’re a helpless victim. Dependency can be treated and reversed through therapy, medication, exercise and other treatments.

MYTH 3:

People with drug and alcohol disorders have to hit rock bottom before they can get better.

FACT:

Treatment and/or attention to the matter can begin at any point of recovery . The earlier help is obtained, the better. 

MYTH 4:

You can't force someone into treatment. They have to want help.

FACT:

Treatment doesn't have to be voluntary to be successful. Someone who is pressured into treatment can still benefit and make a full recovery from addiction.

MYTH 5:

Treatment didn't work before, so there’s no point trying again. Some cases are just hopeless.

FACT:

Recovery from substance use disorder is a long process. It often involves setbacks. Relapse doesn't mean that treatment has failed.

For more information on how to get help call 0800 220 250 or visit our local offices at the Department of Social Development.