Myths and facts about substance use disorder | Substance use disorder

Myths and facts about substance use disorder

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

MYTH:

Overcoming harmful substance use or dependency is simply a matter of willpower.

FACT:

Prolonged use of drugs and alcohol alters the brain. These changes make it extremely difficult for an individual to quit unassisted.

MYTH: 

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

FACT: 

Substance use disorder is a disease, but dependency can be treated and reversed through therapy, medication, exercise and other treatments.

MYTH: 

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

FACT: 

Treatment or interventions can begin at any point of recovery. Research has shown that the earlier help is obtained, the better. 

MYTH: 

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, ongoing process. It often involves setbacks and relapses. This is why aftercare services, such as the attendance of support groups, are important.

MYTH:

Government funding facilities are not as good as their privately owned counterparts.

FACT: 

All operating treatment facilities must comply with prescribed norms and standards. This implies that the facility has a biopsychosocial approach to address the biological, mental and social health of the client to provide an appropriate evidence-based intervention. This method is applied in both privately owned and government-funded facilities.

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