One of the struggles of recovery is sorting through all the myths peddled about alcoholism recovery. As a person seeking information on how to get better and develop yourself, some of these myths can be both discouraging and damaging. So how do you know where you stand as a person on a recovery journey? Start by knowing the myths about alcoholism and the facts.
These are the 7 common myths about alcoholism recovery that you need to confront.
1. Willpower to Break Addiction
There is a general assumption that an alcoholic will only get better if he wants to get better. It also goes further to say, you can easily overcome alcoholism on your own as long as you have the will power.
Fact: alcoholism is a disease. Addiction is caused by a number of factors including taking excessive alcohol, but this is just one of them. Treatment of alcohol is as complex as some of its causes, so it is not something you will just snap out of like a switch –on and off.
There are people who quit alcohol cold turkey, but these are exception to the rule. It is possible they encountered an emotional event such as death of a loved from consequences of drinking. The problem with stopping addiction before processing the ‘why’ is that the person is at a greater risk of replacing current addiction with another type of addiction.
2. Life’s Perfect When You Stop Drinking
Can’t you just stop and get your life back? How many times have you heard this question? Apart from most people thinking that you can just switch off the addiction switch just like you switched it on, they will also reassure that everything will be perfect once you quit. It is not true.
You will face a number of challenges during recovery based on the causes of addiction. Take for example, dual diagnosis means there is an underlying mental health disorder. While you may stop taking alcohol, the triggering factors for mental health disorders may continue. You might be required to continue treatment for the mental health illness even after quitting. You might also have to change your lifestyle in order to deal with triggers.
It is possible that alcoholism could have being triggered by a traumatic event. If these traumatic events are not dealt with in a healthy way, they will still haunt you even after you quit alcohol.
3. Alcohol Treatment is Unaffordable
There is a general perception that alcoholism treatment is a luxury that is only afforded by a few people. It is also deemed to be expensive to treat alcoholism especially where rehab and counseling is not involved. This myth sets back all the efforts meant to make mental health treatment accessible to all people.
There are numerous affordable ways of accessing treatment. If you are employed, check with your employer if they have treatment program for people battling alcoholism or addiction. Look for centers that take insurance and work with them on an affordable plan. There are a couple of nonprofit organizations that allow free access to treatment for willing patients.
4. Getting Sober is Impossible
Have you ever heard the statement, once an alcoholic, you are in it for life. There is a common myth that no one is ever really cured of alcoholism; a recovered alcoholic is an alcoholic for life. This is not true; it is possible to get full recovery from addiction.
It is true that recovery is difficult and most people have to deal with relapse and triggers once in a while. However, there are also a large number of people that succeed in getting total alcoholism recovery. There are treatment programs that help recovering addicts control urges and cope with stressful situations without relapsing.
5. Sobriety is Boring
The whole process of sobriety is boring, starting from the treatment programs to life after quitting. You get confined to one place and even after you come out, you already lost a whole bunch of friends. Drinking is a lifestyle, and staying sober means parting with this exciting lifestyle. This is not true.
Sobriety is a process of getting a new chance at life. Going to rehab or becoming part of other treatment programs could actually revitalize your life. You get to meet new people undergoing the same challenges. The experts giving care are trained to handle you well and professionally.
With a great support system, sobriety cannot be boring. There is nothing boring about starting over and rebuilding relationships that had been damaged by alcoholism. It should be exciting getting a new job or starting to be productive once again. Alcoholism recovery is not boring.
6. Detox is Enough to Recover
Detox is an adequate and quick fix for addiction recovery. All you need to do to get over addiction is to go through a detox program. This is not true. Sometimes a patient will need 12 –step program, while others require group therapy or family support group.
Detox is not enough; it must be reinforced with emotional and psychological treatment strategies to be successful. These additional interventions are important to ensuring long-life and full recovery by addressing other factors that led to addiction apart from alcohol.
7. Alcohol Causes Addiction – Addiction is a Choice
There is a common myth that addiction is a result of alcohol abuse. This is not true. Alcohol is caused by a number of underlying factors including genetic factors, the age of first exposure to alcohol and environmental factors. It could also be an underlying mental health condition including past traumatic events.
On the same note, there is a misconception that people choose to be addicts because they choose to solve their problems by drinking. Addiction is mental illness and should be approached as that and not a lifestyle or a choice. When you are sick, the solution is seeking treatment and not reversing the choice.
All the myths we have uncovered have a potentially harmful effect on treatment of alcoholism and attainment of full alcoholism recovery. If you want to learn all the facts about alcoholism treatment reach out to us, and we will work with you.