Openness, compassion, courage and understanding. How many people would associate those words with addiction? Not many, most likely – and certainly not those who haven’t suffered from addiction themselves and learned to overcome it.
However, lots of people do. Addiction can be one of the most difficult, destructive and misunderstood forces that a person can experience in their life. It entices, tricks and consumes, leaving sufferers unable to function and manage their life. That is until they understand it.
“Addicts are all bad people”
First of all, bad people are unfortunately everywhere and come from all walks of life. People addicted to drugs and alcohol are stigmatised in many different ways. They are subject to people’s individual morality, and frequently misunderstood by the media.
Furthermore, nobody is safe from addiction. It can sneak up on people of any level of intellect, and work its way into someone from any background. The common stereotypical image of a person sitting in the street drinking or taking drugs has never been true. When we don’t understand something ourselves, there is a natural inclination to attach it to an image that we recognise.
The best way to think about this differently, right now, is to ask the following question: “Where did that person in the street come from?” They certainly weren’t born that way.
“Addiction is a lifestyle choice”
While addiction may start with indulgence and experimentation, nobody would ever choose to live that way. The number of networks that exist to help people understand and overcome their addiction proves this. Nobody would ever choose a way of life that could ruin them physically, mentally, socially and financially, so this is another common misconception.
“All they need is a bit more willpower”
Many addicts actually have incredible self-control in many other aspects of their life. A quick web search of famous drug and alcohol addicts will give you a long list of people who have thrived in other areas of their life but were unable to conquer their addiction alone.
Plus, many addicts manage to hide their problem from friends, family and co-workers for years, and this alone takes a huge amount of discipline.
If you know somebody who is currently in the grip of addiction, they will be experiencing a daily struggle and going through terrible turmoil. They will experience moments when they feel like they’d do anything to beat it, but simply can’t. This is the terrible nature of addiction.
“They should beat it for the people who love them”
Again, the majority of addicts would, if they could. This is why addiction can destroy friendships and families. It can seem like the person simply doesn’t care anymore, as though nobody is good enough for them, and that they’ve given up on life completely.
So much about addiction is misunderstood, both by the sufferer and the people around them. This is why professional services, providing expert care, exist and operate worldwide. If you or someone you know is being affected by drug or alcohol addiction, please consider professional help. A provider of services in rehab for London suffers can teach you more about treatment.