Mountainside Reveals the Truths Behind 10 Addiction Myths

While the job of rehabilitating individuals is often challenging, Mountainside Treatment Center cites an equally, if not more difficult challenge—getting individuals to disregard myths and take the first step to enter treatment.

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Mountainside Treatment Center

Canaan, CT (PRWEB) December 12, 2013

Mountainside Treatment Center specializes in providing innovative and effective substance abuse addiction treatment to those who need it. It has helped over 6,000 individuals achieve sobriety since its founding fifteen years ago. While the job of rehabilitating individuals is often challenging, the treatment center cites an equally, if not more difficult challenge—getting individuals to take the first step to enter treatment.

According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 23.9 million Americans aged 12 or older had used illicit drugs in the month prior to the survey. 17.0 million had drank heavily. These two groups represented 15.7 percent of the total 2012 population aged 12 or older. The number of people who received treatment, however, was only 4.0 million, less than 1.5 percent of the population.

Mountainside has been monitoring the perception of drug and alcohol addiction, as well as addiction treatment for years. The treatment center shares that there are many misconceptions about addiction and treatment that cause individuals to be reluctant to seek professional help. Based on Mountainside’s experience, the ten most common myths surrounding addiction and addiction treatment are:

Myth #1 – Addiction is a Voluntary Behavior. While it may be true that one's initial exposure to drugs or alcohol is usually voluntary, with extended use, these substances actually alter the chemical make-up of the brain. This real change in the brain is what causes one to become compulsive and addicted to the substance.

Myth #2 – Addiction is a Character Flaw. According the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is a primary, chronic disease of the brain’s reward, motivation, and memory related circuitry. Illicit substances disrupt and potentially destroy an addict’s normal brain functions, altering neurotransmissions, interactions within reward structures of the brain, and motivational hierarchies. Addiction is not a sign of character weakness in an individual.

Myth #3 – All Addictions are Treated the Same. Every case of addiction is different, as is every client. A treatment program needs to be custom tailored to the individual's needs in order to have the greatest potential for success. To effectively treat an individual with addiction, a treatment center should not have a one-size-fits-all approach.

Myth #4 – A Person Can Recover from Addiction without Treatment. While it is not impossible for an individual to stop abusing drugs or alcohol on his or her own, long-term recovery is very rare. To better sustain sobriety, professional treatment services coupled with group support have proven to be most effective. There are numerous efforts and catalysts that contribute in building an individual’s recovery, as well as many common pitfalls. Professional treatment providers as well as 12-step and group support services offer the best chance for an individual to learn about addiction, deal with both emotional and environmental triggers, as well as establish a long lasting support system.

Myth #5 – Drug Rehab is a Guarantee that an Individual will Have Lasting Recovery. Each individual is different with varying degrees of motivation and support. While treatment helps to significantly increase the likelihood of long term sobriety, treatment does not guarantee it. There are indeed many individuals who remain drug free and sober for the remainder of their lives after going through rehab. There are also many others however where this is not the case. An effective treatment center will work relentlessly to motivate each of their clients to want to change, and will provide the necessary framework and tools that will help empower them to succeed. Lasting recovery ultimately depends on the will and determination of the individual.

Myth #6 – Treatment Doesn't Work At All. Because an individual can suffer a relapse or multiple relapses, many people conclude that rehab does not work at all. This conclusion is not a fair one. Addiction is such a progressive disease with so many instigating factors, it can be difficult for some clients to achieve long-term recovery after just one treatment at a rehab center. In treatment, individuals learn critical things about themselves and addiction, and see for themselves that there is another way. In the event that a relapse occurs, it is often the lessons that they learn while in treatment that enable them to reach out for help and get back into recovery.

Myth #7 – Individuals Must Hit Rock Bottom Before they can Accept Treatment. There are varying reasons and degrees of motivation for individuals to enter addiction treatment. For some, rock bottom was the turning point, while for others it may have been an intervention. Friends and families of alcoholics and drug abusers are encouraged to seek help for their loved one as soon as they see a need. Interventions have been a powerful tool for many to get through to their loved ones, to have their loved ones recognize the need to seek help.

Myth #8 – Recovery Only Takes a Few Weeks. Every day there are challenges and temptations that threaten sobriety. Sustained sobriety requires a conscious effort for an individual to make the right choices every day. Recovery should be viewed as a lifelong journey an individual takes. The 12-step concept of One Day at A Time is an effective tool in helping to keep individuals stay in recovery, helping them to focus on making the best of each day. It champions the understanding that a successful recovery is the added sum of many small victories. This idea especially helps individuals in early recovery, to have them focus on the present day rather than a lifelong journey which may sound like a daunting and overwhelming challenge.

Myth #9 – People Who Relapse are Hopeless Addicts. The unfortunate reality is that there are individuals who do relapse for various reasons. The road to a long lasting recovery is often initially marked by an unintended relapse. These stumbling blocks have actually helped many to reach an understanding and a determination within themselves that the path they are on needs to be changed. To minimize the risk of relapse, it is critical for an individual to have supportive family and friends, especially during the first few months after rehab, when risk of suffering a relapse is highest.

Myth #10 – An Addict Can't Be Forced Into Treatment. While it is true the decision of seek treatment always rests with the individual, in extreme cases where substance abuse has led to a criminal act, a court ruling can powerfully push an individual to undergo rehab treatment. Studies show that those coerced into treatment by the legal system can be just as successful in recovery as those who enter treatment voluntarily. This is because these individuals are usually mandated to a longer treatment stay and required to complete the treatment program which helps to ensure that a strong foundation for long term success is built.

About Mountainside Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Center

Mountainside is nationally recognized for the effectiveness of its drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs. Our Integrative Care Model provides a comprehensive set of treatment and care offerings coordinated by a multidisciplinary treatment team to best fit the unique needs and interests of each client. We are lauded for our ability to partner with each client and the client’s family and healthcare professionals in developing and executing individualized treatment plans that promote long-term sobriety.


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