Skip to content Skip to footer

This blog will list the Top 10 Myths about Substance Abuse Addiction. We explain how these myths can ruin someone’s life. So, its always good to face the reality. That’s why we are bursting these myths.

Top 10 Myths about Substance Abuse

talk to an expert

Myth #1. People Can Quit Drugs by Willpower Alone

Substance Use Disorder or SUD is a disease that disrupts normal brain functioning by changing the reward pathway in the brain. As a result, a person more susceptible to addiction is unable to stop of their own volition.

Myth #2. People with a SUD Have Poor Character

While some individuals based on their background or genetics show a higher risk for developing a drug addiction, anybody can become addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Substance abuse is surprisingly common, according to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, 165 million or 60.2% of Americans abuse drugs (including alcohol and tobacco).

To avoid this and other stigmatization, individuals will deny the extent of their problems with drugs or alcohol especially if they can function in society despite regularly using.

Addiction always lends itself to context and there are different circumstances that lead somebody to develop a SUD. The person who uses alcohol to self-medicate anxiety or depression is different from the person who got addicted to their prescribed painkillers, and neither one is a bad person because of it. Just as there is no one way to develop an addiction, there is also no standard face of a person with drug addiction.

Myth #3. Addicted People are in Full Control of Their Actions

With drug addiction, being under the influence of drugs and alcohol carries a deeper meaning. As previously mentioned, drugs rewire the brain by creating deep associations between drugs and the neurotransmitter dopamine. The brain’s feel-good drug.

While a non-addicted person can consider their options and then come to a decision based on factors of risk and reward, a person who is suffering from drug addiction cannot.

Instead, their choices are based on getting a fix and because that impulse isn’t regulated, any risks associated with using likely won’t be enough to prevent them from doing so.

Myth #4. Detoxing at Home and Quitting Cold Turkey is safe

While some people have been able to successfully detox at home, doing so comes with risks. Detoxing from alcohol, for instance, can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms like seizures or delirium tremens while detoxing off heroin can cause acute symptoms like rapid heart rate and hypertension.

The best way to minimize harm and discomfort due to drug and alcohol withdrawals is to detox in a medical treatment facility. There you can receive 24-hour medical support, track your nutritional needs and receive medication to ease symptoms

Myth #5. Relapse is a Personal Failure

If a relapse happens, try not to be disheartened. What is most important is getting back on the horse. Remember that addiction is a disease and that any trouble that you are having to stay sober is most likely an indication that extra support is needed in your recovery treatment and not a personal failure.

If you have relapsed and are in recovery programs your sponsor or counselor knows what happened and be honest about the circumstances so that they can work with you to adjust your treatment program.

10 myths about substance abuse

Myth #6. Some People are Too Far Gone for Addiction Treatment

While recovery can be harder on those with long-standing addictions or co-occurring mental health disorders(such as anxiety or depression), there is no evidence to suggest that someone who takes recovery seriously and gets proper addiction treatment can’t experience long-term sobriety.

Myth #7. All Addiction Treatment is Essentially the Same

This is untrue. Treatment programs can vary significantly. But while quality programs have diverse treatment offerings and highly specialized and experienced staff, not all do.

If you are considering treatment, it is important that you do as much research as possible so that you can find a program that can best fit your needs. Also, consider any lifestyle and financial concerns as treatment options vary in cost-effectiveness and flexibility.

Myth #8. My Health Insurance Won’t Help Me Pay for Rehab

It’s quite the opposite actually. In 2014, the Affordable Care Act, made providing support for addiction treatment mandatory for most private and all state and federal insurance plans. This includes things like medical detox treatment, as well as inpatient, outpatient, and residential care.

However, the extent to which your addiction treatment will be covered will vary. To limit out pocket costs, call any prospective addiction treatment centers and have them run your insurance. You can also call the customer service department of your policy to get more information about what they cover.

Myth #9. I Have a Family and A Stable Job How Can I Be Addicted

False, a functioning person with a drug dependency still has an addiction. Over the years, the stereotype of the highly self-destructive drug user has dominated public perception of addiction.

This dramatic portrayal can lead people to second guess whether they have an addiction. Functioning alcoholics and drug users who are meeting societal expectations feel like they are in control, but for how long and to what extent?

A functioning user may just be a person who has yet to experience the negative consequences of their actions. Is a functioning alcoholic still considered as such after they get a DUI? Probably not. Yet it only takes an instant of reckless intoxicated driving for things to change.

Myth #10. You Can’t Get addicted off of Prescription Drugs

Some people believe that legally prescribed drugs are somehow less addictive, this is not true. Even with a prescription from a doctor, you can still become addicted. In fact, medications such as opiates and benzos carry a serious risk of dependency.

If you are concerned that you may be becoming addicted to your medication, call your doctor right away. Having an addiction is nothing to be ashamed of and the earlier it is addressed, the easier it is to treat.

For more information about how drug and alcohol treatment can help you overcome addiction call us at 877-290-2058. Grant Me the Courage is an Outpatient Treatment center in Brea, California providing a number of treatment options to the southern California area.


Bustamante, J. (2021, September 25). Substance Abuse and Addiction Statistics [2021]. NCDAS. Retrieved September 27, 2021, from

Health Insurance and Mental Health Services. Health Insurance and Mental Health Services | (n.d.). Retrieved September 27, 2021, from

Call Now!