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Alcohol Addiction – Facts & Myths

Sometimes myths float around for years having everyone convinced of their legitimacy, even though they are terribly wrong or inaccurate. Most never even validate or question these theories which can hinder their success greatly. Addiction is one of the hottest topics that have hundreds of myths. In order to dispel some of the most popular myths this article will focus on the real versus the untruths that we sometimes falsely believe! Read on for more information on the top five myths and truths about alcohol addiction.

Myth: Addiction is only a bad habit and the addict can quit if they muster the
strength.

Fact: Alcohol drinking may be a bad habit and that habit may well lead to addiction, however if the individual is addicted it is more than a bad habit. What some people call a habit is something that people do when they are really not suppose too. A bad habit in the face of serious troubles such as addiction are behaviors like leaving the toilet seat up or forgetting to put the toothpaste lid back on, but craving alcohol is much more than a habit. Now as far as strength, addiction is tricky and because the hormones can change within the brain it is not only the “strength” that the addict must find. It takes a combination of treatment, support and life changes to reverse the ills of addiction.

Myth: Treatment is a joke, just look how many people relapse!

Fact: While it is true that relapse is high, it doesn’t mean that treatment is ineffective or not worthwhile. Treatment is not magic or a cure to all of society’s problems, however the goal is to help those suffering from addiction to learn better coping skills as well as reduce some of the health, financial and societal problems that their addiction causes. There are some individuals addicted to alcohol that achieve abstinence with the help of community based groups, however the majority find help through outpatient based treatment and many still have been able to overcome alcoholism with self help information too.

Myth: People that have become addicted to alcohol have choose that path above all else.

Fact: There is some truth to the fact that addiction is a choice; however it involves the choices that were made in the beginning. Those times of all night drunks, drinking every day and finding every social occasion possible to get looped were the choices. Once addiction has taken over it is like any other disease, it is almost uncontrollable to the affected. The addiction as a disease grows and begins to affect the entire life, body, behavior and chemical makeup of the individual, therefore making it more than their choice.

Myth: The addict has to want help, or else treatment won’t work.

Fact: Most people that enter treatment do not do so on their own account. They are persuaded by family, friends or community supports that have identified addiction. The addict’s brain is fogged from the disease and they are oftentimes unable to control the urges or cravings. Recent research has actually shown that the reason the person entered treatment has little effect on the outcome of treatment.

Myth: People that become alcoholics have mental issues that lead them to addiction.

Fact: This may be so in some cases, but a one size fits all statement simply cannot apply when speaking of addiction. The prevalence of disorders such as depression and bi-polar disorder is high amongst alcoholics, however which came first? Not everyone that is addicted to alcohol is suffering from mental disorders; this is a blanket statement and simply is not true.
There are many myths out there about addiction and the path that individuals take in their lives. These are only a few of the most popular myths, but some that are frequently quoted by good intention Joe’s. These people are only trying to help, but sometimes add to the problem by spreading information that is incorrect. Before you take anything for face value, research it and find out whether it is a myth or fact.

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