I remember sitting in health class at school and hearing about the dangers of drinking alcohol and using drugs. I even heard talk in the locker room about weekend parties and recreational substance abuse. Unfortunately, I don’t remember ever hearing these 11 facts about addiction, which might have been useful to know.
1. All Addicts Aren’t Homeless and Unemployed
You might have been taught that all addicts live on the edges of society, but anyone can become an addict, including teachers, doctors, lawyers, and parents. Although addiction does destroy lives, many addicts live as productive members of society. This fact is one of the facts about addiction that many people do not know.
2. Addiction May be Caused by Childhood Trauma
Peer pressure, curiosity, and desire to improve performance contribute to alcohol and drug use. But health class doesn’t teach that traumas like divorce, a loved one’s death, or molestation can also lead a person to use substances that dull the emotional pain caused by these events.
3. One of the Biggest Facts About Addiction: Heroin is Not Just Injected
In the past, more than 75 percent of heroin addicts injected their preferred drug. Today, more and more users are snorting this substance. Many people think of heroin as only something like you see in the movies, something that inner-city addicts only inject.
4. Addiction Affects More than Just the Addict
You heard in school about how alcohol and drugs affect you and your brain and body. But addiction affects your family members and friends, too. They suffer from worry, anxiety, and financial challenges as they navigate the ups and downs of addiction with you.
5. Resisting Peer Pressure is Only One Preventative Step
I remember hearing that I should just say no to peer pressure. I don’t remember being taught how to navigate the loneliness I would feel when all of my friends were using, and I wasn’t or how to build an active and drug-free social network.
6. An Addict Might have More Than One Addiction
An addict could be addicted to more than one drug or both alcohol and a drug. Understanding this fact and getting treatment for both improves the chances of successful recovery.
7. Cocaine Isn’t an Aphrodisiac
What you heard in the locker room is only partially correct. Cocaine does increase sex drive, but it also impairs your ability to perform sexually.
8. In the Late 1960s, Addicts Were Treated as Criminals
Instead of getting treatment, drug addicts were locked up in jail. Today, numerous holistic treatment options ensure that all addicts have access to the help they need.
9. Successful Recovery takes More Than a Desire to Quit
School curricula teach that addicts can change with their desire to stop. In reality, a decision to change can be the first step, but successful recovery also requires an ongoing commitment to a treatment plan.
10. Getting Sober/Clean Requires More Than Abstinence
You learned in school about ways to avoid becoming an addict in the first place, but few teachers discuss the challenges involved in recovery. Abstinence, professional therapy, exercise, meditation, journaling, connecting with sober and clean friends, and hard work are a few tools needed to experience a full recovery.
11. Addicts can Never Consider Themselves “Cured”
After going through withdrawal and starting on a recovery journey, addicts need to make a lifelong commitment to their treatment plan. An addict is never cured.
While you may not have learned these 11 facts about addiction in school, knowing the truth about addiction is the first step toward getting treatment. Are you ready to use your knowledge to become sober and clean today?