According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMSHA), almost 22.5 million people reported the use of an illegal drug in the prior year. Over 20 million people have substance use disorders, and 12.5 million Americans reported misusing prescription pain relievers in the past year. Alcoholism and substance abuse affect many families in our communities and drain our society in a multitude of ways. Despite the fact that are countless addiction treatment options available, only one in five people who currently need treatment for chemical dependence are actually receiving it.
Don’t Let These Myths Stop You from Getting Sober
There are many reasons why addicts do not get help and enter treatment for their addiction problem(s). There are so many reasons why people choose not to take that first step to go into treatment, and then there is what you hear once you choose to live a life of sobriety.
There is a lot of hearsay about recovery and addiction, but if you educate yourself a little, you’ll see that there are a bunch of myths, and getting sober can bring you a better way of life. Some of the top myths we encounter are:
- Life will be no fun in sobriety – This is a big one. We believe from a young age that we have to have substances to have fun. This is deeply rooted because of a fear we have grown up with about what others think about us. Growing up, it was believed that we needed some alcohol to dance or to speak to that cute girl or guy. Now that we are in adulthood, its an impulse. We are uncomfortable, so we need to drink or drug. We are all in the same boat. We all have a fear of being uncomfortable or not like. When we surround ourselves with people who accept us for the awkward, uncomfortable person we are, we find that it’s not that bad, and we are all feeling that same way. We can have fun in sobriety, and maybe you just need to make more of an effort instead of looking for the easy way out of everything.
- Alcoholics Anonymous is the only way to go to be sober – This is still heard around today. I’m not an alcoholic, so I can’t join A.A. Yes, A.A. has been around the longest, so that is why it is heard of the most, but there are so many support groups out today that there is surely one that speaks to you. You don’t even need to be in a support group to get sober. Some find that religion or art therapy may keep them sober. It’s whatever works for you, so try everything and find what speaks to you.
- You have to stay away from all places or people that serve or use alcohol – This is recommended in early recovery since we are at a delicate state and have a higher chance of relapse but later down the road in your journey in recovery you have to gain more control, therefore, don’t have to avoid such places. Later in recovery, you gain more knowledge and are more aware of your feelings and can tell when you are putting yourself at risk. People and places that involve alcohol are going to come up in life, whether it be work-related or a wedding. You don’t have to avoid these situations, just be aware and do what feels comfortable.
- You should have lost everything, lived on the streets, or been to jail to be in recovery – This is no place for bragging, nobody gets prizes for who’s done what or how bad they were. This is all one person’s journey, and we all have different paths, but we all basically have common goals: to recover from alcohol and drugs and to help others.
- It’s ok to use other substances that you weren’t addicted to – We hear this many times, “I didn’t have a problem with weed, I only had a problem with heroin” or “alcohol wasn’t the reason I lost everything.” When you use a substance, you are trying to fill a void instead of dealing with whatever it is in a healthy way. Instead of using drugs and substituting addictions, we need to find healthier activities as our coping skills when life shows up.
We at Garden State Treatment Centers understand treatment is a big step and can be scary. But we can guarantee that most importantly, you will be treated with care, compassion, and dignity. Our staff is there to challenge you and help you grow, but the best way to achieve this goal is by mutual understanding and respect. The most important thing you can expect from your Garden State Treatment Center Treatment experience is that you will emerge from it transformed, stable, and ready to begin a lifetime of recovery.