Common Misconceptions of Drug Addiction

People think that having an addiction is a choice as well as a character flaw. It is important to set the record straight about the truth of drug addiction so that more can be done in regards to treatment and how it is viewed.

One misconception is that drug addicts live in dark alleyways, are criminals, have bad hygiene, unemployed or cannot hold a job, sad people, ambitionless, homeless, under forty years-old, and cannot maintain a relationship. All of these stereotypes are far from the truth as addiction can happen to anyone in the world. The truth is that a supplier can be in an office, an addict can have no criminal record, perfectly groomed, successful career, loved by friends and family, can be happy, any age, ambitious, can have expensive house, and a loving partner. Another misconception is drug addiction being more serious than alcohol since hard drugs are illegal. According to BBC News, alcohol can be more harmful than heroin or crack cocaine. Alcohol has a harm rating of 72 while heroin is 55.

Another myth is that once you are addicted to drugs, you are always addicted to drugs. The truth is that anyone can return to sanity if they really want to and can turn their life around. By saying drug addicts will never get better is unhelpful and discouraging to anyone trying to have a successful recovery. Some also believe that recovery is a boring way to live. There are many fun activities you can do that drugs would have stopped you from doing like playing sports, driving, exercising, and taking care of yourself. The life of an addict is boring and predictable in that they always take a hit and are limited in their opportunities. When sober, the sky’s the limit.

There are those who believe addiction is a moral failure since an addict chose their substance. Maybe they initially chose that substance but they did not choose to be addicted. Addiction can be unpredictable in which you can do drugs multiple times and not be addicted or drugs once and be hooked. Addiction depends on a person’s genetics, environment, developmental factors, psychological factors, and personality. The brain changes by repeated drug use which makes it feel impossible to stop. These are just a few myths that mislead others to not take addiction seriously. More needs to be done before more people overdose.


Smarmore Castle Private Clinic in County Louth, near Dublin was founded in 1988 as a residential rehabilitation hospital treating people suffering from drug and alcohol purposes. Smarmore Castle believes in helping patients lead a life of abstinence through 12 Step programs, detox and medical treatment, psychotherapy, and complementary therapies.

For more information, please call 041-214-5111. For those who live out of the country, the international number is 00353-41-214-5111.

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