Myths About Addiction
Misinformation is an issue that has been around long before the term “fake news” became popular. With tempting headlines saturating social media feeds and push alerts always popping up on our phones, it can be difficult to weed through the details and determine the truth. The topic of addiction has not escaped misinformation. Find out whether it’s fact or fiction when it comes to addiction. You may be surprised!
Addiction Fact or Fiction?
- Drug and alcohol detox is sufficient enough for recovery – Fiction! Medical detox is an important first stage of addiction treatment as it helps the body safely adjust back to a substance-free state. However, detox alone is rarely enough to achieve long-term abstinence. Continued addiction treatment therapies are necessary for success.1
- Remaining in treatment for a sufficient amount of time is important for success – Fact! Remaining in treatment for an adequate amount of time is critical in treating addiction. Although the appropriate duration of treatment depends on each individual, longer durations of treatment have been found to be associated with the best outcomes. Research shows that most people struggling with addiction need a minimum of three months in treatment to stop or significantly reduce their substance use.1
- All it takes is willpower to stop being addicted to drugs and alcohol – Fiction! While internal motivation is an important part of creating sobriety, it takes intensive professional treatment to successfully achieve long-term abstinence. For some, medication can also be a helpful tool alongside behavioral therapy in treating addiction.2
- You can only get addicted to illegal drugs – Fiction! Medication prescribed by a doctor can still be addicting. Legal drugs like Vicodin, Percocet, OxyContin, Codeine, Adderall, and Xanax are all examples of prescription medication that people can become addicted to. Alcohol and marijuana are also examples of substances that can lead to addiction but are not illegal.2
- Addiction can be cured with treatment – Fiction! Addiction is a chronic disease, meaning there is no cure. However, addiction can be treated successfully. With professional addiction treatment therapy, people can achieve long-term sobriety. 3
- Experiencing a relapse after treatment means treatment doesn’t work for you – Fiction! Because addiction is a chronic disorder, relapse (using a substance after attempting to stop) is often part of the process. It does not mean treatment has failed but instead indicates that treatment needs to be resumed or modified.3
- Addiction treatment programs can also treat mental health disorders – Fact! 17 million people in the United States had both a mental disorder and substance use disorder in 2020. When mental and substance disorders occur together or one right after the other, it is known as a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. Because of the common connection between mental illness and addiction, many rehab programs have designed programs to treat both together.4
Signs of Substance Abuse
If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, it may be helpful to know the signs of substance addiction. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th edition) used by medical professionals to diagnose addiction, signs of a Substance Use Disorder include:5
- The substance is used over longer periods of time and in larger amounts than intended.
- There have been unsuccessful efforts or a persistent desire to control or cut down substance use.
- A large amount of time is spent obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of a substance.
- There is a strong desire or urge to use the substance, known as craving.
- A failure to fulfill major obligations at home, school, or work, due to recurrent substance use.
- Continued substance use despite having recurrent interpersonal or social problems.
- Repeated substance use in physically hazardous situations.
- Continuing to use the substance despite knowledge of persistent psychological or physical problems likely caused or exacerbated by the substance use.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has a substance use disorder, there are treatment options to get help.
Miami Rehab for Alcohol and Drug Addiction
Recovery First Treatment Center is an industry-accredited drug and alcohol addiction rehab in South Florida near Miami. With more than 7,000 patients treated, Recovery First has supported thousands with their recovery. Each patient is provided with an individualized treatment plan designed to treat their addiction and any co-occurring mental disorders.
Recovery First offers inpatient rehab services as well as outpatient addiction treatment. If you have some questions we didn’t address, reach out to one of our admissions navigators available 24/7 at or check out more about what to expect in addiction treatment
American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.
While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.