Myths About Drug Abuse

As with any culture, the substance abuse and its associated culture has its share of myths. Some are half truths and some are totally bogus. And while nothing is amusing about drug addiction, some of the myths are entertaining, some seem to stem from denial but all are interesting. Some you may have even believed yourself.  Getting the facts straight is critical in order to help yourself or someone you love beat the disease of addiction.

Here are some myths and their realities about Drug Abuse:

Drug Addiction is a Voluntary Process

Initially, and maybe even the first few times it may be a choice to use a drug. However, that quickly changes. The reason why is that over time the drug changes the brain’s chemistry. This results in the compulsive need to use the substance. Addiction is actually a side effect of abuse and is all too involuntary.

Legality has nothing to do with it. Any and all drugs can be abused. For example, if a federally regulated and FDA approved drug is considered safe, misuse of the drug will still be prone to produce harmful effects. In fact, so called legal drugs have turned out to be so harmful if abused, that treatment is necessary to get off of them.

Marijuana is not bad

This powerful drug, in use by man for thousands of years, is thought to be the cause of some cancers and more serious health implications than just a case of the late night munchies. The drug can cause memory problems, poor concentration and lack of coordination. Plus, anyone who uses pot is at risk for dependence.

Addicts never recover

This is not true. There have been numerous cases where individuals have been able to recover from an addiction at a drug treatment facility. Not everyone recovers and not everyone gets clean the first time in recovery, but competent drug rehab and abstinence from the drug can result in a successfully ridding yourself from an addiction.

Drug treatment only works if the addict wants it to

In reality, no one really wants to go into drug treatment. Two of the main reasons individuals go into treatment is because of a court order or at the urging of a loved one. In fact, scientific studies have shown that those who enter drug treatment coming from a source of considerable pressure to confront and defeat an addiction do better in treatment.

There is a magic bullet that can treat drug addiction

There is not. No one size fits all drug treatment has been discovered let alone a magic bullet. People respond to drugs and treatment as differently as their DNA. The treatments need to be tailored to the specific physiological, mental and physical make of each addict for them to have even any kind of chance of being successful.

Do not believe myths about drug addiction; get the facts for yourself by coming to a place where you will receive legitimate answers and powerful solutions to your addiction. Call us for immediate help for your substance abuse problem. You might even be able to have some of the treatment costs paid for by your medical insurance. Complete the insurance verification form on the right side of your screen and find out.

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

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.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.

You aren't alone. You deserve to get help.
Recovery First is located in Hollywood, Florida, which is easily accessible from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. Our small groups means you get more one-on-one support and make stronger connections with the community. Take the next step toward recovery: learn more about our addiction treatment programs near Florida's Atlantic coast or learn about how rehab is affordable for everyone.