“The face of “evil” is always the face of total need. A dope fiend is a man in total need of dope. Beyond a certain frequency, need knows absolutely no limit or control… You would lie, cheat, inform on your friends, steal, do anything to satisfy total need. Because you would be in a state of total sickness, total possession, and not in a position to act in any other way. Dope fiends are sick people who cannot act other than they do. A rabid dog cannot choose but bite.”
~ William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch
Part Two of a three-part series
Throughout Southern California, just like it is in the rest of the United States, substance abuse is a real, present, and growing problem. Some experts believe that as many as 1 out of 5 Americans will deal with alcohol or drug dependency at some point in their life.
Even with that prevalence, there still exist a number of tenacious misconceptions about substance abuse and drug addiction recovery. San Diego rehab experts will tell you that these misconceptions can stand in the way of a person getting the treatment that they need.
Myth #4 – a Person Has To Hit “Rock Bottom” before They Seek Help
Circumstances don’t always have to be dire – before someone has a wake-up call that their drinking and/or drugging, substance use disorders, might be out of control. Furthermore, “rock bottom” means different things to different people – for some it might be a divorce, or the loss of a job, or an accident, or getting locked up. Other people might not need such consequences – they might be moved by an intervention. The bottom line is that the emotional pain related to the “rock bottom” has literally pushed through their brain to create a new awareness of themselves and their circumstances with the realization that the substance use played a part in their problem.
In the end, it doesn’t matter so much as why a person asks for help – it only matters they ask for that help.
Myth #5 – People Can Quit on Their Own, without Treatment
Anyone who has ever thought about stopping their misuse of alcohol and/or drugs has eventually had a conversation with themselves that probably went a lot like this –
“I don’t really have a problem. I can stop whenever I want. I can do this by myself.”
In their alcohol-and-drug-fogged mind, they truly think that they can quit drinking and using long term, on their own, by the force of their willpower.
It’s a nice thought. It’s unfortunate that it’s almost always wrong.
One of the hallmarks of drug addiction or alcoholism is a complete inability to stop, and stay stopped, through one’s own force of will. This is usually clearly evidenced by any previous attempts to quit that were unsuccessful. This is because, over time, alcoholism/drug addiction changes a person’s brain. A chronic user with a long history of substance abuse is incapable of altering their consumption – neither frequency nor amount.
This inability is the very textbook definition of addiction. An individual may want to quit getting high or drunk, may plan to quit, and maybe even may desperately need to quit, but they will fail in the attempt over and over again.
When it comes to trying to overcome addiction, good intent –even when completely sincere –isn’t enough. People trying to recover face a number of obstacles:
- Physical dependence, resulting in withdrawal symptoms
- Poor support system
- Lack of supervision/accountability
- Inadequate knowledge about recovery
That last obstacle is perhaps the biggest challenge facing anyone in any San Diego addiction recovery program – knowledge and facts versus myths, misconceptions, and stereotypes.
If you need that knowledge and those facts so that you or someone you care about can overcome a substance abuse problem, contact Lasting Recovery today.