When it comes to substance abuse, many people have preconceived notions about whom it affects and the treatment that’s needed. The problem is that many of these ideas are myths and only further the stigma attached to substance abuse. That can make a difference in a person’s decision to get the help needed.

Let’s clear the air – here are a few myths about substance abuse and the realities behind these thoughts.

Myth 1: People Who abuse Substances are Intrinsically Bad

This is truly one myth that needs to be debunked once and for all. The myth that those suffering from substance abuse and addiction are bad people often comes from cultural stereotypes. And while those that perpetuate this myth likely aren’t doing it out of malice, it truly does more harm than good.

People struggling with substance abuse are normal people. And what leads someone to it is made up of a complex combination of factors. These might include genetic predisposition, chronic physical health conditions, and experiences of trauma. But there is not something intrinsically “bad” about the person. They shouldn’t be defined by their past. They should be defined by their present, their future, and what they choose to do with it.

Myth 2: Prescription Drugs are Safe Drugs

We often trust doctors with our well-being, so it’s natural to assume prescription medications aren’t harmful. And in general, prescription drugs are safe and can be effective for treating pain or other conditions.

However, these drugs can be dangerous when abused. A number of prescription drugs are known to be highly addictive and have negative side effects, but the pain-relieving benefits of the drugs outweigh the negative risks. Although prescribed by doctors according to specific dosing instructions, the possibility of mismanagement is high, especially for a person in chronic or acute pain. And when misused, they are at least as harmful as their illicit counterparts. When it comes to substance abuse, prescription drugs need to be taken seriously just as much as other substances.

Myth 3: To Get Treatment, You Need to Hit Rock Bottom

This is a dangerous myth. No person has to hit rock bottom to get help for their substance abuse or addiction.

Recovery can begin at any point in the addiction process. And oftentimes, not waiting for things to get bad is better. Waiting could mean the substance abuse or addiction becomes more dangerous and more difficult to treat.

Myth 4: Rehab Won’t Work

Some people would rather try to fight through their substance abuse and addiction on their own rather than seek treatment because they believe it’s a waste of time.

But rehab often works and can cut substance abuse by an average of 40 to 60%. Not to mention, rehab isn’t just a place. It’s where to begin the process of healing. It’s where you gain the skills needed to get your life on the right path again, and where you get a taste of what your life can look like without substances. And it’s a team of people who are ready to help you take back your freedom.

Myth 5: Treatment Should “Scare Them Straight”

Sometimes, people might wonder if recovery facilities that promise comfortable healing actually make their clients take recovery seriously. It can be easy to see this kind of treatment as too soft and feel as though treatment should make individuals understand the extent of what they’ve “done wrong.”

However, fear, shame, or consequence-based interventions are no longer considered effective means of treatment. In fact, it can actually be counterproductive. Some research suggests that self-reported feelings of shame in recovery are linked to a higher likelihood of relapse.

Instead, effective treatment should be supportive and aimed at rebuilding their lives and relationships with loved ones. Using fear tactics will only perpetuate the individual’s belief that they are not capable of achieving more.

Let Calvary Ranch Colorado Be There for You

In today’s modern age, it’s essential we share knowledge that is accurate and up-to-date. When we perpetuate old stereotypes about substance abuse and addiction, it can prevent individuals from receiving the support and understanding they need to heal. But when we work together to learn the truth, we can change the dialogue.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, it’s time to seek out help. Our Rehab Ranch in Montrose, CO, is a simple place with a simple program. Calvary Ranch Colorado is located on a working cattle ranch surrounded by rivers, lakes, trees, and majestic mountain views. Abundant wildlife also shows God’s creation and adds to the tranquility of this place. Check out our What to Expect information to learn more.

If you would like to talk through any of your concerns or questions about how we can help, contact us.