For those who suffer from them, addiction recovery myths can be a very challenging process. Every case of addiction is different, and only the individual struggling with it can truly take responsibility for reversing the cycle.
At Acqua Recovery, we’re here to help. Unfortunately, we’ve heard a number of harmful myths and misconceptions in this world over the years – here is part one of a two-part blog series where we’ll list these myths and then spend some time debunking them.
Relapse is Normal
The first and perhaps most common of the addiction recovery myths is that relapse is a normal, expected part of the process. While relapse is indeed something that happens to some who are in recovery, counting it as an expected part of the process sets a dangerous expectation for those going through recovery. It may encourage self-defeating or harmful behaviors, and can lead to family members and other caregivers simply waiting for the inevitable relapse instead of working to help prevent it.
Relapse Means Failure
On the flip side of this same conversation, though, it’s important for both those in recovery and their caregivers to remember that relapsing doesn’t equal failure in recovery. This only increases the shame and guilt that can come with addiction, and can make some feel like there’s no point in them continuing to try again. Hopelessness is the worst enemy of recovery, and this myth only increases it.
Must Hit Rock Bottom
This is a common myth spread by movies and television – that only once someone with an addiction has reached an often-dangerous “rock bottom” point can they admit they have a problem and work toward recovery. While again this may be true in some select cases, applying it so broadly to all cases is dangerous and wrong.
In reality, most people with an addiction have a breaking point – but it’s where that breaking point comes that’s important. For some, sadly, this breaking point is death. For others, it’s far earlier than any rock bottom point.
There’s Only One Way
In some cases, we see patients who are reluctant to try a method or aspect of our addiction recovery program because they’ve never heard of it working before and are worried it’s not “the right way.” This is a misconception we try to remove – every road to recovery is different, and while there will indeed be certain universal elements consistent among everyone, what works for one person might not work for another when it comes to specifics.