For as long as there has been alcohol, there have been people with alcohol use issues. You might think that by now, most of the myths about alcohol use disorder would have been busted but many persist. Unfortunately, these myths and misconceptions can contribute to the stigma of addiction and prevent people from seeking help. Here are some common myths about alcohol use disorder.
“People with alcohol use disorder are usually unemployed or homeless.”
It’s unfortunately true that many homeless people have drug or alcohol use issues but it doesn’t follow that most people with substance use issues are homeless. Most people with substance use issues have jobs, homes, and families. Sometimes they appear to be successful and happy from the outside and are able to hide their substance use for a while. People who fall into this category can easily convince themselves they don’t have a drinking problem because they’ve managed to maintain a few markers of status. However, addiction is a progressive disease and it typically gets worse. Many people with alcohol use disorders make a special effort to keep their drinking from affecting their jobs, but it will catch up to them eventually. At some point, the good job, the family, and the nice house may go away.
“Alcohol use disorder is a choice.”
People often think that addiction is a choice. People choose whether to drink but no one chooses to become addicted. In fact, addiction is the opposite of choice. Many people with alcohol use disorder want to stop drinking but can’t. That’s the essence of addiction.
“Alcohol use disorder is caused by a lack of willpower.”
Similar to they myth above, many people think that someone with an alcohol use disorder lacks willpower or has some kind of character flaw. In reality, the causes of addiction are complex and involve genetic factors, childhood environment, trauma, parents’ behavior, and mental health issues. Willpower and character have nothing to do with it. In fact, people who try to quit drinking on willpower alone typically don’t get very far. You have to address the other causes of addiction if you want recovery to last.
“Once you become addicted to alcohol, you will always be addicted.”
This common sentiment is really an unhelpful form of labeling. Addiction to alcohol is tough to beat and people typically have to try several times before they can sustain recovery. However, with the right help and support, people do overcome alcohol use disorder and live happier, more productive lives.
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon uses cutting-edge techniques in individualized programs to help men achieve freedom from addiction. Taking a holistic, sustainable approach to the inner and outer effects of addiction ensures you or your loved one will emerge with the confidence and skills to manage your addiction independently.
No one is beyond help- our Admissions Counselors are available 24/7 at (503) 850-2474