People use drugs and alcohol for many reasons. Some use socially and on occasion. On the flip side, many use to numb life circumstances, stresses, fears, traumas, and more. Issues associated with drug and alcohol use progresses as life does. While people want to believe that using helps them cope, it really just amplifies their loss of control, depression, and anxiety. This consistency takes our connections with the people in our lives and replaces it with confusion. I’ve seen too many people want to get help and just not know how or are too scared of what others will think of them.

There are many misconceptions of dependency and addiction that are important to address, here are a few:

People who are dependent on drugs/alcohol have no will power. FALSE.

Substances change the way your brain and body function. This change affects the part of your brain that allows for self-control. The reward system of the brain is rewired to be more stimulated by your drug of choice. At that point, substance use becomes an involuntary act.

Every Person who uses drugs/alcohol are addicts. FALSE.

Many people use socially and sporadically. Substance use can turn into an addictive behavior, but it does not in every situation. Addiction is characterized by compulsive substance seeking and use despite harmful consequences.

Your life is seemingly perfect, you are not an addict or dependent on substances to cope. FALSE.

Not everyone who is dependent on substances looks homeless, dingy, or messed up. In fact, many addicts have very seemingly normal lives. They are successful figures in their communities with loving and supportive families. A good majority of people use because they have underlying emotional, physical, or psychological issues that others are not aware. That can be anyone!

You don’t need help or treatment, you can detox on your own. FALSE.

Whether or not you believe that you need to detox, always consult with a trained professional to assess your situation. Detoxing should always be supervised by a trained medical professional. While not all drugs have dangerous withdrawal symptoms, some can be deadly if trying to detox alone.  Drugs like alcohol, opioids (Prescription pain meds), benzodiazepines (Xanax and Valium being a few common ones) can be very dangerous and painful to attempt without supervision.

My hope for anyone struggling with substance use is that they will know that they are not alone and there is always hope in every situation.  Hope goes quickly once using has made its place in our lives. Reaching out for help no matter the circumstances or stigmas is the first step.

Give Amy Wine Counseling Center a call at 832-421-8714 if you have questions about our therapeutic services or would like to schedule an appointment.