When we think of people living with addiction we often make certain assumptions that are in the least inaccurate and sometimes, plain wrong. These stereotypes create problems for people in addiction and their loved ones as well as keeping the world at large from a clear and honest understanding of the disease. They can stand in the way of people seeking the help they need because they do not see themselves as having an addiction because they are not one of “those” people or because they have internalized the stigma of addiction and do not believe that can achieve long-term recovery.
Most of us have experienced the homeless and addicted. They stand out. They live public and many people make the mistake of assuming people living with addiction are incapable of holding jobs or having functional families. In truth, most people with addiction are hard-working people who pay their bills, who have families and even stand out as examples of what “success” looks like. We are often people sitting at the desk next to yours at work, in the pew at church, helping you move. Addiction, in many cases, is hidden. The turmoil is internal and unseen.
Another common misconception is that addicts are broken somehow. While many of us have experienced trauma either prior to our addiction or because of it, the truth is, while trauma does increase the risk of addiction, most people who experience it do not become addicted. As for those who are addicted, many come from typical families. Addiction is a disease of the brain, not necessarily a reaction to bad experiences.
While people in addiction who do achieve recovery may decide to stop associating with certain people because those people are triggers, for most of us, spend most of our time with people who are not addicts. It’s easier for some people to blame the “bad” influences of certain people, no one can force us into addiction.
There exists a false assumption that people with addictions are inherently violent. While many violent people are addicted, the truth is most of us are no more violent than anyone else. Even if there is a link between violence and addiction, it is important to know that addiction does not create violence, it simply contributes to situations where violence may occur.
Fighting the Stereotypes
People living with addiction are just people with all the complications and intricacies of someone not living with addiction, but if you are questioning whether or not you might have a problem with drugs or alcohol, then reach out. You are a unique person with unique needs and there is help out there for you. At Fort Worth Recovery, we personalize the treatment to the individual. Call us today at 817 382 2894 or visit us online.