Alcohol Awareness Month is a national public health awareness campaign sponsored by the National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). It was developed to increase awareness and understanding of the causes and treatment of one of our nation’s top public health problems: alcoholism.
If you live life alongside someone with Substance Use Disorder, it’s crucial to learn about SUD. No shame if you haven’t, but it will benefit you and them in the long run. Here are 4 myths most commonly associated with SUD.
“They seem to have it all together.”
Friends of addicts will often say, “I had no idea they were struggling with drugs or alcohol!” Correct, that’s by design! More than likely, their life has been set up so that you wouldn’t know there was a problem. It can be hard to spot because they hold down a job, attend church, and seem really happy at their kids’ soccer games. Don’t take it personally! They want to have it all together. They really do. Be willing to go deep with them if they are willing to let you in behind the curtain.
“They have to hit rock bottom before they get help.”
You might believe that there is nothing you can do until they hit rock bottom. That might be true for some, but recovery can start at any point in the addiction. Also, versions of Rock Bottom are relative to the person and don’t only mean that their lives are in complete ruin. Anything can serve as a sign that someone needs to get treatment.
“They can quit anytime they want.”
Have you ever said, “I could never drink again if I wanted” Or… “I would never stick a needle in my arm.” Well, that’s great for you! Unfortunately, not so easy for someone with SUD to say and live out. No matter how illogical you may think addiction is, it always ends up in control.
As addiction grows and altars the brain, so does its mastery over the person. It’s cunning and adaptive and will stop at nothing to keep someone in its grips. Once addiction has mastery over someone, it becomes their master and leaves them no choice but to give in to its demands.
“They just need to give it to God.”
Although, it’s a myth in that it is not ALL that someone needs to do. Why? Because God uses a variety of tools—including people to accomplish His work. For instance, He uses Doctors to help people with heart disease. No one would suggest “just turning it over to God” while having a heart attack.
So, with a substance abuse issue, they need the help of medical professionals that can help manage the effects of the chemical and counselors with experience working with those with similar challenges.
Recognizing Signs of Substance Use Disorder
While the specific symptoms may vary depending on the substance involved, there are certain signs applicable in most situations that you can look out for. These include sudden changes involving:
- Problems at school or at the workplace, increases in unexplained absences
- Decreased mental acuity
- Significant changes in sleeping and eating habits, whether too much or too little
- Changes in behavior especially increased isolation and secrecy
- Changes in mood, such as sudden aggression or complete loss of motivation
- Increasing issues with money
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Alcoholism is a serious problem in the US and around the world. Effectively respond to the challenge of substance abuse and addiction with NewDay’s help.
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