Amid a battle with substance use disorder, becoming sober can feel overwhelming and sometimes even impossible. And with so many myths and misconceptions about recovery floating around online, it can be challenging to uncover the truth about getting sober. Choosing to begin a recovery treatment plan is a life-changing decision that requires knowing the concrete facts about recovery, along with much forethought and courage.
In this article, we’ll look at six main recovery misconceptions and the real truth behind them to help you make a more informed decision about the recovery process. If you or a loved one is considering substance use disorder treatment, keep reading to find out how to see through the most prevalent substance use recovery lies.
Common Myths About Substance Use Disorder Recovery
There are so many stubborn misconceptions about substance use recovery that it can feel impossible to differentiate fact from fiction. But knowing the truth behind these mistaken beliefs can help people struggling with substance use disorder understand their recovery options and the help available to them.
To help clear up your perception of substance abuse treatment, look at these top six myths about recovery.
Myth #1: You Must Hit Rock Bottom Before Getting Treatment
One of the most persistent fallacies surrounding substance abuse recovery is that you must first hit rock bottom before reaching out for help and entering a treatment program. However, the opposite is true — getting treatment sooner rather than later as a preventive measure can help people avoid ever reaching this lowest of low points.
There’s no need to wait until your life is in pieces to break the vicious cycle of addiction, because various recovery treatments are always available for people dealing with different stages of their illness. Though some people need to hit bottom before realizing they need professional help, looking into recovery options before then can put you at a better starting point on the road to sobriety and save you from losing the things you hold dear.
Myth #2: Getting Sober Is Boring
Many people worry that they will have to lose their social life when they get sober, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In the moment, social substance use can seem fun because it often works as a Band-Aid to cover up underlying anxiety issues, but it doesn’t provide lasting social connections. Over time, those struggling with addiction tend to erode their relationships and end up feeling more isolated than ever.
Getting free from addiction through recovery opens up more social options than were possible while using. By not devoting the majority of your time to feeding addiction, you’ll be able to fill your life with more meaningful experiences and spending time with genuine friends. After getting clean, you can be more present with others and have substance-free fun that you will remember in the morning.
Myth #3: Medication-Assisted Treatment Is Less Effective
Using medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is equally as valid as a recovery plan as any other form of substance abuse treatment. Some recovery medications can help you remain abstinent from illicit drugs and ease some of the effects of cravings and withdrawal. By helping you stay physically comfortable, MAT allows you to focus more on the emotional and mental work that accompanies recovery.
Specifically, buprenorphine treatment uses medication to reduce the unpleasant side effects of opioid withdrawal. By attaching to the same receptors in the brain as opioids do, buprenorphine and its compounds can curb the physical symptoms of withdrawal, so you can fully concentrate on recovery. Unlike abused opioids, buprenorphine doesn’t create a “high,” making it an effective recovery medication.
Myth #4: Outpatient Recovery Is Lonely
Although people enrolled in outpatient treatment do not live on a campus with fellow clients, that doesn’t mean outpatient recovery plans are lonely roads. A well-rounded outpatient treatment plan will include regular counseling sessions, both individual and group. Paired with MAT, substance abuse recovery counseling provides the necessary support to overcome cravings and stay sober.
Though it is not a common discussion topic, 35% of Americans or more suffer from a substance abuse problem, which means no one is alone in their recovery process. Group counseling can help connect you with others who are going through similar circumstances and allow you to empathize with them. Instead of the secrecy, shame and self-isolation involved with addiction, outpatient recovery and counseling will give you a sense of community, support and freedom.
Myth #5: Experiencing a Relapse Means You Have Failed at Recovery
Because substance abuse recovery is a process, between 40 to 60% of those battling substance abuse disorder relapse at some point along their road to recovery. As humans, we make mistakes, so a return to substance use is not an uncommon part of the journey. Far more crucial than whether you relapse is what you do afterward.
Though an incident of relapse can be discouraging, it represents a momentary lapse in judgment. As long as it does not become a pattern of behavior again, a relapse does not have to be a major setback. By getting right back on the path to recovery and continuing treatment, you can become even stronger than before the relapse.
Myth #6: You Will Always Struggle With Resisting Substance Use
The path to complete recovery can be a long road, but you will reach a point at which you can go days, weeks, even months without thinking about using. By going through treatment and replacing self-destructive substance use with positive behavioral patterns, you will become so focused on living life to the fullest that using again won’t cross your mind.
After becoming content with a life free of substance use and the new and improved sober version of yourself, you won’t yearn to go back to the way things were. To help you reach this point faster, it helps to join substance-free activities like a community sports team or finding a new hobby to occupy your time.
Achieve Sustained Sobriety With AppleGate Recovery
These six recovery myths each instill people with a fear that drives them away from treatment before even giving sobriety a shot. Contrary to these fallacies, you can seek help at any point in addiction, getting sober will not make you dull or lonely, MAT is an effective recovery treatment, a relapse does not mean you’ve failed and you can conquer substance use once and for all. But to do so, you need to take the first steps to recovery.
Instead of letting lies and doubts keep you from making the potentially lifesaving decision to start substance use treatment, contact AppleGate Recovery to learn more about how MAT and counseling can help you get and stay clean. As an effective outpatient recovery option, AppleGate allows clients to continue their everyday lives outside treatment and maintain their regular schedule and responsibilities. We treat people with extra care and respect, always making confidentiality a top priority.