Common Drug and Alcohol Myths Debunked

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( — September 24, 2019) Salt Lake City, Utah — According to WHO (The World Health Organization), more than three million deaths can be attributed to drug and alcohol abuse worldwide annually. These stats reveal there’s a much bigger problem than many of us might realize. Almost everyone is impacted by drug and alcohol abuse in some way, whether it be a personal struggle or one affecting the lives of loved ones they know. 

Getting help is not always easy, though. There is a lot of misinformation floating around that can sometimes hinder an addict’s recovery. It’s important to be able to identify a couple common alcohol myths about breaking these life-draining habits.

Addicts can stop cold turkey

Many people believe that they can stop abusing substances of their choice cold turkey. In fact, many people believe this. They might even ask a friend or family member to stay with them and keep them from using for a time period and then they’ll be cured. With some substances, this method may be safe and actually work, but quitting that suddenly can be deadly in the cases of alcohol, opiates, or benzodiazepine.

Withdrawal from almost any substance is uncomfortable. The first obstacle comes when the body goes through a detox of insomnia, excessive sweating, vomiting, and mood swings. However, the symptoms can become much more severe. Once the body has become addicted to a substance, the nervous system comes to expect a certain level of them on a regular basis. 

When someone suddenly removes an addictive toxin from their system, their body can go into a type of shock that may cause serious, and potentially fatal system failures. Heart attack is one common example, and can begin with chest pain, vomiting, and shooting pains in the neck, jaw and arms. Or, they might experience a seizure, which can worsen and kill someone who’s simply trying to kick an addiction. 

Once an addict realizes they have a problem, it’s important to seek help. It’s recommended that detox be supervised at qualified drug rehab centres or hospitals. There, they can receive the proper treatment to help them come off their substances at the right pace and in the right way. Some may require prescription medications to deal with the side effects of withdrawal, and these facilities are equipped to administer them. They can also often provide the emotional and mental support needed to get through the process.

Prescribed drugs are safe

Opioid addiction is a current crisis that is responsible for the majority of overdose fatalities in the world today. Opioids include the prescription drugs OxyContin, Vicodin, fentanyl⁠—and on the street, heroin. One of the problems with these drugs is that they are highly addictive, even after short-term use. Another is that many people assume if they’re prescribed to them, they’re safe. The truth is, however, that while health care professionals are aware of the problem and take every precaution to limit its use, a person can still become addicted if certain factors are at play. Certain risk factors play a role in opioid addiction, including genetics, personal history, age, and other drug use. 

To avoid prescription drug abuse, certain precautions should be taken. For one, never take more than the prescribed amount and never longer than needed. Secondly, try using some alternative treatments in addition to, or instead of, opiates. Lastly, don’t be dismissive about the possibility of addiction. If you stay informed about the risks and stay in touch with your doctor, you are much less likely to relapse or allow addiction to tighten its grip once again.