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Addiction Resource Center
 

Myths and Common Beliefs

  • The person I care about will only get counseling if they are forced to get it because their job is on the line or they got in trouble with the law. While this may be true, people that are forced to seek counseling do get something out of it, they may also listen to a loved one that is concerned about their usage. They may not think their usage is a problem if no one has told them it is.

  • Won’t my loved one take the program more seriously if they self-refer? Statistics show that the folks that self-refer are on the right track, however, they are also the ones more likely to drop out for lack of accountability. Family is important in the recovery process and a large percentage of substance users are successful when encouraged by their family to get help.

  • My loved one is not the person I once knew. This is true, The neurochemistry and neurological functioning in the brain have changed with substance abuse. There is scientific evidence that loss of control, irrationality, and denial are all results of the use of chemicals. This is one reason why family intervention is important—because it also helps the user to see things more objectively.

  • Why is family motivation so important? Having the family onboard with keeping the user focused on not using is very important. Many times change is started because a family member has voiced they can no longer live with the pain caused by the substance dependency. Having contact with the user has become too chaotic, emotional, anger-filled, and painful.

  • An addicted person will not stop using until they’ve hit rock bottom or have lost everything. Addiction to a substance is often viewed as a medical condition. We would not wait to have other medical issues treated, so why wait with an addiction? The earlier the person is treated, the more successful treatment is. Many diseases and medical conditions have been successfully controlled due to early intervention. Think of diabetes. Many diabetics can control their disease through exercise and healthy food choices. The same reasoning holds true for addicts: the earlier they are treated, the better the chances for a successful recovery.

  • My loved one is so controlling since abuse began. I feel so alienated. It is common for the substance user to alienate friends and family. The relationship they have with substances becomes the primary relationship in their life. They prefer one-on-one contact with family and friends. One theory for this is because if the user is in contact with more than one family member at a time, the user is less likely to be able to control any conversation that comes up about getting help. Separately, they can convince their loved ones they don’t need help. Splitting the family like this can create much anger and frustration within the unit. Breaking this cycle of one-on-one between family members will provide a united front – helping the family to intervene so their loved one gets the help they need.

 

 
 

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