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Debunking Myths About Addiction: Substance Abuse and Behaviors

Jun 14, 2023 | 0 comments

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Jun 14, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

According to Daly and Sampson (2013), addiction is persistent, compulsive dependence on a behavior or substance. Some of the behaviors that lead to addiction include watching movies and masturbation. However, addiction is widely associated with substances such as alcohol and drugs. These substances act as a reward to the brain and stimulate it to release the `feel good’ hormones. The feel-good hormones lead to good feelings, which the brain recognizes and repeatedly wants, leading to addiction.

Addiction has been associated with various myths and misconceptions. The myth that many people slide back to addiction implies that treatment doesn’t work is not true. This is because relapse is always part of the recovery process (Lilienfeld, 2011). Besides, treatment helps to reduce the duration and number of relapses. Another common myth is that if one cannot quit using drugs or alcohol for the first time, they will never quit. This is not true, as it takes many tries to quit completely. A myth that very few women are either alcoholic or addicted to drugs is inappropriate since the number of addicted women is almost the same as that of addicted men.


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The myth that domestic violence is caused by alcohol and drug abuse is not true because most people are alcoholics or addicted to drugs but are not violent. Furthermore, people’s behavior under the influence of alcohol or drug abuse depends on personal, social, and emotional factors. Moreover, the myth that alcohol enhances sexual desire and performance is true to some extent since alcohol increases sexual desire, but it does not enhance sexual performance. Instead, it leads to erectile dysfunction. Peer influence that if one’s friends are drinking, they should also drink to have a good time with them is a myth that is not true. This is because one can have a good time with their alcoholic friends without necessarily having to drink.

The belief that one only gets addicted if and only if one uses the drugs for a long time is a wrong myth. This stems from the fact that taking a drug for the first time can make the brain send wrong signals to the body, which can lead to heart attack and coma (Braziller and Kleinfeld, 2013). Everybody can get addicted to alcohol or drug abuse at any age; hence the myth that goes that teenagers are too young to get addicted is not appropriate. Drug abuse limits thinking and coherence in action; therefore, the myth that drugs enhance creativity is wrong. The assumption that most drug addicts got their first drugs from a peddler is a false myth. This results from the fact that most drug addicts got their first drugs either from their close friends or associates in the form of a favor.

The belief by some people that alcoholics can stop drinking on their own, without help, for good if they were to have willpower is not true. Only a few people can stop it, regardless of how strong their inner resolve is. It needs a structured treatment for one to stop it. This can go along with participation in community-based support organizations.

Marijuana leads to psychological addiction, and hence it is addictive. Addiction is a bad habit since it leads to hypertension and adult diabetes. Addiction also alters the structural and biochemical composition of the brain.

In conclusion, it is crucial to challenge and debunk the myths and misconceptions surrounding addiction. Understanding the truth about addiction is essential for promoting effective treatment and support for individuals struggling with substance abuse and addictive behaviors. We have seen that relapse is a common part of the recovery process, and treatment can significantly reduce its duration and frequency. Furthermore, addiction does not discriminate based on gender, as both men and women are susceptible to its grasp. It is important to recognize that substance abuse does not directly cause domestic violence, and individuals’ behavior under the influence depends on various factors. Additionally, the belief that drugs enhance creativity or that addiction can be overcome solely through willpower is misguided. By dispelling these myths, we can foster a more accurate understanding of addiction and provide the necessary resources and support for individuals on their journey to recovery.


Braziller, A., & Kleinfeld, E. (2013). The Bedford Book of genres: A guide & reader.

Daly, M., & Sampson, S. (2013). Narcomania: How Britain got hooked on drugs.

Lilienfeld, S. (2011). Seeing both sides. Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole Pub. Co.

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