Five Myths About Opioid Addiction and the Need for Treatment

5 Misconceptions of Opioid Addiction and the Need for Treatment

Let’s talk about common myths regarding opioid addiction, and explore the need for opioid addiction treatment for anyone suffering from this substance use disorder. If your loved one is suffering from an opioid use disorder, it is important to know the facts. Otherwise, you may be judging them based on falsehoods, which will only make it harder to connect and get them help. Here are five common myths about opioid use disorder to be aware of.

Myth #1: People with opioid addiction need to have better willpower to overcome it.

Some people think an opioid use disorder is similar to wanting more candy. If you have enough willpower, you can fight the craving. But, that’s not the case. People who have an opioid addiction may want to stop but don’t know how to.1 They have lost control and need help.

When people have been abusing opioids over time, their brain functions are affected. The reward system doesn’t get the same pleasure out of naturally occurring rewards and seeks opioids instead. Opioids become their focus, and they continually need more to trigger their reward system.1

Myth #2: People only get addicted to opioids if they take them in high doses.

Any opioid dose can lead to addiction. Everyone’s body is different, and some people require a higher dose to feel an impact, while others can take less to get the same feelings. Someone can become dependent on opioids and addicted by just taking a small dose. This is important to understand because you may not think that a loved one has a problem. After all, you know they don’t take high doses, but they still have a problem in reality.

Myth #3: Medications can’t be used as part of opioid addiction treatment.

Some people think that medications can’t treat opioid addiction because you’re replacing one drug with another. But, that’s not the case. Although methadone and buprenorphine are opioids themselves, they can help treat someone with an opioid use disorder. 2 These drugs work to help people who have built up a high tolerance to opioids. These medicines work to minimize withdrawal symptoms and cravings rather than produce euphoric highs. 2 This is why people seek these treatments for opioid use disorders. 

Myth #4: If you are prescribed an opioid, you’ll likely get addicted.

Believing this myth is like saying that everyone who has a glass of wine will become an alcoholic. We all know this is false, and the same logic applies to opioids. Many people can take opioids as prescribed and not become addicted. They use the drugs for their pain, and when the injury or pain has subsided, they stop taking them. Some don’t like taking opioids because they may make them feel drowsy or out of it.

For others, taking opioids can lead to addiction if they start relying on them and wanting more to feel good. It’s important to remember that the way opioids affect the body will differ from person to person.

Myth #5: If a loved one were addicted to opioids, I would be able to tell.

You may think you would be able to tell if a loved one was addicted to opioids, but sometimes it’s not that easy. While many people’s addiction impairs their ability to work and carry on with everyday chores, others can mask their substance abuse disorder and still do daily tasks. They can make it difficult for others to tell that there is a problem.

Some common signs of opioid addiction to look out for include.3

  • Drowsiness
  • Uncontrollable Cravings
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Stealing
  • New financial hardships

As someone realizes that they have an addiction, they may work even harder to mask it. This can make it harder for a loved one to realize there is a problem. But, if a loved one does have a substance abuse disorder and you don’t notice it, you shouldn’t blame yourself. When you realize there is an issue, you can help them get the treatment they need to help end their substance abuse disorder.

Opioid Addiction Treatment at Clear Life Recovery

At Clear Life Recovery, we offer opioid addiction treatment. We customize our treatment plans for each patient, as we understand that everyone has a unique background. Thus, we tailor treatment to the needs of each patient. 

Our treatment plans can include a variety of therapy sessions and cognitive behavioral therapy treatments, and more. Our facility is in beautiful Costa Mesa, where the scenic background and serene environment create a positive, peaceful place to heal.

For more information on opioid therapy, call us or reach out to us online to learn more about how we can help you or a loved one with opioid addiction.

 

Sources:
[1] https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/opioid-addiction-myths
[2] https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/medications-to-treat-opioid-addiction/what-are-misconceptions-about-maintenance-treatment
[3] https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/opioids/signs-of-opioid-abuse.html

About Benjamin Hogan

Over the years, Benjamin has held positions in many different areas of alcohol and drug addiction services all over the country. He made a name for himself as an interventionist and has held certification as a Certified National Drug and Alcohol Interventionist (CNDAI-II). Benjamin specializes in helping support families of people struggling with addiction by focusing on education and instilling healthy boundaries to ensure lasting changes. Addiction is a progressive disease, but using an evidence-based approach, an intervention, when done correctly, can help to increase the willingness of a loved one to seek sobriety faster.

"In my experience, by helping families make necessary changes, they not only get their lives back, but they also help change the mind of their loved one more quickly. In an intervention, family and other loved ones take a proactive approach, instead of waiting and being stuck between fear and (false) hope. I realized in my own recovery, that when my family changed, I had to change in response. That is where I found sobriety. This is why I believe in what I do!"