What are the Stereotypes of Addiction?


Man with coffee

Whether they are based on movies or hearsay, there are unfortunately many disheartening stereotypes surrounding addiction. Many of these stereotypes have derived from individuals who have not experienced addiction but have been impacted in some way by someone with addiction or have gotten mixed messages from pop culture or others. Stereotypes are damaging because they impact the way we view others and ultimately, ourselves. The following are some stereotypes or myths surrounding addiction and further information regarding them:

Stereotype #1: People with addiction are selfish. When addiction takes over, it asks for a person to do anything to continue fueling the flame. What may seem like selfishness could truly be desperation and entrapment – the person doesn’t know how to get out of the cycle.

Stereotype #2: People with addiction are liars. Those who are active in their addiction lie for different reasons: 1) to preserve their addiction, 2) to avoid facing reality, 3) to avoid confrontation, 4) because they are in denial, 5) because they believe they’re different, 6) they feel ashamed, 7) because loved ones allow it. When someone who is addicted lies, it is easy for others to take it personally. Though the lying can be personal, it is done out of obligation to the addiction.

Stereotype #3: People with addiction are weak. Those who assume that a person with addiction is weak typically believe that sheer willpower alone can stop someone from having an addiction. PBS explains that drugs and alcohol alter a person’s brain chemicals over time to accept the substance abuse as the new “normal”. With these chemical changes, it can be very difficult for someone to simply “stop”. That’s why treatment is so critical.

Stereotype #4: People with addiction have to go to AA if they want to stop. While Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has helped thousands of people, attending AA is not a requirement for someone to recovery from addiction. There are several other methods that individuals can use, and speaking with someone at a reputable treatment center could help them find what works best for them.

If you or a loved one are seeking a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery treatment program, call us today at 888-207-0965. Simple Recovery believes in providing clients with the resources they need to succeed. We believe in holistic recovery, meaning that we will work with you to develop the tools needed to restore and rebalance your mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for a consultation.