Common Misconceptions of Addiction | Banyan Boca

Common Misconceptions of Addiction: The Truth About Addiction Revealed

In 2014, it was found that 20.2 million adults over the age of 18 had a substance use disorder in the past year alone.1 Although there are so many people who struggle with substance abuse, there are still many misconceptions of addiction in the general population. Our team at Banyan Detox Boca Raton works with people struggling with addiction who need guidance, so we want to set the record straight and clear up any misunderstandings. Pointing out the myths about addiction may lead to more people willing to take that step and get the help they need like addiction treatment in South Florida.

Myths and Misconceptions of Addiction

There are many common misconceptions about drugs but even more myths about drug addiction. These misunderstandings can be harmful to both addicts and their loved ones. At Banyan Detox Boca Raton, we’re dispelling these myths and misconceptions of addiction. Instead, we are sharing the facts about alcoholism, drug addiction, and recovery.

MYTH: Addiction is a Bad Choice And Addicts Can Quit Using at Any Time

Many people believe that addiction is just a series of bad choices. Many people also have heard the expression ‘quitting cold turkey’ and believe that those who are using drugs or alcohol can stop using at any time. In reality, addiction is a disease and it is very difficult to stop. Addictive drugs can release 10 times more dopamine than natural rewards and in a faster time; this unusual and unnatural activity will actually alter the reward system in a negative way.2 Once the addiction starts to take hold, the body and mind become completely dependent on the substance. Many addicts also suffer from mental health issues that only make their addiction worse. The physical withdrawal symptoms become too much for the body to endure and often relapse takes place without proper medical assistance. Only proper treatment from a Boca residential drug treatment center will help that individual transition into a successful recovery.

MYTH: Prescription Medication Is Not Addictive

There are many myths about drug addiction and prescription drugs, but this is one of the greatest misconceptions of addiction and one the most dangerous. Many people feel that since these substances are legal and prescribed, they do not have the addictive effects that other illegal substances do. As the opioid epidemic is unfortunately on the rise in the United States, many people are abusing prescription medications. Prescription meds can be highly addictive and even fatal if abused. In 2014, it was estimated that more than 1,700 young Americans between the age of 18 to 25 alone overdosed that year from prescription drugs; the overdose rate for prescription drugs was higher than any other drug for that age group.3 Facing opiate withdrawals without medical attention can be fatal as well, which is why medical opiate detoxification is crucial.

Alcoholism can completely take over someone’s life, and produce serious effects and sometimes fatal outcomes.


MYTH: Addicts Are Not High-Functioning Members of Society

One of the most common myths about drug addiction is that addicts are all homeless or living in decrepit housing. You may also think that most addicts are violent, dangerous, and criminals, but this is not the case. Addiction doesn’t discriminate. Many addicts have families and successful careers. According to combined data from the CBHSQ Report for 2008 to 2012, 9.5% of full-time workers age 18 to 64 had a substance use disorder.4 These full-time workers are part of various industries. Some other people may be addicts without you even realizing it. The NIH suggests that 19.5% of alcoholics in the United States are part of the functional subtype that includes those who are “typically middle-aged, well-educated, with stable jobs and families.” 5 In order to get your loved one the help they need, look for some of the common signs of addiction including secretive behavior, mood or behavior changes, money problems, defensive behavior when confronted, and social withdrawal.

MYTH: Alcohol Addiction isn’t as Intense as Drug Addiction

This is one of the most dangerous myths and misconceptions about alcohol. Because drinking alcohol is considered socially acceptable, many people believe that alcohol addiction is not as serious or intense as drug addiction. At Banyan Detox Boca Raton, we want to clear this addiction myth up right away. Alcoholism can completely take over someone’s life and produce serious effects and sometimes fatal outcomes. As of 2015, 15.1 million adults in the United States suffered from alcohol use disorder, and it is estimated that 88,000 Americans die from alcohol-related causes every year.6 Alcoholism should not be taken lightly, and those who are suffering from alcohol addiction should seek help immediately. Professional alcohol detox in Boca Raton can be lifesaving.

MYTH: Addicts Only Need Treatment Once They Have Hit “Rock Bottom”

One of the many misconceptions of addiction is that you should only seek treatment when circumstances get severe. In reality, the longer you wait to get treatment, the harder it is to stop. Your body becomes dependent on the drug, and addiction can quickly spiral out of control. Addicts who hit rock bottom may lose their job, loved ones, and even their life. By that point, it may be too late. If you suspect that you or a loved one has a problem with drugs or alcohol, do not hesitate to get help immediately.

MYTH: There Is Only One Form of Addiction Treatment

In breaking the myths about drug addiction, we’re also breaking misconceptions about addiction treatment. Many people think that there’s only one path for addiction treatment, but this isn’t the case. There are, in fact, numerous approaches to tackling drug and alcohol addiction, and everyone requires a different method of treatment. Some people may respond differently to treatment, and as a result, they require a plan that is carefully tailored to their specific needs. While there are many forms of addiction treatment out there, the common end goal is always sobriety and the start to a successful, long-term recovery.


Contact Banyan Detox Boca Raton today to learn more about the addiction treatment programs we offer and how we can help you or a loved one get back on the right path in life. If you or a loved one is struggling with drugs or alcohol, call us at 888-280-4763.


  1. SAMHSA - The CBHSQ Report Trends in Substance Use Disorders Among Adults Aged 18 or Older
  2. Harvard Health Publishing - How addiction hijacks the brain
  3. NIH - Abuse of Prescription (Rx) Drugs Affects Young Adults Most
  4. SAMHSA - Substance Use and Substance Use Disorder By Industry
  5. NIH - Researchers Identify Alcoholism Subtypes
  6. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - Alcohol Facts and Statistics

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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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