← Facts vs Myths Addiction is a choice! Kids should just say no. Myth Fact It's A Myth No one would choose to get addiction, any more than they'd choose to get cancer. Addiction is a consequence of many contributing factors, including genetics, upbringing, trauma and other influences. People with addiction are usually living pretty miserable lives and wouldn't choose to live that way if given the chance. Though the terms “abuse” and “addiction” are often considered synonymous, they are not the same thing. Myth Fact It's A Fact Substance abuse generally refers to the use of drugs or alcohol in unhealthy or even dangerous ways. Substance use disorder (SUD) is the diagnosis given to people who continually struggle with substance use, or who have developed a dependence on the substance. An individual who has a drug addiction has developed a physical, chemical and/or a psychological dependence on drugs or alcohol. People who engage in substance abuse without an active addiction are more likely to still experience the novel euphoric or depressive effects of the substance. Once addiction sets in, the individual develops a tolerance to the drug and will require more and more of the substance to achieve that original high, if it can be recreated at all. Prescription drugs are addictive. Myth Fact It's A Fact Prescription drugs are just as addictive as other drugs, but people often assume that because the medication has been prescribed by a doctor, that it must be harmless and non-addictive, but in reality, this is not the case. Addiction is treated behaviorally so it must be a behavioral problem, not a disease. Myth Fact It's A Myth Human behavior begins in the brain. Advanced brain studies show that different types of treatments, such as psychotherapy and medication, can change brain function. This is true for depression and other illnesses, including addiction. Sometimes behavioral treatments, like counseling, are enough. Sometimes medication may be required as well. But the fact that behavioral treatments can be effective does not mean addiction isn’t a real illness. If someone has a stable job and family life, they can’t be suffering from addiction. Myth Fact It's A Myth Many people live in denial because they’re successful in their professional lives, or because they don’t drink until after 5 p.m., or because they come from a “good” home. The reality is that anyone can be vulnerable to addiction. Many people hide the severity of their illness or don’t get help because of stigma and shame. If drinking or using drugs is causing any kind of conflict or problem in your personal or professional life, it’s worth seeking support. Hitting rock bottom can be more destructive than helpful Myth Fact It's A Fact When we are supporting people who are using substances, it is important to focus on building relationships based on safety and trust. If people do not find connection in their lives with other people, they will find something to connect to – including substances. If we leave people on their own in order for them to ‘hit rock bottom’, we lose these opportunities to connect and provide support.